Why being likeable is the single most important skill you can develop in sales
It’s one of the oldest truths in the sales business (coming in just after ‘you should always sell benefits, not features’): people buy from people they like. It’s something that we’ve seen proven time and time again here at Big Motoring World - having a nice personality matters, because it allows you to build strong, lasting relationships with prospective customers, and ultimately sell to them successfully. Our very best sales people are likeable, approachable people, and our customers respond to this.
But what is the cold, hard logic behind this argument for likability? Surely it’s a soft skill that is a useful, but not crucial part of the sales process? Surely, at the end of the day, it comes down to what people are able to get for their money? Well, we don’t think so - and there’s a couple of very good reasons why.
- If people like you, they’re also more likely to trust you. This is absolutely fundamental - because when people trust you then you can influence their behaviour - meaning that you’re more likely to seal the deal. If they don’t like you, then they probably don’t trust you either, and you won’t be able to change their mind - and ultimately it’s hard to see a positive outcome coming out of that situation.
- Being nice gives people the space they need to make up their own minds. They won’t feel stressed if they like you, and so they’re more likely to calmly consider what you’re offering them, without feeling under pressure or suspecting that you have ulterior motives that could be to their disadvantage.
How to be likeable
So, next time you go into a sales situation, be positive. Be open and energetic and - most importantly, take an interest in the other person. We’ve spoken before about how listening is probably one of the most fundamentally important skills any sales person can develop - and it’s critical to being likeable. Ultimately, just be the kind of person who is interested in other people – and you’ll find that they might just respond positively to what you have to offer.