People won’t care about what you have to say until they know you care
Why are some salespeople successful while others struggle?
Why do some salespeople have such a hit and miss conversion rate?
This may be unpopular, because it’s something that leaders and employers have absolutely no control over when it comes to their salespeople: it’s the care factor.
You can have the most experienced team, a highly skilled, hard-working sales team. You may have an incredible offer that stands alone. These things will ONLY TAKE YOU SO FAR. Without salespeople having a genuine desire to discover, a genuine curiosity to understand the customer’s viewpoint and what drives them, there is limited connection. And without connection, it’s virtually impossible to engender trust let alone likeability.
Some people think that selling is all about having the best product, the best marketing. That sales are made by having the slickest presentation, or having salespeople that can talk underwater. Others believe it’s about having the lowest price, the most competitive offer.
No one could argue these things don’t matter because they do. But in people to people selling environments, the care factor is critical. You can’t fake it. You can try, but as humans we sense fakery and disingenuity. We can smell it a mile away and our natural response is to create distance. It’s almost instinctive. Primal. We won’t even know we’re doing it.
When salespeople care, they connect more deeply. An important place from which to start any relationship. After that, what you have to say or offer will be truly heard and considered.
Skill, technique, offer etc will play a role. But care is something you can’t teach, and you can’t force. We know it as customers: the offer is good, but we just can’t shake that doubt….something real was missing. It’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t care. And even if the offer seems to outweigh that feeling and we go ahead anyway, buyer’s remorse will creep in.
I’ve seen a lot of salespeople, sales leaders and customer service people in my lifetime. As someone who works closely with them in the performance space, I calculate that I’ve worked with hundreds (at least) over the last 25 years. My experience is that the best salespeople genuinely care about other people.
Think about this when recruiting your next sales leader or customer facing team member. Build it into your interview plan. What do their previous colleagues have to say about them? How do their customers speak of them? What about those they led? Listen carefully.