Sales Tips: Do Buyers Have to Like You?
By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Given the long-standing stereotype of buyer-seller relationships, many salespeople hope buyers will like them. This contributes to sellers failing to view themselves as equals because buyers aren’t making any efforts to get sellers to like them.
Can you think of an occasion in a social setting when you tried to get someone to like you? If so, my suspicion is that your interaction may not have gone as well as it would have had you just approached it without the pressure of a desired outcome. How often have you come to like somebody only after meeting him or her multiple times?
A better desired outcome might be to try to earn the buyer’s respect. Your initial meeting should be focused on business rather than personal issues. Earning a buyer’s respect will likely increase the probability that there will be a subsequent meeting if your offering may offer some value to the buyer.
I can buy from sellers I like, but don’t respect when making relatively unimportant buying decisions. That said, for important decisions if things are fairly equal I’ll choose to buy from the seller I respect rather than one that I like.
Like and respect from buyers are not mutually exclusive and relationships develop over time. My contention is that trying to force personal relationships early can undermine selling efforts.