Creating a Stable Business with DISC Assessments


One of the most critical elements in creating a stable and secure business is reducing employee turnover. Employee turnover is a high cost to businesses, requiring extreme amounts of time and money. Extended DISC® assessments are among the most effective ways to stabilise your business and ensure employee turnover is low. Let’s explore a case study of a leader in a car dealership.

Calvin struck me immediately as someone who could understand the big picture, especially when it came to his employees. He can align his strategy with his people. However, Calvin’s most remarkable trait was his ability to quickly thin-slice the information while not immediately jumping to the obvious conclusions.

Calvin leads the salespeople of seven dealerships. Let me tell you – it is no easy task. It is a very competitive retail environment where customers make one of their most expensive and emotional buying decisions. The salespeople work long hours, on full commission, and, in a typical dealership, they seem to change employers at a faster rate than Hollywood stars their spouses. Usually, employee turnover is a problem that costs the dealerships a lot of money and creates constant headaches.

One afternoon, I was sitting in Calvin’s office discussing how he was using the information Extended DISC® assessments provide.

“Have you identified what employee behaviours create success for you?” I asked him.

“What do you mean?” Calvin asked right back.

“Well, do you know, for example, what styles of employees tend to sell most cars every month?” I continued.

“Of course. Let me show you.”

Calvin went on to show me how he had mapped his top performers. It was evident. The top producers – Calvin calls them his “top guns” – were all located in a very narrow area on the Extended DISC® map.

See opposite for the shotgun map and DISC breakdown of Calvins immediate top guns. If you examine the Extended DISC® shotgun map, you will notice that Calvin’s long term producers are located in the D and I quadrants. These styles provide results quickly but are always looking for the next challenge.

However, what impressed me the most was that he understood how to best use the information we provided him. You see, when I quickly commented, “So are you looking for those behavioural traits in your new salespeople?”

Calvin replied calmly: “No.”

“I don’t quite understand. I thought you just told me that they are your top guns.”

“They are, but not for very long. What happens is that during any given month, one of my top guns sells the most cars. However, my competitors either quickly find out about them, or my top guns look for a little better pay elsewhere. They are usually gone in a few months. In either case, I am left without a salesperson on the floor, and that equals no sales and high recruiting costs and headaches for me.”

“So what do you do?”

Map 1 – The “Top Guns”

“I look for salespeople who fall into this area.” See opposite for the shotgun map and DISC breakdown of Calvin’s stable salespeople.

If you examine the Extended DISC® shotgun map, you will notice that Calvin’s long term producers are located in the I and S quadrants. The I style and the S styles are more likely to create immediate rapport with customers and are happier to stay in one role for a longer period. 

“They stay with me and, over longer periods, they sell more cars. I can train them how to sell. They are more loyal and stay with me. I have cut my employee turnover by almost half. The owner is thrilled.”

Now, that is an intelligent application of the information provided by Extended DISC® assessments. Calvin expertly used the findings to map employees who were successful in the long term rather than hiring salespeople who started strong and left. Using this information, Calvin can reduce his employee turnover and ensure the business is stable and secure over a long period.

Have you identified what employee behaviours create sustainable, long-term success for your organisation? If not, how much does it cost you?
What will happen to you if you do not do something about it?

Map 2 – The Long-Term Producers