Selling Your Self Presentation

A traveling sales person recently visited me at KinetiCast.  While I did not eat his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti, I secretly wished someone had.  But this trainwreck of a visit left me with some good lessons on how NOT to behave when trying to make a sale.

A very successful sales executive told me a long time ago that one of the most important things he looked for, when hiring a sales person, is that they be instantly likable.

We all know what it is like when someone isn't likable.  We have all felt it at one time or another, the feeling when we see someone that we recognize but sincerely hope that they do not see us, for fear that we will be forced to talk to them.  As a sales person we should strive to be the person that people go out of their way to make excuses to want to be around and to schedule appointments just to spend time with us.  There is no doubt that people buy you first and your product second.  Now for some people this comes easy, for others its more difficult.  Here are some ideas that may help you to increase your "it" factor.

Make sure your appearance is clean and comfortable

The salesman that visited KinetiCast walked in with a suit that was at least two sizes too small.  Now, I can sympathize as I have packed on a few lbs as of late, but its always important to look your best, regardless of your shape or size.  I am not saying you have to be a sartorial showpiece, but if you are not comfortable and clean looking it gives a bad first impression, plus it makes you self-conscious (even more disturbing - if it should make you self-conscious but it doesn't!)

Another note on appearance, bad breath is a showstopper.  Always assume your breath is bad and take action before every sales encounter.

Make sure your internal clock is ticking

Much of sales is timing.  Arrive a little early, and if you have an appointment for 30 minutes, when 30 minutes is done, make every effort to leave.  Very little good can come from overstaying your allotted time.  With a few minutes left in the meeting,  start to sum up and talk about deliverables, next step and planned follow-up. If you start to leave, your prospect can always ask you to stay longer.

I am amazed at how many sales people think that they are hitting it out of the park by staying at a prospect for a long time.  In fact, in most cases, people are just too nice to ask you to leave.  Once you do finally leave, it is likely you will not be welcomed back.

Turn that frown upside down

Always remember, fake enthusiasm is better than genuine depression.  Leave your problems out of the meeting.  Be passionate and confident, people are attracted to people who are fun to be around.  Depressed people are not fun to be around. Fake it till you make it.

The ultimate goal of likability in a business relationship is that your prospect associates you with your product and ends up liking both.

Please share your ideas to increase instant likability.


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