As a salesperson you’re selling more than your product. You’re selling the relationship you need to build with your client. Building a bond and making the customer like you will help you close that sale. It makes sense that you should be likable; likability is often associated with friendliness and trustworthiness.
A good salesperson is someone who can get the client to listen to what they have to offer. Being friendly and positive can break the ice, but you need to have leadership and empathy to take control of a sale to provide the client with what they want.
Be a the captain of the ship. Captains stand at the helm, always ready to steer the ship in the right direction in response to the factors around them. You should navigate your sale the same way.
To be authoritative, you need to have confidence. This doesn’t mean positioning yourself on center stage and pushing out a sale. Instead, sales reps should be more collaborative. This means they earn, rather than demand, attention from the customer.
Be transparent and honest so your clients feel like you aren’t just selling, but genuinely helping them.
Part of this comes through knowing exactly what you are selling. Your client will have questions about your product, and you should have answers. Keep in mind, your answer won’t always be praising your product. For example, if your client asks about any flaws in your product, being honest with the flaws goes a lot farther than hiding them. The key, though, is to remind them why your product is good despite any shortcomings. If you can really convince them that they need your product and why, they’ll see past the flaws.
Customers want their problems solved. So focus on their pain point rather than selling your product. The first step in solving their pain point is knowing what it is.
Hear what they have to say. Customers don’t always tell you exactly what they need help with. But you can hear it through the conversation you have with them.
Building rapport with customers means so much more than having them like you and being willing to buy your product. It’s about knowing who they are: if they’re humorous or serious, or if they’re old-schooled or open to new ideas. This will help you gauge what their pain points may be so you’ll know how to pitch your product values.
As a sales rep, likeability is the personality trait that universally makes clients more likely to buy your product. It’s obvious — if they like you, they’ll want to buy from you.
You are there for your customer. You want to help them fix their problems, and to do so, you need empathy to really understand them. And so they won’t step all over you, you need authority so your client will listen to you. Authoritative sales reps are the ones that clients trust and are willing to listen to.
About the Author: Miranda Xie is a Marketing Specialist at Badger Maps. Badger Maps is a route planner that automates territory management for outside salespeople. Badger visualizes sales data, optimizes daily routes, and generates meeting reports – helping users drive 20% less and sell 25% more on average. You can follow Miranda and her team on Facebook or Twitter @BadgerMaps, and read more from her on the Blog.