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Understand Buyer Behavior through DiSC®

Learn the Four Types of Buyer Behavior

Your buyer’s behavior can be easily understood through a personality model called DiSC®.

Sales, at its core, is based on communication. How well you communicate your product or service to your potential customer can make the difference in closing a sale or losing one. 

DiSC identifies buyer behaviors into four primary styles and will help you answer questions like; “How does your customer like to interact? What do they want to know? How do they want to process the information?”

Here’s a brief overview of the four types of buyers:

Buyer Behavior - D Style

D-Style Buyer Behaviors

Customers with the D Personality Type have a buying style that is fast-paced & outspoken and, questioning & skeptical. Typically those with the D style are assertive, bold, and unafraid to express their opinions. 

These customers often know what they want and decide quickly, even if the decision is important or complicated.

Buyer Behavior - i Style

i-Style Buyer Behaviors

Customers with the i Personality Type tend to be fast-paced & outspoken and, accepting & warm. In general, they have an optimistic and energetic buying style. 

They may see the sales process as an opportunity to socialize. They like small talk and a friendly atmosphere.

Buyer Behavior - S Style

S-Style Buyer Behaviors

Customers with the S Personality Type tend to be both accepting & warm and, cautious & reflective. In general, they’re accommodating, soft-spoken and humble.

Even though these customers are usually friendly and agreeable, they have a careful buyer style. This sometimes makes them reluctant decision-makers. They like to be absolutely sure of something before they commit.

Buyer Behavior - C Style

S-Style Buyer Behaviors

Customers with the C Personality Type are both questioning & skeptical and cautious & reflective. They generally have a reserved, analytical, and systematic buying style. 

These customers like to consider all their options and will unlikely display much enthusiasm even if they like something. They may feel manipulated if a salesperson tries to get too personal too quickly.

Recognizing Buyer Behavioral Types

Everything DiSC provides an easy-to-use system that salespeople and teams can use to determine the best customer approach based on how they want to be engaged.

The DiSC model is based on two dimensions of human nature. In the model, you can see two axes; a vertical Pace Line and a horizontal Acceptance Line.

The Vertical Pace Line determines whether a buyer is more active and outspoken or more cautious and reflective in their actions.

The Horizontal Acceptance Line determines whether a buyer is more skeptical and questioning or more accepting and warm.

I have an iS style.

In my career, I found that I had the most difficult time connecting with D-buying types. My Everything DiSC Sales profile provides me with personalized information on how I can connect with this specific style:

To me, D-style buyers may seem:

  • Demanding
  • Blunt
  • Dominant
  • Forceful

I might notice certain things about this customer. They might be assertive or have a no-nonsense attitude. Their fast, action-oriented pace might make them impatient with my small talk, and they might control the discussion. They may cut to the chase with me and keep the process going briskly.

These types of customers may seem demanding or even aggressive to me. This could put me in an awkward position if I don’t adapt to them quickly.

While knowing a buyer’s behavioral style is important, understanding their motivations might be more valuable for salespeople.

DiSC also provides a way for us to understand what motivates and drives each of the four buyer styles.

What drives each Customer Type?

Understanding customers’ behavioral motivations is the key to effective communication and closing more sales. When salespeople provide communication that matches a customer’s behavioral driver, a strong relationship can form, leading to more sales.

The goal isn’t to deceive your customers. Rather, you are trying to mirror how your customers prefer to communicate.

I’ll use my Everything DiSC Sales profile (iS-Style), and we’ll look at each customer type’s driver.

D-Style Customer Type

Customer Type - D-Style Drivers

D-Personality Type buyers will prioritize bottom-line results. They might insist on wanting to know the direct impact my product or service will have on them or their business.

They’ll ask direct questions that may seem blunt or even aggressive to me.

These buyers will not place the same priority on establishing a personal relationship as I do. In fact, if I push too hard to be personal or emotionally appealing to them, they may become skeptical and impatient. They typically do not look at a sales experience as a form of socializing, like I do.

D-style buyers also expect competency from a salesperson. They prioritize this in themselves and expect it in others. This might translate into respect for other people that display confidence. They expect quick action and forward progress. 

To me, this seems almost rude, but I need to remember that this is just their behavioral style. They’re exhibiting signs that tell me who they are and what’s important to them. It’s up to me to read those signs and adapt to them.

i-Style Customer Type

Customers with the i-Personality Type, like me, are driven by enthusiasm, action, and relationships. 

Enthusiasm – They want to feel excited about a product or service. Typically, these customers will rely on their intuition or ‘gut feeling’ when making buying decisions. As a salesperson, it would be up to me to get them excited about their purchase.

Action – These customers expect quick action and immediate impact. They’ll grow bored with lengthy analyses or details. 

Relationships – i Style Customers expect friendly, social interaction during their sales process. This means they are usually just as interested in getting to know their salesperson as they are learning about the product or service being offered.

Since I share my primary style with i-style customers, I’ll need to focus on creating a fun and exciting sales process where I build a personal connection with them.

S-Style Customer Type

Customer Types - S Style Drivers

Sincerity, relationships, and dependability drive S Personality Type customers.

Sincerity – These customers want to know that you’re sincere and heartfelt. I will need to focus my high energy on making a heartfelt connection with these customer types

Relationships – S-style customers are driven to seek trustworthy relationships with their salespeople. They want to know that you care about them as individuals, not just customers. I must show interest in and care about their unique situations.

Dependability – S-style customers also want to know that the product or service you are offering is dependable. Because these individuals are naturally cautious, they want to know that you will be around to give them support. 

With S-style customers, I may need to watch my tendency to be high-energy and instead focus on what they tell me and empathize with their unique needs or situations.

C-Style Customer Type

Customer Types - C Style Drivers

C-style customers value quality, dependability, & competency. 

These customers value quality and may analyze the specifics of a product or service and ask me probing questions about its features or benefits. They may come across as aloof or even unfriendly.

Customers look for dependability, not just in products or services, but also in the people they do business with. C-style customers are naturally skeptical. 

They also expect competency in their salesperson. I have a tendency to express my feelings and make emotional appeals. This will not work with C-style customers. I will need to support my claims with raw data or evidence.

With C-style customers, I’ll need to be sure not to over-promise. I will need data to back up my claims, and I need to showcase the quality of my product or service.

Identify and Sell to Specific Buyer Behaviors

Selling to specific buying behaviors is easy with Everything DiSC because it includes a free tool called MyEverythingDiSC. This free tool allows sales teams and individuals to create Customer Interaction Maps.

The Customer Interaction Map is a robust tool you can use to both determine a customer’s buying type and learn how to communicate with them more effectively. You’ll gain access to this tool, as well as some other features in your portal.

Everything DiSC Sales Customer Relationships

The map and report that follow detail some of the things I discussed earlier in the article, like a Priorities comparison and Strategies for Interaction. Once you’ve learned your customer’s buying type, you can move forward with an Action Plan.

In DiSC® Sales Training, we’ll show you how to develop an action plan based on your customer’s priorities. You’ll learn how to compare your priorities to your customers and what steps you can take to address your customer’s expectations.

Ultimately, you’ll learn the basics of communicating with people that have a different behavioral style than your own. This will lead to more effective Discovery and Follow-up and will make the entire Sales process more enjoyable for both you and your customer. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in one of our DiSC® Sales Training sessions!