A lot of the salespeople I coach have a weakness in their Sales DNA - their need to be liked. Approximately 58% of all salespeople have this weakness and on average, salespeople score 76% in that competency. Elite salespeople have an average score of 87% and weak salespeople have an average score of 69%.
What would it look like if we were to pivot this data and look only at the group who have it as a weakness? When we filter the results by the need to be liked, there are some very interesting scores. Could it be that the need to be liked - by itself - is a predictor of sales success? Maybe. We know that if the salesperson is in an account management role, the need to be liked is an asset. However, in any kind of producer role, especially in a consultative process or methodology, it will get in the way. Take a look at this data!
The most striking takeaway here is that salespeople who don't need to be liked, score 47% higher on their ability to reach decision makers! This video discusses the inability to reach decision makers.
Salespeople who don't need to be liked are also 51% more likely to close the opportunities in their pipeline and score 42% higher in the Consultative Seller competency.
Would we see the same kinds of differences if we filtered by another Sales DNA weakness? Maybe. What we do know that most salespeople enter sales because of their need to be liked. It might help them to make friends - over time - but the need to be liked can be death when it comes to:
- having the difficult conversation to differentiate this salesperson from everyone else
- identifying the prospect's compelling reasons to buy
- causing prospects to believe they must do business with this salesperson.
Salespeople who need to be liked aren't able to do those things. It's too uncomfortable for them because they are afraid that their questions will cause their prospects to dislike them.
Finally, salespeople who don't need to be liked score 24% better in the hunting competency, partly because they score 25% better in being rejection proof. That translates to a much bigger pipeline, from which many more opportunities move through the sales process to a close.
So then, what does a salesperson do if they are burdened with the need to be liked and want to improve?
If you're a sales manager, you must attend my Sales Leadership Intensive to learn the only coaching approach that will help you coach those salespeople up. The next one is in two weeks and there are still some seats left.
If you're a salesperson, you'll need to be coached to overcome this weakness because training and reading alone won't make it go away. It usually takes between 8-12 months to overcome the need to be liked so good luck!
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