Who wasn’t raised to “Be nice to people?” Growing up, how many times did you hear, “Don’t do that, you be nice to your brother or sister?” Your Mom or Dad often said, “That’s not nice, say you’re sorry.” That’s just good rearing. The kind of advice that you’d get in any parenting book.
So, when you got into the sales profession, there’s a good chance your Mom or Dad stayed with you (right on your shoulder) whispering to you, “Be nice, your prospect has feelings too.” And you did. And you do. You go on with your daily sales grind with the “Be nice to people mantra” ringing loudly in your ear. And it works. You’re nice. Most people would say you’re one of the nicest guys they know. “Yeah, Ryan, he’s a great guy. One hell of a guy.”
Ok, so have you ever wondered why you are getting out-sold?
Why is it that the “great guy” isn’t winning all of the deals? “How can that other guy get the deal… I’m a lot nicer than he is?” We’ve got news for you (& it’s not even news – it’s been a fact for thousands of years). Nice guys finish last.
Hold on. Don’t take it literally. Clearly there are plenty of nice guys that aren’t always coming in last place. You understand the cliché. You also agree with it. You are living the cliché.
Let’s clarify. When we say, “too nice” we mean “overly nice, overly friendly”. Think of the constantly up-beat guy, ridiculously positive & over-the-top with his willingness to accommodate. The gal that continuously says YES, smiles incessantly (uncomfortably so) & drips with benevolence.
Great qualities for a WalMart greeter. Fine attributes for your 8-year old child’s summer camp counselor. But for a salesperson – not so much. Why do salespeople feel the need to go out of their way to be too nice & overly-accommodating to prospects & customers? It’s their nature. They think it’s helping their cause. NOT!
This does not suggest that salespeople should be mean, rude or obnoxious (as if we even have to mention that). In no way are we suggesting you be disrespectful (ever). It is only to suggest that when you go out of your way to accommodate, answer questions, help, be nice, etc. you give your prospects the power (& make your job harder). You put your customers on a pedestal that they don’t really belong on (& it’s tough to get them off of it).
In 2018 our prospects & customers have to see us on their level. They need to know that we can help them get where they want to go. This is next to impossible to do if we are in “awe” of them – if they are on that pedestal.
5 Times You are Acting too Nice in sales (adding NO VALUE):
- You find yourself saying YES a lot. There is no value to anyone when you are yessing them all the time. Tame it down.
- You say GREAT or AWESOME or PERFECT a lot more than you do in “real life”. Seriously? Nothing is that great, awesome or perfect – ever.
- You constantly respond with THANK YOU. My mother taught me that a THANK YOU was never inappropriate, too. But not all the time. It’s too much too often.
- You smile too much & get excited on sales appointments. C’mon. Act like you’ve been there.
- You apologize too often (way more often than at home). When you over-apologize you weaken your position. Fact of life.
Sales is a tough gig. There’s no need to make it harder by giving your prospect all the power. The trick is to let them think they have all the power, but you maintain subtle control – that’s the art of this profession. But don’t do it by being way too nice (or pandering). Do it by asking good questions. Do it by being the expert that you are. Do it by professionally selling.
Professional salespeople ask tough questions in a nurturing manner. Rarely, (if ever) do they have a smile on their face when they are asking a tough question. Your prospects’ problems are nothing to smile or laugh at. It’s a discipline (&, yes, sometimes it’s an act) to stay focused & listen. Be on their level. Be there with them.
Act like you’ve been there.