Negotiating with the Four DISC Styles
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By Bill Schult Sr


Negotiating with the Four DISC Styles


Bill Schult CBA, CBMA


Here are some tips on how each of the DISC styles approach the business of negotiations.

When we work with others we are often called upon to negotiate with them. Projects get done faster when we understand the keys to successful negotiation with the different DISC based styles.

How do we negotiate successfully with each of the DISC styles?

You will find some helpful hints on this topic in the next four paragraphs. You have my permission to use this information in your coaching and workshops.

DISC Styles and Negotiation

Understanding a person's Primary or basic style can be quite helpful in the negotiating process. Each behavioral style has a preferred method when it comes to negotiating. By developing a better understanding of each behavior's negotiating style more sales can be made, problems resolved and relationships can be maintained at a higher level.


The High Dominant style is a tough negotiator. This style wants to be in control and project his or her authority. Dominants will want to take charge of the negotiating process and control it from beginning to end. When in negotiations with this behavioral style it is important to remember that any outward attempt to challenge or control the High Dominant will most often result in failed negotiations. This style will respond best when they are given suggestions, rather than the here is what we are going to do, take it or leave it approach. The High Dominant will most times tell you they are leaving it. Options work much better than opinions with the High Dominant. Let the High Dominant know you are open to an alternative approach. This can often result in their being more receptive to your offer, as they don't feel cornered or boxed in.


One of the most important things you can do when in negotiations with the High Influencer is make an extra effort to build a positive relationship with them. They look for and want positive relationships in their business and personal lives. The High Influencer will be more open to look at new or unique negotiating solutions if they feel they have a personal connection with the person doing the negotiating. Attempting to negotiate with this behavioral style using confrontation will almost always be received negatively. Winning in negotiations with the High Influencer can be accomplished by sharing how your recommendations or proposals have provided positive results for other customers and clients.


The High Steadiness behavioral style tends to be more willing to agree and compromise than each of the other three styles. This style will make every effort to avoid confrontation or conflict in the negotiating process, as they do in other parts of their lives. The High Steadiness's main focus is the relationship. They will often consider any offer and even accept a negotiated compromise that would be unacceptable to the other styles to maintain a relationship. This style does not respond well to pressure and will not make a commitment quickly, rather they will need time to consider your negotiating offer before making a decision. Do not leave a negotiating session with the High Steadiness without an appointment or time set for your follow-up meeting. Their way of not accepting an offer is to be too busy to see you when you call for a follow-up meeting.


Negotiating with the High Compliant can be frustrating and intimidating. This style negotiates based on facts, data, information and proof. They want to know that they have all the specific details involved in the negotiations, so they can make an informed decision. The High Compliant will advance the negotiations into areas the other three styles haven't thought about or even considered. You will be wise to say what you mean and mean what you say in your negotiations with them. Plan to invest a fair amount of time answering their questions. This style will ask many questions, perhaps more than you think you can answer. Be patient, they want to be certain they are making the best negotiating decision possible and not unlike the High Steadiness will need time to reach a firm decision.


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