Home > Consumer Behavior > Prospective buyers don't have to like the salesperson

Prospective buyers don't have to like the salesperson

LIKE: to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in : enjoy <likes baseball> (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Based on the definition above, found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is easy to see why prospective buyers don't have to "like" the salesperson involved in their sale.

You might find a different definition, you might even have your own personal definition, of what it means to "like" the salesperson. That is to be expected.

Since different people have different definitions getting a message across can be a bit frustrating at times. So...

Forgetting about definitions for a moment... what do you think it really means to "like" a salesperson in the context of people like to buyer from people they know, like and trust? - by Vito
LIKE: to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in : enjoy <likes baseball> (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Based on the definition above, found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is easy to see why prospective buyers don't have to "like" the salesperson involved in their sale.

You might find a different definition, you might even have your own personal definition, of what it means to "like" the salesperson. That is to be expected.

Since different people have different definitions getting a message across can be a bit frustrating at times. So...

Forgetting about definitions for a moment... what do you think it really means to "like" a salesperson in the context of people like to buyer from people they know, like and trust?
I'm on my way out to a meeting... but the short story would be

That he's prompt
That he be trustworthy
That he be looking out for me.

Much Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
I'm on my way out to a meeting... but the short story would be

That he's prompt
That he be trustworthy
That he be looking out for me.

Much Aloha... :cool:
I agree... in addition... to be courteous, professional and not pushy or annoying or obnoxious. Some people may not "like" you per se... as they don't know you but if you rub them the wrong way they will for sure not do business with you. Life is too short to have to deal with aholes!! - by Andrea
No, they don't have to like the salesperson, but tie favor the runner. Most people prefer to buy from people they like.

In the end, you either deliver results or you don't and that can take "like" right out of the equation. - by mmaisel
Transactions can be made even if you don't like the sales person although you rely solely on your product, your offer and your customer to create their own perception of vaule. - by MrCharisma
I agree that customers don't have to like the salesperson. Just as long they have enough confidence to buy from them. - by Polysquared
Trouble is, buying behaviour is too thin on the ground to make a living so we have to depend on selling bahaviour.

For selling behaviour to work....they have to like you. - by helisell
Too bad Vito is not around to discuss this further with us... - by Andrea
If the buyers like you it's always a good sign because they also trust you. - by Polysquared
Likability is a trait of top performing salespeople. Does it mean that a customer "has to" like you? No, of course not. But it's an asset just like any professional asset.

As to the definition of liking a salesperson, liking a salesperson is no different than liking a neighbor, friend, coworker, or any other human being.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Liking the sales person is beneficial to the sale. However, Trusting the sales person is imperative to the sale. I think there is far to much emphasis placed on having the prospect like you and not enough emphasis placed on earning the prospects trust. - by Harold
Liking the sales person is beneficial to the sale. However, Trusting the sales person is imperative to the sale. I think there is far to much emphasis placed on having the prospect like you and not enough emphasis placed on earning the prospects trust.
Trust--confidence--is SO important.

I want to add that being able to identify conditions of mutual trust (and respect) is a valuable asset in selling. Unfortunately, it is a topic that does not get enough exposure in what passes for sales training today. - by Ace Coldiron
I agree with Skip that likability is indeed a trait of TOP performing salespeople, but I dont believe it is necessary to be successful.
I believe a customer doesnt have to like you, they just have to feel that they wont be decieved by you. How do you get someone to trust you without liking you? You establish a sense of integrity. Integrity to me is established through commonality, empathy, proficiency and professionalism, and it has to be established very quickly. All they have to do is trust you just a little bit. Only once they do that will they feel comfortable enough to buy something from you. - by radanders01
Sorry Harold and Ace. I didnt see your posts because I was typing right after Skip. But I completely agree with the two of you. - by radanders01
Would you agree that a client liking the sales professionals does build trust? It is much easier gaining trust when the client likes you. You lose that trust when unethical behavior enters the equation.Being honest and ethical is a requirement.

Trust and like go hand in hand with one another adding to an enjoyable owning experience by the client.

Is it a requirement that the client like the sales professional. No not at all. However we are here to help sales people become sales professionals and having the client like you builds trust. With b2c this likability that turns into trust results in a long term relationship that bypasses Joes down the street is cheaper and thier friend who just had this done for way less.

