What Does It Mean to Be a Likable Salesperson?
Despite the common perception, extroverted heavy-pushers are not the ideal sales candidates. Confidence sells, but the line between confidence and aggression varies for different people. What clients really crave in a strong salesperson is amiability. They are choosing a contact they can call on evenings and weekends. They are choosing trust.
Trust into Friendship
“Friendship” may sound like a strange word when discussing business needs. Affable salespeople definitely lighten the meeting atmosphere, but the best way to establish real trust is to consistently meet client needs. A salesperson must be both flexible and able to tailor their services to the needs of their client.
The Sales Executive Council published a survey identifying five important aspects to effective sales support:
- Offering a fresh perspective. A business relies on their sales reps to provide innovative ways to increase revenue while cutting cost. Their perspective can lower risk or help a company enter new markets.
- Flexibility. The ability to change a pricing structure, sales package, or other aspect of the business relationship to better meet client needs.
- Creative Thinking. Customers need salespeople who offer alternatives and can change their way of thinking.
- The ability to avoid problems. Good salespeople are attuned to all aspects of the supply chain they serve. They know when a raw material hike spells trouble for a line of products and can move quickly to protect their clients from losing money long-term.
- Offering education. Clients need to remain informed, and salespeople know where to find the right data, studies, and other information.
A true salesperson exists to provide support in terms of deals, market knowledge, and product information, while influencing their clients to make positive changes to their business. This ongoing relationship is a skill and like any other skill; it requires practice.
The best way to see a trusting business relationship develop is through experience. Shadowing co-workers is effective, which is why more companies are starting to establish long-term sales mentoring programs.
Sales coaching is another option. It is a uniquely effective service for young professionals, because the relationship the salesperson has with their coach closely mimics the type of bond shared with their clients. Coaching is so important to sales that companies that sell business-to-business (B2B) spend between $4-7 billion on it annually.
Selling with Noble Purpose
The concept of purpose in sales comes from new research surrounding job and client satisfaction and company revenue. Salespeople still live in the shadow of the used car salesman, but as trusting relationships deepen, the salesperson becomes more committed and attuned to their clients. Their job becomes something that is about more than just believing in the products and services they sell – it is about believing in their clients.