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Aug 17-23, 1998

Likeability—It's So Fundamental!

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

Building rapport and "likeability" are always very high on my list of qualities to be developed by good salespeople. Likeability is so fundamental in selling that it's often overlooked in the sales primers. They typically concentrate on techniques like closing, answering objections, etc.

In her book How To Work a Room, Susan Roane lists what she calls the Top 10 minglers when meeting new people. Her list is also an excellent "likeability primer." Here are her Top 10:

  1. The ability to make others feel comfortable.
  2. The appearance of being self confident and at ease.
  3. An ability to laugh at yourself.
  4. Show interest by maintaining eye contact, asking questions, and listening.
  5. Lean into greetings with a firm handshake and a smile.
  6. Convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm.
  7. Be well rounded, well intentioned, well informed, and well mannered.
  8. Prepare interesting conversational vignettes.
  9. Make introductions of others with enthusiasm and compliments.
  10. Convey respect and genuinely like people.

Not a bad list. I think I'll take a month off and start working on three or four of them myself. Funny how those fundamentals can get away from you.

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Sales Tip and Practice
Ask your manager or a trusted colleague to rate you on the above list on a 1 to 10 scale. Give them permission to be truly honest. Ask them why they are rating you so low in the areas where they do; then get to work on fundamental attitude changes. That's where most likeability improvements take place, because that's where they originate.

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