Improving Sales by Understanding Customer Mindsets

How do you deal with difficult customers?

Sometime it can be really difficult to close a sale. It seems that the prospect just doesn’t get the point of what you are saying. It’s as if you can’t connect with them.
Often this is because the customer prefers to understand information in a different way from how you are providing it.

That’s where the importance of understanding mind set comes into play

If you understand how someone is thinking it’s easier to express things in a way that makes sense for them.
One way to understand the mind set of other people is to use the DISC model. Sales people who use this model will create better relationships with their clients. They have a better chance of controlling conversations. They are more likely to achieve their aims with their customers.

How does the DISC model help?

The DISC model is an easy way to understand the basics about how another person thinks. The model splits people into those who are ‘fact-based’ and those who are ‘people based’. It also differentiates between active and passive people.
This give four quadrants, or four different types of mind set.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

1. Goal-focused people (Quadrant D)
These people are interested about results: their results. They like to get straight to the point. They certainly don’t have time for small-talk.
2. Influencers (Quadrant I)
Influencers spend their time connecting and networking. They like to name drop. They are open to change but are sometimes not detail-focused enough to achieve as much as they might.
3. Steady people (Quadrant S)
These people get on well with others. But they are not keen on change. They prefer things to stay as they are.
4. Detail people (Quadrant C)
These people need to know every minor fact before they are prepared to make a decision. Sometimes they can’t see the wood for the trees.

How does the DISC model help you?

If you understand someone’s mind set, you can change your message to suit it.  So, if you are dealing with a goal-focused person, you should focus on results. If you are dealing with an influencer, you might mention who else is using a similar solution. If you are dealing with a steady person, you may wish to emphasise how little change your proposal involves. Finally, with a detail person, you need to cover every tiny point.
Focus on a prospect’s mind set and try and deliver a sales message in the way that resonates best with them. You may find that, suddenly, many customers become less difficult to deal with.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series focused on effective sales and sales-training tactics:

PS If you’d like great ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.

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  1. Kristeen Bullwinkle March 11, 2016 -

    Just FYI, DiSC® is a registered trademark of Everything DiSC, a Wiley Brand. There are several assessments based on the DISC model, but Everything DiSC stands apart because of the research behind it and the quality of its reports.

    • Bill Michael March 11, 2016 -

      Thanks for the comment, Kristeen! As you mention, there are many assessments based off the DiSC model, which I believe Matthew is referencing – but appreciate the insight.

      Bill (Xerox)

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