I was in a sales training meeting this week and our keynote speaker, my friend Scott Kimbro, who went over the key attributes of a successful sales person. One of the most important attributes is to be likable. That may seem insignificant, but do you like to do business with a jerk? We have all heard the expression “people do business with people they know, like and trust”. Did you catch the second word?
If you have read and studied Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success in 16 Lessons you will remember Lesson 4 is having a Pleasing Personality or in today’s terms, be likable. As Hill states “it is the ‘fulcrum’ on which you must place the ’crow-bar’ of your efforts, and when so placed, with intelligence, it will enable you to remove mountains of obstacles.” The author goes on to say it is the one attribute that can make a Master Salesman.
How can you possibly know if you are a likable person? Most people just know, but there is a way to check for yourself. It is said that dogs and small children can feel the vibrations adults put off. Whether we are sincere or insincere with our emotions and intentions. The next opportunity you have, test yourself. If you approach a new person with their dog, does he growl at you or does he lick you and want to play. When around a small child for the first time, does he or she approach you or run away? Be sure you have more than one dog or child to measure yourself. There are certainly circumstances with both. But I will bet if you really think about it, you have already noticed a trend.
It is impossible to fake likability. It must be a sincere attribute. Just as dogs and children pick up your vibrations so do adults. We have all met a person that we instantly didn’t like, but just didn’t know why. One of those reasons is sincere likability. We also have immediately liked someone for no reason as well. That is a master salesperson and business person whether they know it or not.
Focus on being grateful and truly trying to help people and not on just trying to make a buck. There is a huge difference and people do recognize it whether you believe it or not. Being likable is the lynch pin of success.
“It is better to be likable than to be talented.”—Utah Phillips
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 31 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.