Mike Marchev’s wit and wisdom will be filling in for Richard’s 365 Column this week – enjoy!
Sales today, regardless of your industry, is as competitive as ever. The old style of selling simply doesn’t work today. Buyers, customers and clients are too smart … too street savvy … too educated to fall for any text book trick from some fast-talking sales goon with the gift of gab.
On the other hand, people still have needs and will continue to buy goods and services at an unprecedented rate. So what is one to do if the future of their business relies on finding and serving new customers? Should we learn how to “sell up? Overcome objections? Close sales with a vengeance? No, to all three. The answer may be as simple as your first kindergarten lesson in getting along with others. Become more likeable.
This lesson was driven home to me earlier in my career when I was making a sales call on a company whose current supplier had just earned an award for them in the communications field. We had scheduled an appointment to present our competitive program on the exact day they brought home their award. (Talk about “bad timing.”) Since we were there, and recognizing our dilemma, we said what we came to say, and left feeling somewhat embarrassed. To my great surprise, the next day my phone rang and we were awarded the business. After a working relationship was developed, I asked the decision maker why he had given us the business after winning an award? His answer will stay with me forever. “That is simple.” he said. “I didn’t like them.”
Don’t ever sell the likeability factor short in business. People will do business with people they like. Therefore, instead of trying to be clever or cute in trying to “close” more sales, spend the time working on yourself and ways that you can become “more likeable.” Here are three areas where you can begin your make-over:
1. Eye contact. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. This is the easiest way to convey to people that you are interested in them. And when you show interest in others, the chance of them “liking” you are enhanced.
2. Ask questions. Talking about yourself is a clear indication that you ARE NOT interested in the person in front of you. Asking questions, on the other hand, clearly conveys that you are interested. With interest, comes likeability.
3. Follow Up. If you call me back in two days, I become a two-day guy. If you call me back immediately, you are telling me that I am important to you. If I am important to you, I will Iike you more. So, if you want to be more likeable, follow up faster … with sincerity.
So leave the “closing” skills, and the act of “selling up,” and the knack for overcoming objections to the amateurs. Spend your time focusing on ways to become more likeable and your sales success is sure to follow.
Mike Marchev , MBA, CTC, is an internationally recognized motivational speaker and author of the book Become the Exception. Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org .