A recent speaker claimed that data shows that 86% of all sales people believe likability is key to their success. Sounded high. A Harvard Business Review article ”Salespeople Stop Worrying About Being Liked” clarifies the statistic.
“One analysis of 450,000 salespeople found that among elite salespeople — those with the best records — 89% said they do not need to be liked. But among the weakest, 86% said they do need to be liked. And the weaker their sales records, the more likely people were to believe that their ability to make friends is their greatest asset. Customers care far more about the value of what they’re buying than they do about the person selling it to them.” (emphasis added)
At Presentation Excellence, our training focuses on helping clients deliver a compelling presentation of the value that the customer gets from making the purchase. Recognizing that the customer also judges the presenter, how they deliver the presentation and themselves is important, we also address those issues during the training/coaching programs, using role playing, modeling, etc.
Here are6 tips to make you more likable as a leader when you make presentations:
- Make eye contact: it shows that you are interested and engaged with the other person. It also conveys willingness, confidence and trustworthiness.
- Smile: this expresses openness, friendship and trust.
- Lean forward: as you maintain close but appropriate distance, it shows that you’re engaged and confident
- Have good body posture: showing an open and relaxed posture with visible arms that are uncrossed and sitting-up or standing without slouching or fidgeting
- Use facial expressions and head gestures: nodding up and down in a yes motion, sets the tone for being open, engaged and feeling trusted. People want to relate to others who convey warmth, friendliness and confidence.
- Speak clearly, enunciating and pacing yourself: to make the other person feel invited to engage in a conversation.
With a compelling presentation, a speaker who is likable and has executive presence has an excellent chance to win the deal!