One of our big 4 sales tenets is that “People only buy from people they like”. Now just because they like you is no guarantee that they will buy – but there is ZERO chance they will buy if they DON'T like you. So when I bring this up to my SE teams – the cry to action is pretty simple… “Be more likeable”. The big question is – what are some strategies to being more likeable?
We understand varying your communication style to mimic the style of the person you are speaking with. We get active listening. We get setting clear expectations for calls. But what else do you do to be “more likeable”.
When I interview SEs I often hear how important it is to bond with prospects and develop trust and (drumroll…magic words please…) BUILD RAPPORT – but then when I ask what strategies they use to do just that…I get a lot of tap dancing and talk-arounds. That tends to indicate that we all know this is an important objective – but it’s not always clear how we approach it.
On a related note – when my SEs get an attaboy email from a sales rep, the rep never commends them for their great technical knowledge or that secret API call they were able to leverage…they always say something like “Boy, Sean was great with the client” – or “David was amazing, the prospect really loved him” - or “Susan really connected with the prospect”. Every “great job” note that a sales rep takes the time to send (and those don’t come easy) speaks to the connection the SE was able to make with that audience - and not any specific technical wizardry. And I tell my SEs all the time that having a good reputation in the eyes of the sales reps is what’s going to get them that next big job offer when they are ready to move on.
It would seem that in presales - it really does matter what people think of you (and less so what you think of yourself). It matters a lot. Quite the opposite of what your folks taught you when you were young.
But you still shouldn’t jump off a bridge just because Billy jumped off a bridge. (well….depending on the size of the deal)
What strategies do you use to build rapport and be more likeable?