Do not sell the friend value short a professional and personal relationship goes a long way and can take more hits than an impersonal one built on a professional relationship only.

I have clients who refer me to thier friends and they tell their friends to do what ever I suggest.Pay the money and be done with it. I love that reputation and relationship. - by rich34232
I would wholeheartedly disagree. Most prospects naturally distrust sales people. Having a prospect like you is not a bad thing, but it does not always or even some of the time lead to trust. For example, think about people in your own life that you like. You have fun being with them, but do you trust them? Do you take their advice, no. When I go to the doctor I want competency and understanding. I want to trust him and his assessment of my situation. If I like him that is good, but not necessary.

Simply put, a prospect can say, "No" to a sales person they like, but saying "No" to someone you trust is far harder. This is because your perception of a person is different when you trust them. My clients trust me and some of them like me. I demonstrate my expertise and competency on every call. None of them dislike me, but what gets them coming back to me and not another sales person is that they trust me.

To summarize, as my mentor the best sales trainer I know says, "Where you put your trust is where you put your money." - by Harold
When I hear that a sales professional quotes; the majority of clients distrust them informs me that something is wrong. What happened during the first impression that said he is not trustworthy or I need to shield against this person?

An interesting dilemma happens when sales professionals get to talking .To disprove an idea they go to an extreme with defining trust and the likability factor. Trusting a client or the trust that the client has in the sales person is not the same trust that a wife or husband has. It is not the same trust that you have in your children or parents. Let us not try to compare the two. They are not related or relevant.

Quite often when the likability factor is brought into the equation they want to compare it to best buddies. That is not what is meant by like.

I wonder how many of anyone’s clients call to help them make decisions in their life that do not affect the business relationship. I am sure some do however the vast majority do not. How far does that trust really go? Business decisions only?

Using your doctor example I will disagree with that assumption. 2004 I had two hip replacements. I switched surgeons who were very qualified to do the replacement. However I liked the second one better when all things are equal the likability factor is a huge reason to own. Price was a non factor. Each are top fight surgeons each proposed the exact same process. Do you go to a doctor you do not like or do you find one that you like? Keep in mind they are qualified. I am sure most go to a doctor they like. They may like them better than what they have found however it still is a like. Please do not put an unqualified person into the equation.
This was repeated in 2006 with back surgery.

I will not agree that it is easier to tell a friend no. I can tell a stranger who sees me once or a couple of times a year no, then it is a friend who sees or calls on me regularly. The vast majority of my clients like me. I add more than a professional relationship I add a personal relationship with the majority of my clients. Let me inform those that are afraid of the personal and professional relationship that it is indeed the strongest relationship available. I do not fear someone being way cheaper or getting it quicker. I do not fear or hear I cannot afford, too much, more than I want to spend. Instead I hear whatever you say we will do.

Trust is a very important item and one that is required for the ownership exchange to happen. Liking someone does not have to be involved with the equation that garners the ownership exchange? This happens quite frequently when the competition is unqualified. However when another presents the same product, service, and value and is liked you lose. I do not know what you sell but in my profession every one of my competition can get the exact same product, service and the difference is me. Your damn right they are going to trust and like me this increases the enjoyable ownership exchange - by rich34232
Rich, I think you misunderstood most of what I said so I will briefly clarify.

Most prospects are leery of sales people because of past bad experiences or fear that they will be taken advantage of. I think we disagree on this point, but I believe that sales people must demonstrate competency and earn the prospect's trust. They start with nothing in the "Trust Bank" and must make deposits.

My point of the post was simply to say that liking someone is good, but trust is far more important. My illustrations, which you seem to have completely misunderstood, were to illustrate this. Clearly the points I was making in the illustrations went over your head as in your explanations of them as you grossly oversimplified my arguments and then tried to explain it away through some different scenarios that never addressed my points. So I will simply let my original comments speak for themselves. - by Harold
Harold I appreciate that you think it is above me to understand.I agree that trust is required and important no arguement there. We also agree that the sales person must be qualified. We must prove we are qualified ie gaining trust. With both trust and like you gain a stronger bond/ relationship and that is my point.

We will agree to disagree on the points that answered the questions. - by rich34232
I agree that I am more likely to buy from someone I like rather than someone I dont!

If I dont like them and there is someone else to get the same thing from I will do just that!

Sometimes I will even buy just because I like someone! The right personality does help I think! - by Neelam
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