It’s widely known that one of the main obstacles for sales success is that awful desire to be liked. Luckily I don’t suffer from that.
Now, not needing to be liked is not the same thing as saying whatever is on your mind all the time. It is a socially agreed rule that we make conscious choices about the sometimes awful thoughts that cross our minds that will see the light of day (e.g. “that is one ugly baby”). It is the oil that keeps the gears of our social relationships functioning properly.
These socially agreed rules are especially strong during the early stages of sales. We know that buyers decisions have a component of irrationality that is linked to how much they like the sales person in front of them. That’s why we bought that ugly Sienna (which we love!) from Silvio last summer. We just really liked him.
But sometimes we let this get in the way of helping clients. It is what stops us from asking great questions that can increase our value to the client and our own 'speed on bases.'
Sometimes we do this and don’t even notice it until later on when we reflect back on the conversation and find out “humm, that doesn’t make sense at all”... 99 out of 100 times this also means that sale is not moving forward.
Sometimes, we actively think something doesn’t make sense DURING the conversation and still make a conscious choice to not challenge our prospect. This is a huge mistake, because as soon as we do, we lose an opportunity to make ourselves different from the rest of salespeople out there and have most likely lost the sale.
It recently happened to me (the conscious one), and then I hated myself for it. Needless to say I never again spoke with the client. So I asked during one of our coaching sessions: “maybe I should just do what you do and talk without a filter”.
So, I’ve been trying to talk without a filter ever since. That’s not to say I’m not being friendly, but I try to speak with prospects the way I would talk to my best friend. Without reservations. I figured, if they need help, and most importantly, want to be helped, then they will appreciate some tough love. If they don’t like it that’s ok too, first of all, I don’t need to be liked, and second of all I’ll know they are not serious about getting their problem solved.