A guest blog post from www.salesevolution.com
In GFS™ training we spend important time in session covering “Relationship Management”
which itself divides into a few sub-sessions, one of which is DISC Analysis. As GFSers know,
DISC profiling provides a basis for judging the pacing, tone and some guidance on the content of
business conversations based on the natural communication style of you counterpart. The intent
of the training is to utilize the DISC methodology to help sales professionals adapt their own
style to that of the person they are speaking with. Particularly in first meetings, effective
communications and therefore our ability to establish credibility is based as much on the way we
speak to someone as what we say to them. This is nowhere more critical that when you are
talking with the top management, in the C-Suite; or what we call “the D Suite”.
D-Suite because top management tends to be populated with “D” or dominant type DISC
personalities. When it comes to business discussions Ds live by the crito: “Be brief, be bright, be
gone.” So how do we adapt our natural personalities, our natural communication style to assure
successful initial conversations in the D-Suite.
Most of us approach senior level D’s the way the cowardly Lion approached “Oz the Great and
Powerful” in the “Wizard of Oz”, trembling and on his knees. In fact this is the precise opposite
of what a D is looking for in communications. In a nutshell D’s are looking for the ‘unvarnished
truth with all the bark on it’. They want reality not romance; funds not friends. You have a D’s
undivided attention when you speak in irrefutable truths and scrap the indefensible assertions.
The key to the D manager communications is one word: REAL. Revenue, Earnings, Assets &
Love. Everything you address with a D better speak to improving sales, bottom line, asset value
or address the core passion about why they are doing what they are doing. The Ds personal
emotional motivation for why she wants her business to go higher and further; her vision of
But for many of us (about 75% of all people and about 50% of sales people) this is much easier
said then done. In a ‘lights, camera, action moment when its sink or swim; do or die and we seem
to lose our ability to think on our feet and respond intelligently to the most mundane question.
“Sooo, what do you want - Scarecrow?” Our knees get weak and we collapse to the floor; a
reflex response to the Ds natural instinct to attack as a way of establishing relevance, ‘I guess if
they run it couldn’t have been very important!’ (By the way, the very reason the RMS Titanic hit
Key to overcoming this requires us to create five counter-reflexive behavior patterns for dealing
with the D-Suite:
1) Talk REAL. And in the context of their personal investment in REAL outcomes. If it’s
phony you’re finished, but Ds can’t resist the attention and interest in their priorities as
long as it is genuine. After all what other priorities are there anyway?
2) Assert Nothing. Make absolutely zero assertions that you aren’t prepared to defend to the
death. And when you finally make one couch it amongst other statements that are
irrefutably true. “Sales Evolution is not a fit for every company.” “We are not the
cheapest provider, so if that’s what you are looking for then we probably can’t help you.”
3) Kill Small Talk (unless they insist). Even if she drifts into small talk she will love you for
being the one to pull the conversation back to business.
4) “Disentrall yourself.” Abe Lincoln’s advice and just as valid today. Be like a doctor when
it comes to dealing with D’s; you are there to create certainty about the D getting the
outcome she is seeking – that’s it. In the end it’s yes or no; you just want the decision.
5) Resist & Go Negative: D’s thrive under pressure; without it they are like a fish out of
water. Load your talk with RTQs (reality testing questions) that strike at the heart of
“Why are we here and why are we having this conversation.”
And the good news is that in senior management even if they aren’t a D they have adapted D
attributes that will be coherent with this approach. Once you learn to “Deal the D” you are on
your way to becoming one of the GFS Sales Elitesm; those who deliver number crushing results
every time by dedicating their time to those with the authority to say “yes”.
Scott Messer firstname.lastname@example.org