As you’ve already heard, trust is vital to selling. And to earn that trust, likeability plays a huge role. Sure, prospects may buy from reps who they don’t care for, but that doesn’t mean they trust them. This in turn leads to a shaky relationship and potential breakup.
“Likeability is the very foundation of trust, and before prospects will provide you access to their thoughts, business, people or money, they need to be able to trust you,” writes Colleen Stanley. In her article for Sales POP, she provides three skills to master, two of which are below:
Pay attention to personality. Adjust how you sell based on the prospect. As Stanley points out, a one-size-fits-all sales approach won’t cut it these days. Before making a sales call, take time to outline the prospect’s personality. Then, think of how you can customize your sales approach to fit his or her individual communication style, preferences and needs. As the call plays out, adjust your style and delivery to match the other person’s. By respecting his or her personality, you boost your own likeability.
Cut out desperation. It’s hard to like someone who is pressuring you. Laying on a heavy close or pushing for an answer isn’t going to make a good impression. Just like in the dating world, asking desperate (aka bad) questions won’t result in another meeting. So, before your next conversation, leave your desperation at the door and focus instead on cultivating a meaningful and productive dialogue. This tactic is much more likely to result in increasing your likeability — and maybe even a new client.
While being likeable isn’t a prerequisite to working in sales, it does play a major role in a rep’s success. Subtle changes to your strategy can positively impact how prospects see you and improve the chances of future meetings.