The second most powerful weakness in sellingSunday, May 16, 2021
Duane Lue Fung
The need for approval at a basic level is a primal need, it's an instinct that helps us survive.
We surround ourselves with family and friends who we strive to live in harmony with, which ultimately means pleasing one another. If moderate, a person's need for approval can have appositive impact on their life and relationships, but if this need goes to either extreme, the impact is a negative one.
While it's normal to want approval and to need to feel loved, the issue stems from when a salesperson looks for that as validation.
When a salesperson has a high need for approval from prospects, their need to be liked, and in extreme cases, loved, is greater than their need to close business. The need for approval is an element of the sales DNA, because it has nothing to do with sales skills and technical competencies, it's a deep-rooted belief inherent to the individual. When this shows up, salespeople have more trouble asking tough questions and having the difficult conversations that nobody else has had, which are all needed for being able to sell consultatively.
From the result of Think Grow Lead assessment of over 10,000 sales professionals over the last six years, 62 per cent of salespeople need approval. So, it is highly likely that a lot of your salesforce are feeling the need to be liked, which is affecting your bottom line.
Need for Approval or what happens when you need people to like you is the second most powerful weakness in all of selling.
If the salesperson has high need for approval in sales he or she…
• does not ask all the necessary , difficult or direct questions;
• shies away from any disagreement with the client;
• seeks to be friends with customers;
• often fails to figure out the real source of a client's problems.
• accepts the justifications of the prospects;
• believes in the fake kind and positive words of prospects;
• is afraid of hearing “No”;
• has a lot of trouble closing sales.
What those who struggle with this need to understand is that being liked and being likeable are two very different things. Customers care far more about the value of what they're buying than they do about the person selling it to them. The key is: “Be an expert, not a friend.” Building healthy, lasting relations with clients is based on mutual respect, not on the fear of not being disliked.
A study found that sales professionals who are assertive and willing to present controversial views outperform “relationship builders” by a huge margin. “Challengers” were 40 per cent of top performers in sales, while relationship builders accounted for only seven per cent.
With your reps:
• help them trade the desire for approval for the desire for respect;
• help them maintain a positive self-image, independent of any flattery or praise from clients;
• help them be more assertive, prepare them to handle difficult questions and conversations;
• help them to constantly affirm that what people think about them is none of their concern.
When salespeople overcome their high need for approval they become 35 per cent more effective. But successfully dealing with a need for approval problem, like any Sales DNA defect, takes time, practice, and intentional effort.
To assess how much of your salesforce is affected by this need for approval you should assess your entire sales force to see which individual have the specific gaps and how to fix them.
Duane Lue-Fung is an award-winning entrepreneur and is the founder & chairman of the Caribbean's #1 Sales Development Company, Think Grow Lead. For more insights on sales and customer experience training, sales recruiting and sales outsourcing please visit TGL's website. www.tgltrainers.com/ www.tglsalesschool.com or e-mail me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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