I know. Everyone loves you. You are just so likable that it's inconceivable that you could be disliked. As usual, I see things a bit differently and I'll prove that there is someone that not only dislikes you, but might even hate you. For example, my company, Objective Management Group (OMG), is universally hated by an entire vertical! I'll share that with you, but first I must ask you a question. If you are in territory sales, is there a competitor salesperson gunning for you? Have you taken business away from anyone? Do they hate you? Is there a competitor who is all smoke and mirrors, who can't deliver on what they promise, who still manages to win business at your expense? Do you hate them? Do you sell a product or service that can help a company do more with fewer employees? Do those employees hate you? It wasn't that long ago when Apple hated Microsoft and Microsoft hated Apple. Allow me to provide a few examples and then I'll share how to deal with the hate.
One of OMG's products is our legendary, accurate and predictive Sales Candidate Assessment. Everyone from the CEO down through sales leadership and HR love this tool, but internal recruiters hate it and recruiting firms hate us! Internal recruiters hate us because they have to work harder to find sales candidates who will be recommended. It's their job, so they deal with us. After all, only 7% of all salespeople are elite, and just an additional 16% who qualify as strong. That means that 77% of the candidates they find suck, usually aren't recommended, and our assessment exposes that.
For recruiting firms, the hate is even worse. Their profit depends on a company quickly falling in love with a candidate and when one of their clients wants to use OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment, it is not only more difficult, but it takes much longer for them to find the right candidate. That eats into their profit and they absolutely hate that! One way that recruiting firms deal with this is when they attempt to discredit our assessment. As you can imagine, that kind of hate isn't much fun because it puts clients right in the middle of that battle.
Over the years, the creative people in our entrepreneurial and innovative economy have been responsible for developing products (think internet-related) and services (think outsourcing) that eliminate jobs. The employees who are most vulnerable to having their jobs eliminated absolutely hate the companies and their salespeople who provide those services.
Speaking of entrepreneurs, one of the best sites is EvanCarmichael.com and last week, Evan hosted a video interview with me when we talked about assessments, selling, presenting and differentiating. It was a fun and fast-paced interview and you can see it here.
So what can you do when you there are groups of people who hate you? Introduce the issue yourself. You'll need to wait until you have uncovered their compelling reason to buy and then you can ask a question like this one, "An ideal solution is going to eliminate some jobs, and while that will save the company money, how will you deal with the pushback that you're going to get?" or, "A solution that will solve the problem we are talking about will cause this group over here to be quite upset. How will you deal with the protests you are going to get from them?"
Here are some additional resources.
This article on how to ask questions so that customers buy and you don't have to sell was named one of the top 10 sales blog posts of the month.