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They’ll Buy if They Like You By Robert Terson


Last year, my wife and I checked out the iPad® and iPhone® at the Apple Store in the Woodfield Mall. Bewitching toys, but I was so much more WOWED by the young salesman, Andy Pasek, who showed us how to “play” with them. Andy’s tall, athletic build, intelligent brown eyes, with a beaming smile that could light up a coal mine.

He approached me while Nicki was trying out the merchandise (iPad®); I stood right next to her. He enthusiastically thrust out his hand and in a booming, confident voice, said, “Can I show you something?”

My initial reaction was no, we hadn’t come to buy anything, but that lasted all of three seconds because—you know what?—I wanted this “kid” (Andy’s in his mid-twenties, that’s a “kid” to me) to show me “something” because I instantly liked him. There was just something bright, energetic, fearless, and ineffably delightful about him.

Initially he asked a series of probing questions: what kind of computers and cell phones did we have? How and for what purposes did we use them? What were our most passionate interests?—the book I was writing, for example. Once he was armed with the specific information he needed, he demonstrated the mind-boggling functions of the iPad® and iPhone®, with all the technological dexterity his generation commands.

Admiration for Andy’s selling mastery flooded over me like a tsunami. So impressed was I, I’ll offer this highly subjective opinion: whatever they’re paying him—he’s on salary or an hourly wage—it isn’t enough. Not by a long shot.

Andy Pasek, because I liked him so much, was able to take me in 15 short minutes from “I just use a cell phone to make phone calls” to “I absolutely have to have one of those gadgets”—a megawatt transition which astounded me.

When a prospect likes you, sales resistance disappears like a burnt off morning fog. We dropped by to kill some time, check out the toys we’d heard so much about. We had not a scintilla of desire to buy anything, but after Andy’s dynamic iPhone® presentation, we both had to have one, and recently we each purchased an iPad®, too. We’re having a ton of fun with both products. Thanks, Andy!

If your prospects like you, they’ll have the same strong desire to buy from you, especially if you dazzle them with your presentation a la Andy Pasek.

So, are you likeable? Do you present yourself in a likeable manner? It’s something you can’t fake—you either are or you’re not; you either do or you don’t. Keep in mind: we’re talking about being likeable, not the salesperson’s need to be liked—the former is a strength, the latter a weakness.

Ask yourself, what causes you to like a salesperson? Conversely, what turns you off quicker than the blink of an eye? Here’s a short list of what made Andy so likeable to me: He was genuine, personable, enthusiastic, friendly, funny, professional, knowledgeable, and was so eager to show us his incredible wares, then excitedly demonstrated those wares, in relation to our interests, like a joyful child playing with his new train set on Christmas morning; and because he was having so much fun doing it, so did we.

Other than price, how much they like you is the foremost reason why they will, or won’t, buy from you. You may have exactly what they want; they may have driven 200 miles to buy it; everything from price to financing to delivery is perfect; but if they don’t like you, they’ll take a hike and buy it someplace else, from a salesperson they do like.

Likeability, ignore it and you’ll push the envelope of providence.
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Robert Terson spent 40 years fearlessly selling advertising to small businesspeople; his passionate purpose as an author and speaker is to enlighten and inspire you to be a far better salesperson than you are now. Visit him at SellingFearlessly.com

-What do you think of the ideas above? How important have you found the “likeability” factor to be in your own professional selling journey? Share your thoughts in the comments below.