In fact, why it is important to be likeable if you want to be in sales

I have a sister who has been in sales for as long as I could remember. According to her however, she wasn’t a good salesperson, and selling wasn’t really her cup of tea. But somehow or rather, she seems to be really popular among her customers. And most importantly, she would bring her company big sales orders from her customers which kept her employers happy. What I found especially strange was that whenever she moved to a new company, her existing customers seemed to follow her. They bought whatever product she was selling, no matter which company she was working for, even if this meant they had to change product makes or brand names.

Then one day she told me that her customers didn’t buy from her because of her amazing selling skills, or outstanding product knowledge, or her Jedi mind-trick persuasiveness – all of which she didn’t really have she admitted. Instead they bought from her because of her personality. Which made a lot of sense because she is quite the charmer, always friendly, sincere and pleasant. This had won her many friends, even when she was in school.

I remember when I was about 14 I asked her how did she get to be so popular in school, and her answer was, “I smile at everyone”. So I followed her advice, and that year, I got over a hundred Raya cards from kids in school, most of whom I didn’t even know. I stopped smiling soon after thought, it wasn’t my thing, and suffice to say that my popularity dwindled very quickly, and so did the number of Raya cards I received the following year.

But enough with my story, let’s talk about why likeability matters – especially when you are in sales. Why? Well that’s because your success depends on it. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want to buy anything from someone you didn’t like now would you? Unless you had no other choice that is. But in this insurance industry, I can assure you that there are choices, plenty of choices in fact.

If you aren’t convinced that the likeability factor plays a major role in your success as an insurance agent, maybe we should look at why we believe it does.


How the likeability factor helps you as an insurance agent

1. If you are liked, referral comes easier

Customers are likely to introduce you to their friends and family members when they are asked to recommend an insurance agent. And if you are a really good agent, they might even be singing your praises when doing so. More referrals means more prospects, more prospects means more sales.


2. If you are liked, getting appointments become easier

People generally enjoy spending time with people they like. So when a customer receives a call from you for a meeting, they would likely be happy to accept if they like you.  And also, people have a tendency to oblige to the request of those whom they like. Getting appointments with new prospects could become easier as you may have a good reputation already, and prospects will be more favorable towards you.

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” Ben Franklin


3. If they don’t like you, they wouldn’t buy from you

“All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.” – Mark McCormack

If prospects don’t like you, it is pretty safe to say that the rest of your efforts to establish yourself as the right agent for them matters very little. In an industry as competitive as this one, where sometimes it feels like there are more agents than there are interested clients, you really can’t afford to have a reputation for being unlikeable. Besides, how many times have you found yourself purchasing something you don’t quite need at the supermarket just because the salesperson was too sweet and friendly to say no to? This is because to most people, it is easier to turn down a product than it is to turn down a person.


4. Likeability leads to trust, and trust leads to long lasting relationships

It is easier for someone to trust a person they like, than someone they don’t. And trust is one of the most important ingredients to a long lasting relationship with your clients. In insurance and many other industry, your relationship with your clients are usually long term. It is therefore important to ensure that you maintain a great relationship with all your clients.


5. You gain insights into real needs

The more a person likes you, the easier it is to trust you. And the more they trust you, the easier it becomes for them to open up, and share their pain points or problems with you. And when you gain insights into their real problems, you immediately have an advantage over the other sellers. Having this insights means you have a better understanding at your client’s needs. And this allows you to provide the solution that is best catered to their situation.


6. You are taken seriously

Likeable people generally get more respect and trust. And when they are respected and seen as being trustworthy, their words seem to carry more weight too. So if you have the likeability factor, you will find that people are more open to your ideas and advice. This facilitates your job as an insurance agent whose main task is to offer solution and add value to your clients.


The likeability factor alone does not guarantee your success as an insurance agent. However it is a major contributing factor as to why people buy from you. As you have read in this article, there are many perks to being likeable which not only make your job easier but also open doors of opportunity to gaining more sales. In our coming article, we will cover more on this topic and provide a list of traits of highly likeable people. In the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter or Like our Facebook page to get the latest blog articles.


Did you know that iBanding provides a directory for Malaysian Insurance and Takaful agents? Click here to learn more about our directory.


Written by: Miss Mish, iBanding Staff Writer  – still perfecting the art of smiling 



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