There’s a lot of news coverage on the effects of social media lately, especially on children. I recently listened to podcast where the famous Dr Phil was being interviewed and the subject of social media’s effect came up. Dr Phil said something that stuck me with as highly sales relevant. He was telling a story about teenagers in a therapy study that documented the affect on their mood by how many likes they get on a picture they’ve posted online.
“If your mental health and emotional well being is dependent on being liked by strangers, you’ve set yourself up for a really dangerous slide, ” Dr Phil stated.
The very same concept is a huge factor in sales prospecting efforts. Sales is a really lousy place to chase your emotional need to be liked. This idea leads to a lot of call avoidance and dropping activity numbers if left unchecked.

Do you have to personally like your doctor for him/her to do a good job?

Do you have to like your lawyer for him/her to represent you?

Do you need to like your car mechanic for you to be satisfied with him as a service provider?

Nope. Then why do we think that we need to be liked as sales people in order to win and keep business? This is sales, not Tinder. If you make sales personal, then rejection becomes personal, and unless you have the emotional control or Dr Spock from Star Trek, that is going to wear you down and cause you to avoid making calls.

Your prospects do NOT need to like you. They are not in search or in need of a new BFF. They need to respect you. Respect you because you provide an honest assessment of need, and a valid determination of a fit. They need to respect that you tell the truth, and that you’ll do what you say you will do. Love or affection are not part of the sales equation.

Over the years, I’ve become personal friends with some of my clients, and that is OK, but I don’t make cold calls with the objective of finding new friends, and I usually react negatively to someone cold calling me trying to be my friend, because it comes across as insincere and manipulative. I don’t really believe they called me to be my bestie. Be friendly, by all means, but avoid seeking to be liked by strangers. It creates a far too personal aspect to the rejection that is part of every day life in sales.