I think the importance of bringing the personality to every conversation in sales is imperative.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be the biggest or most confident person in the room. But your personality is what’s going to start relationship and a rapport, right. Rapport might seem like a horrible sales word – but ultimately I’ve never had a friend that I haven’t had a rapport with!
One of the first things you need to achieve in sales is giving people a reason to talk to you. Everyone is such an informed buyer now that the salesperson has to bring value in other ways, and that could be as simple as being a likeable human who is easy to talk to.
But putting your personality across doesn’t have to mean some slicked back cliché. There is room for infinite types of personalities in sales. The beauty that social media and social selling is in seeing how people can be completely themselves in their own crazy little way, and then speak to others who respond to that.
For me this is particularly refreshing having spent time in sales environments where you’d see carbon copies of the same person over and over again. These are places where sales managers see their role as creating a monolith unified ‘sales’ personality – big wide ties, ridiculous handshakes etc – rather than helping to nurture individual personalities within. The types of places where I’ve been told to shave my beard just after having landed a job. Why? This is who you employed!
The reason I reference the humble chameleon is because in sales one must find the elements of your personality that are the most mouldable for the conversation you’re having. For example, I’m a silly guy who makes silly jokes – but only when I’ve judged that the person I’m talking to will enjoy it. There’s no point otherwise; neither of us will get any value out of it.
That’s not to advocate being insincere, two faced or deceitful. The right sales personality is still you – it’s just the best version of yourself for that particular environment. Enter the conversation as something of a blank slate but be like the chameleon and adapt to your surroundings.
The real enjoyment in sales comes from understanding the different parts that make up your personality, then leaning into whichever bit you’re comfortable with. I’ve learned not to work with people who I can’t get along with because I know at some point I’ll slip up and be me!
However there are enough sides to me so get along with the millions of others out there. The Jay who is really interested in business, finance and growth gets on with many of them; others like the version who’s into UFC, music and comedy.
I like to draw upon my experiences working in a bar, where I’d switch serving the builder and the CEO. I wasn’t being deceitful when I spoke to them in slightly different ways – I just knew which sides of me they responded better to.
But it still needs to be you. Like the bar, you can make lasting relationships with people in sales if you stay true to yourself. What’s allowed me to love sales is the fact that it’s all me doing it – I’m not out there trying and failing to be someone else. If I fail it’s because I’m me. And what can I do about that?!
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