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Become Unstoppable in Sales

The Like Factor: Your Secret Weapon In Sales - Episode 89

May 21, 20247 min read

Have you ever been in a room where you have someone who is talking only about themselves?

They think they are amazing, and they are the shit, and they don't let anyone else put a word in. In essence, it's all about them and not about you. Now, I want you to think about when you were in the room. You didn't know anybody, but one person was standing far away, and they had this really bright smile. They appeared warm and engaging, and when you eventually got to them and spoke to them, they had a general interest in you. 

Let me ask: Which person would you rather speak to? Have you ever wondered why some sales reps have clients lining up while others can't close a deal or get anybody to talk to them? 

It's a lot simpler than you think. It's all about likability. You probably think everybody likes you, but I want you to think about this: if you don't have likability, you will fall into that unlikable or sleaze trap bucket in your potential client's eye. 

How do you become likable? 

I'm not asking you to change who you are—quite the opposite. I want you to lean into who you are, but you must put the customer first. Some of you might've heard me say to do an about-face and focus on the customer. Suppose you are just going to see a customer, and you're chasing that next sale, barely remembering the customer's name or doing a numbers game. In that case, you're doing something online and not paying attention to your target market; eventually, it will become a disaster, and you'll probably hate what you do. But here's the fix and the secret sauce—treat every sales conversation like you're talking to a real friend.

That's something I learned when I did voiceovers in the past. If I imagine doing this commercial or this voiceover for a friend, somebody I love, everything about it—my voice, the way I say things—changes. I want you to think about it the same way because friends care about each other's needs and don't push something unnecessary just to make a quick buck. They actively listen! People don't just want to be heard. They want to be listened to! So, ask questions and smile—that's one of the best features on your face. Maintain eye contact. Use their names. Think about your body language. You want to show that you are engaged. You don't want to stand there or talk with your arms crossed. When you use some of those things and start seeing your clients as friends, you genuinely want to help them; it makes the conversation a lot more fun and builds a foundation of trust. You've heard me say this before: in sales, like and trust is gold. 

The second thing I want to point out is that humans are really social creatures. Most of us crave talking to other people. Even if you're an introvert, you still want to have a conversation occasionally. So we naturally gravitate towards people who share our interests or understand our struggles. When you're in a sales meeting, don't just dive into your pitch. Take a moment and find that common ground.

Ask yourself what their goal in business is.

What do they need?

What does their boss need, and what's their challenge?

What keeps you up at night? That's a great question to ask.

What did they do over the weekend?

Have a little bit of a personal relationship with the people that you sell to—that way, you find out more about them. But what's important here is that it ensures it's authentic to you. 

I once worked for a company that was big in hiring college football players. How on earth I got there, I will never know. This was before kids, so I knew nothing about football. And, at that time, I didn't like football. I should tell you the truth. I hated football at that time, but I ended up having three boys who played football. I still have one who plays football in college. I asked my husband, an ex-football player, to give me some simple soundbites of what happened over the weekend in some of the football games. So, I was in front of the client, and I spit out the facts at the beginning of the meeting, and it felt icky. And I probably had this blank face when I was talking about it because I didn't know much about it. I thought to myself that the appointment started going sideways because I just wasn't in control of it. I needed to get this back on track and stop making something up or talking about something I was not interested in. Luckily for me, I noticed that there was this small hand-drawn charcoal that was almost hidden by his desk. From that charcoal, I instantly knew where it came from; it was a place I had traveled to with my husband, and I had gotten charcoal done in the same place. We started talking about it, and we turned this common thing into something that we connected with. It wasn't football, but it was this sketch. So when you find something common that can turn this formal meeting into a relaxed chat, the deals are made because people feel comfortable with you. The bottom line is that people like to buy because they feel connected to you.

Lastly, I want to talk about empathy. This is really huge. It shows that you genuinely care, and it can set you apart from just about everyone else out there. A study by Forbes Magazine found that empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else's position and understand their situation, and it is the capacity to really feel what another person is experiencing from their frame of reference. It's one of the most important sales skills, and you can truly stand out with this. I sharpened this because I'm also an actress, and part of it in acting is you have to get to know that character, and you need to feel what they're feeling in that moment.

Here is one of the questions you ask yourself.

What are they feeling right now in that moment?

You can dramatically improve if you can feel what they're feeling and show genuine empathy and how your clients perceive you. A study by the Business Solutions Institute found that people who sell consistently demonstrate empathy. They increase their sales effectiveness by up to 30%, and that's because empathy shows that you're just not there to sell; you are there to help them think about what they're feeling and feel what they are feeling. It's about understanding the needs of your customers and their emotions, which changes the dynamics of any interaction that you are having with your customer or your potential customer. If you spend a little time understanding your customer's feelings and perspectives, it could be better salesmanship. It truly is being a perfect human. It's a good humanship. I made that word up. 

I want to end this note with something that I implement 100% of the time. You can count on it every single time. If you do this, one thing will make a difference in your success and how you feel about your relationship with sales. 



You don't want somebody hammering you over the head, being sleazy, or not paying attention to you. You want somebody who cares about you and is doing right by you. 

Being likable isn't just about being the slickest talker, the pushiest closer, or agreeing with everything. It's about being human, caring, connecting, and putting the customer first. Apply these principles in your next sales interaction, and just put that in place and watch how your relationships thrive. 

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The Professional Rule BreakerKathy WalterhousePocket NinjaSalesBuilding TrustThe Like FactorEmpathyLikability
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