You have a salesperson that everyone loves! The clients, the prospects even your staff. Great right? Well yes except for the fact that they can’t actually close business.
How can this be?
Often times, sales people are in sales because someone along the way told them, “you’re such a ‘people-person’ you should be in sales.” Often these people have gotten by in life by being happy-go-lucky, outgoing, and positive. Though they’re pleasant, sales people who possess these traits often rely on their personality to close business, thinking their personality is the reason people will buy from them. When this is the case, if the salesperson isn’t properly trained, he will often try to please his prospect with bonding, giving them the reigns and allowing the prospect to be in charge of the relationship. This type of sales person truly believes a person will buy from him if he can just get them to like him.
A weakness in this area will show itself in an over-abundance of unqualified meetings, yet very little business closing. When asked why this is occurring, the salesperson will be very enthusiastic and say things like “they really liked me/us and they’ll let us know their decision soon.” Unfortunately, you’ll never know if they’re a true prospect or just a “suspect” because the salesperson won’t be able to ask the tough questions and get the answers to determine this.
If your salesperson has an overwhelming desire to be liked it seems this can control the way they do business often showing itself by avoiding doing things or even asking questions that may make a prospect feel uncomfortable. True consultative selling
Some examples of what this salesperson might not be able to do is;
- Ask the tough questions
- Bring closure to a situation or identify a clear next step
- Confront “wishy washy” statements
- Deal directly with stalls and objections
- Understand that they aren’t being rejected personally
- Hang in there when the going gets tough
Here are some questions for future candidates that might help uncover some of this weakness and what to listen for in an answer.
- “How do you build relationships with your prospects?”
- Listen for an attempt to read the prospect somehow. If they say something like “I ask about their kids” or a generic “this is what I always do” type of answer, they are attempting to bond just by doing what works for them, and not attempting to read the prospect.
- “How often will a prospect buy from you if they don’t seem to bond with you?”
- You’re looking for something along the lines of “they don’t have to like me; it’s about value to them.”
- “What happens if you feel a prospect just doesn’t seem to like you/bond with you?”
- “Well I hope they do, but as long as they respect me and see value, that’s alright.”
Remember, sales really isn’t about everyone ”loving you” , it is truly about having a good hard-in-depth conversation with a prospect to uncover the true issues they have and recommending true solutions. Period.
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