Sales today is more competitive than ever. The old style of selling simply doesn’t work like it used to. Buyers, customers and clients are too smart…too street savvy…too educated to fall for any textbook trick from some fast-talking sales goon with the gift of gab. And they have lots of buying options. They are being inundated with all sorts of “noise” in the form of advertising, promotions, special deals, BOGO’s, and bait-and-switch gimmicks. Enough all ready.
That being said, it is not time to become frustrated, dejected or forlorn. It is time to start doing what works. And from the beginning of time there remains a single strategy that works more often than not.
People still have needs and will continue to buy goods and services at an unprecedented rate. So, what can one to do if their future relies on finding and serving new customers? Should we learn how to “upsell? Do you need to overcome objections…and close the sale 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 an 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 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 their current vendor had just won an award for them. His answer will stay with me forever. “That’s simple.” he said. “I didn’t like them.”
Don’t ever sell short the “likeability factor” in business. Of course you must have a quality product or service. But all things being equal, people do business with people they like.
Instead of trying to be clever or cute trying to “close” more sales, spend the time working on yourself and ways you can become “more likeable.”
Here are three areas where you can begin your personal makeover:
- Hold Eye Contact. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. This is the easiest way to convey that you are interested in them. And when you show interest in others, the chance of them “liking” you is enhanced.
- 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 makes it clear that you are interested. With interest, comes likeability.
- Follow Up. If you call me back in two days, I am positioned as 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 tend to like you as well. So if you want to be more likeable, follow up faster…with sincerity.
So leave the “closing” tactics, the stress of “upselling” and the attempt at “overcoming objectives” to the amateurs. Spend your time focusing on ways to become more likeable and your sales success will follow.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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