As a business traveler, you probably think you know what kind of traveler you are. But ask yourself: Is your behavior consistent on every business trip? Or does it change depending on the situation? If you’re uncertain, perhaps you should take the behavioral assessment test known as DISC. With DISC, behavior types are divided into four categories: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.
To illustrate, let’s relate business traveler behaviors to the behaviors of shoppers. With permission from Dr. Mimi Hull, I will share her DISC assessment of holiday shoppers, as there are many similarities to travelers. I have added travel commentary in italics.
Which shopper (traveler) behavioral category are you?
D Shopper – Dominant, Direct, and Decisive
- Does it all in one day–typically the day before.
- Would prefer you to tell them what you want and where to get it.
- Shops online buying gift cards, typically all from the same place.
- Hates long lines, the crowds, traffic jams.
For a D Traveler, same day trips are a must. They exclusively use Christopherson Business Travel’s AirPortal®/online booking tool for all travel needs. Airline status is important and he/she will expect his Christopherson Account Manager to get him bumped to a higher status.
I Shopper – Influencing, Interactive, and Including
- Loves the pageantry of the season.
- Feels bad if not invited to a party.
- Buys “Pretty more than Practical.”
- Impulse buyer who likes to shop with friends and make a day of it.
- Talks to anyone and everyone.
- Sees lines as an opportunity to get to know people!
I Travelers love the hustle and bustle of the airport and may wish they could go in the SkyClub lounge to “hang out” with everyone. They enjoy browsing and shopping at the airport stores to buy gifts for a loved ones. They enjoy getting to know their airplane seat mates. Once at their destination, short meetings turn in to long meetings and then going out for drinks with everyone afterwards.
S Shopper – Supportive, Systematic, and Steady
- Makes a list in June and starts buying in July.
- Has a list and a plan before leaving the house.
- Gifts are thoughtful, practical and often homemade.
- Out-of-town gifts are wrapped and sent by Thanksgiving.
S Travelers purchase their airline tickets far in advance and have an agenda for the entire trip. They takes treats, pens, and notebooks when visiting clients. They prepare presentations far in advance so not to be caught off guard.
C Shopper – Conscientious, Cautious, and Calculates
- Creates a budget and spreadsheet on who is getting what gifts.
- Researches price and buys practical lasting gifts.
- Would prefer to compare prices online.
- Hates the crowds and the lines.
- Does not want to talk in line.
C Travelers will have a copy of their presentation for everyone, including a blank page for notes. They demonstrate (with spreadsheets and graphs!) long term goals and cost saving opportunities. They are a member of TSA Pre-check so as to avoid long security lines. They wear head phones to listen to his/her favorite motivational speaker while waiting in line.