5 Traits of Likeable Salespeople

Cultivate these habits, and you’ll make deeper, more lasting connections with clients. 

Highly likeable sales pros… 

  1. …Put Forward Their Best Self: Afraid that they’ll ruin an opportunity by saying the wrong thing, many sales professionals water down their verbal and email communications. The result? “They come across boring and bland. The paradox is that they end up being not very likable,” says Angelique Rewers, CEO of The Corporate Agent, a business consultancy. Fortunately, there is an antidote: Being your best self. “Let the qualities that your friends love about you shine through to your prospects,” says Rewers. “Ask your trusted friends what qualities they find most endearing about you – as well as which qualities get on their nerves. That’s a good indication of which parts of your personality you want to let shine through to your clients – and which parts you don’t.”

  2. …Make the Client Paramount: Ever been on a date or at a dinner party in which another person talked endlessly about how “awesome” they are? What did you think of that person?…Yeah, exactly. Don’t be that guy. Instead of rambling rhapsodically about what makes you so wonderful, focus your attention on the prospect. Ask intelligent questions that enable you to understand the person, their role and its challenges. Get to know the company, its objectives, image and how it would like to influence its target audience. If you take this approach, clients will like you more, and you’ll be best positioned to deliver ROI. “Never forget: It’s all about the customer, not about yourself, your product or your company,” says Barry Maher, an internationally renowned sales coach who can be found at “This means understanding your customer is far more important than anything else about your business.”

  3. …Are Empathetic: “Work on seeing the world through your clients’ eyes, empathizing with their needs, their problems and their frustrations,” says Maher. When you do this genuinely, you build a deeper, more personal connection with buyers. You communicate that you really care, which distinguishes you, influencing buyers to see you more as a partner, rather than someone trying to take their money. “Think about them as a person first, a prospect second,” says Rewers. “Slow down. Pay attention to details. Stop worrying about closing the deal for a few minutes and instead think about the person you’re doing business with.”

  4. …Project Positivity: Both negativity and positivity are contagious. Whichever you project, others around you will feel. So ask yourself: Does anybody want to do business with someone who bums them out? Of course not. Therefore, it’s important to cultivate a positive mindset. Training yourself to think positively and to be optimistic will make you be those things, even if they don’t come naturally. Once you possess a positive disposition, you’ll exude it to prospects. Buyers will be more inclined to work with you. Your sales will increase.

  5. …Drop the Schtick: Industry jargon, buzzwords and rote questions like “If I can show you a solution to your problem, would you be ready to move forward today?” often have the effect of turning people off, says Rewers. Therefore, delete this irksome language from your interactions with clients. “If a prospect tells you to put away your canned sales presentation, do it,” Rewers says. Furthermore, refrain from talking disparagingly about competitors and others. “And,” says Rewers, “for goodness’ sake, don’t criticize what the client is currently doing. You have no idea how hard they may have worked just to get to the point where they are today.

Read more tips in the Advantages Sales Boost.