Using the Infield Shift with DISC
It’s baseball season, and here in Southern California, we have high hopes for our teams this season.
Baseball requires a great deal of thought and strategy. Even the most experienced players can get caught in a moment of lapse – making for all sorts of possibilities. Baseball also utilizes a great deal of analytics – worshiping the stats (see the movie “Moneyball”). As a young man (pre-internet), I looked forward to reading the box scores in the paper each day, and even committed many players’ stats to memory from reading the backs of their baseball cards.
In baseball, it’s the job of the managers and players to know the data on their opponents, to make adjustments to their pitch placement, batting stance, field position, etc.
One of these strategies is called the “Infield Shift.” The Infield Shift occurs when a batter has a tendency to hit the ball to one side of the field, one or more players will shift from one side of the field to the side that the batter prefers – a calculated risk based upon data.
Let’s consider how this relates to DISC. In Sandler, we study and practice DISC to develop a greater awareness of our own personality, a heightened perceptiveness of the personalities of others, and an improved ability to adapt our behavior to mirror our prospect – making them feel comfortable, which builds rapport and trust.
Tip: If you’re not very familiar with the concept of DISC, you’ll want to type “DISC” into your My Sandler mobile app to learn more before reading further.
Prior to our sales calls, we consider the likely DISC style(s) we may encounter, including:
- Reflecting upon our past interactions with the person,
- Considering the typical DISC profiles of people in similar roles, and
- Utilizing software tools that utilize artificial intelligence to predict DISC profiles, such as Crystal.
With this data, we can practice the same concept of the Infield Shift – a DISC Shift.
For example, if I’m calling upon a list of 100 CEO/Presidents, I’m fairly certain that most are either a “D” DISC style or a combination of either D/I or D/C. So, I default to the “D”, and prepare myself to pivot towards either D/I or D/C. If the contact is expressive in nature, I may shift my style to the D/I, addressing how the problem impacts people. If the contact is reserved in nature, I may shift my style to the D/C, asking how the problem impacts things like processes.
This concept is especially important in situations where there isn’t a lot of time to get to know someone, such as a cold/warm call. In these high-pressure, fast-paced selling situations, it’s a safe play to put on the “DISC Shift” so that you increase likelihood of rapport with these folks in the first several [critical] seconds of the call.
From the moment the call begins we should be on our toes, like an infielder anticipating the ball coming off the bat, ready to move in any direction. We use our 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 mouth proportionately – actively listening and watching for visual cues.
If you find this tactic is difficult because you don’t know much about the types of people you’re calling or haven’t narrowed down your list to very specific sorts of contacts, then that’s a whole different problem. Like a baseball team that doesn’t utilize data, you’re simply putting yourself at a disadvantage (i.e. “winging it”).
Take action. Lock down 10-15 minutes on your calendar prior to a meeting to think about who your speaking with and strategize a bit, consider how they may enjoy being treated. For example, for a “D” you will want to be brief and to-the-point.
Then, once the call starts, anything can happen. Don’t bother with scripts – because the prospect doesn’t have their copy of your script. Have fun with it – practicing a mindset of abundance. Let the games begin!
Learn more about the DISC concept by listening to this podcast.