Three Ways Salespeople Decrease Likeability

There are 100 different selling systems and approaches to sales. Every sales-development firm or sales guru touts their own unique proprietary sales systems and methods. But the one thing that never varies is that salespeople must be likeable. Likeability is the foundation of trust, and prospects need to trust you before they will give you access to their thoughts, business, people and money.

Salespeople often blow the sales call within five minutes of meeting a prospect because they haven’t mastered the likeability factor. No likeability means no second meeting and certainly no new client.

Improve likeability by mastering these three tactics and skills.

#1. Pay attention to your prospect’s personality. Yes– yawn — we’ve all heard about selling to different behavior styles. But apply the EQ skill of reality testing. Are you really adjusting your sales call based on who you are connecting with? Salespeople still tend to apply a one-size-fits-all approach with prospects.

Don’t believe me? Think about your last sales meeting. Did your pre-call planning include documenting the personality style of your prospect? Did you create customized questions to ask this prospect based on their personality style?

I recently had a highly expressive salesperson call on me. She was enthusiastic and passionate about her product, and really liked small talk. Because she wasn’t paying attention, she didn’t adjust her approach to my personality and kept talking. Small talk drives me crazy in a business meeting. She paid no attention, and that means there’ll be no second meeting. This salesperson lost the business because she wasn’t likeable.

#2. Eliminate desperation. Many of you either have been on a blind date or heard nightmare stories about them. Desperation is one reason for dating disasters. You know — that person who shows up desperate for love. They want to get married first, than court. Desperate daters ask obvious questions such as, “Do you like children?”

Desperate salespeople ask similar bad questions. Empty sales pipelines cause them to ask closing questions such as, “So if we could, would you … ?” Closing questions pressure the prospect, sending them into fight-or-flight responses. No likeability is going on here and there’ll be no second date.

#3. Get masterful at sales. The sales world finally is discussing the importance of mindfulness and the power of being present. However, most of the rhetoric is just talk. Here’s the reality: You can be present during a sales meeting only if you’ve mastered the sales process. Mastery allows you to really listen, not respond. Masterful salespeople have mastered prospecting and have full pipelines. They can be fully present because they aren’t worried about closing. They are focused on listening to determine a mutually good fit. Mastery allows a salesperson to be fully present and really likeable.

Likeability is the common sales step in every sales approach. Likeable salespeople accelerate trust because they aren’t desperate. They are masterful at sales, which enables them to really listen and hold back on presenting.

Are you likeable?

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Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley is the founder and president of SalesLeadership, Inc. She is a monthly columnist for Business Journals across the country, author of ‘Growing Great Sales Teams’ and co-author of ‘Motivational Selling.’ Her new book, ‘Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success,’ published by Amacom, a division of the American Management Association, is available in bookstores now.

Colleen is the creator of Ei Selling®, a unique and powerful sales program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills.

Prior to starting SalesLeadership, Colleen was vice president of sales and marketing for Varsity Spirit Corporation. During her 10 years at Varsity, sales increased from 8M to 90M. Varsity was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States.

When Colleen is not traveling or training, she loves to hike, read and hang with her husband Jim, and friends.

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