There are five questions every prospect is asking about you the salesperson, according to the great #Jeb Blount #@SalesGravy;
- Do I like you?
- Do you listen to me?
- Do you make me feel important or significant?
- Do you get me and my problems do you understand me?
- Do I trust and believe you?
I will address each question in separate posts.
First question. Do I like you?
This question begs a second question…Does a prospect have to like the salesperson before they will buy? The short answer is no. Depending on the situation a buyer may purchase from someone they don’t particularly care for. There are always extenuating circumstances that make this situation tolerable at least for the short term.
Perhaps this salesperson reps a line of product not available from another supplier. Could be their boss is related. However, the point is, these are the exceptions and not the rule.
So the challenge is what can we do to be likable and a pleasure to deal with?
Start with being friendly. Smile. Act happy (sometimes we are not very happy, but we can put that aside while we conduct business). Be happy on the phone especially. The prospect can sense your mood without seeing you.
Also, be polite and respectful. Treat the prospect the way you want to be treated when a new person comes into your orbit.
Look for ways to quickly connect. Try to find contact points that the prospect is interested in. Build report quickly around those points. This is much easier in person. Just look around their office if that is where you meet them, and find pictures, awards, objects on the desk and walls that will clue you in to their likes and preferences.
Even on the phone, direct the conversation toward the person not the position. Get them to talk about themselves using simple questions, like how long have you been in this position? What do you do before? Where did you grow up? And which team do you pull for? In Alabama, we just ask are you a Bama fan or for Auburn (you’ve got to pick sides here…no middle ground:))
Finally, be situationally aware. Listen to what they say and look for some connection point.
As a sales person, you are looking to build long-term relationships and long-term customers. Being likable greatly increases the odds of making that happen.
Hope you like me and this post! If so, share it with all your sales friends!