Likeability Matters – from Jonathan Fields

Most of us hate to admit that we make judgements on people the minute they walk in the door.  As Jonathan Fields points out in his post “Likeability Matters” in sales, you’re always told its not personal, but it is…

People buy or reject YOU as much as they buy IT

That’s a tough pill to swallow, because it delivers all that potential rejection right back into your lap. It makes it emotional, personal. It makes it much harder to stay in the sales game (and, reality is, we are ALL in the sales game), because it means that no means no, I don’t want the product, and, no, I don’t want you.

So there it is, in a nutshell. As much as we’d like to think we’re all wonderful egalitarians, the truth is that we’re all making snap judgements about people, and they making buying decisions based upon that.  Not a radical concept, but it is one that we conveniently like to forget as much as possible.

The truth is that we often buy the myth surrounding a product as much as we buy the actual product.  We’re buying the salesman first, and the product second.

Jonathan, to the point, asks the question:

Can you FAKE likeability?

Can you actually develop a set of skills of strategies capable of manipulating others into liking you? Even when you are being largely inauthentic, you don’t believe in what you are shoveling selling, you have no genuine interest in the person you are selling and your natural personal energy is pretty low?

Not everyone can, and I suspect that’s what separates the born salesmen from the rest of us.  The true salesmen have the ability to make everyone they meet feel that interest, while the rest of us couldn’t fake it if our lives depended on it.

So right now, you’re probably saying “thank God I’m not in a sales position so I don’t have to feign likeability.”  Wrong – no matter who you are, no matter where you work, you need to sell.  Selling happens internally, when you’re trying to get that project approved, or trying to get authorized for a capital expenditure.  It happens at every level of our business lives, and until we recognize that, we’re bound for failure.

Take some time this week and start to work on your likeability, and you’re going to find you’re better able to make things happen.

Be sure to read Jonathan’s whole piece and don’t miss the excellent comments.

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