Salespeople shouldn't need to be liked. This isn’t to say that they want to be disliked. It simply means they are not phased by an upset prospect. Sales is not about making friends, it’s about making money. Being likable is an advantage, needing to be liked is a major problem. Sales people with need for approval usually have difficulty asking tough questions because they fear upsetting the prospect. A need for approval will often cause fear of rejection and confrontation avoidance. Sales people need to be tough. They can’t be afraid of getting a “no” or being perceived as unlikable.
Be aware of what you are driving for on a sales call. Have your eye on closing the deal, not having a good time with your prospect. Going for the deal typically entails asking at least a couple questions you aren’t comfortable asking. The fear is that it will offend the prospect or make him hostile. Ask anyway. It doesn’t matter. Remember, the deal closes when we solve the problem most effectively, not when the prospect likes us the most. Find out how to solve the problem, not make friends.
Not having a need for approval lets us ask the tough questions and confront prospects on the hard topics. Sales people who need their prospects to like them often make that a priority over getting the business. They have a large contact list and no money to show for it. Be likable but don’t NEED to be liked, go for the business.
- John Martin
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