I have had this debate for the longest time. The longest I could remember. I once asked my former boss what he looked for when hiring new sales representatives.
“Looks, for sure! Skills, second.”
Did I agree? Absolutely NOT! But did I disagree? Well, not completely.
We went on discussing the effects of hiring beautiful and attractive sales people. What is the fascination with beautiful people in sales? According to him, people are just more open and drawn towards talking to them.
The two major things that one must have in order to sell effectively is to gain trust and likability from the prospects. So, if you are drop dead gorgeous, does that mean you have shortcut the sales process of building rapport and getting to know your customers?
Lets take a look at the studies done by the University of British Columbia. According to the research, good-looking people were seen with a lot more normative accuracy. What this means is good looking people are better seen as the trustworthy people, easier to build relationships with and better at communication as a whole.
However, according to the researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the assumption that good looking people sell better are actually pervasive. They found that customers are more concerned of the impression they are giving to the attractive sales rep especially when making an embarassing purchase, rather than focusing on the product itself.
What this means is, while attractiveness is what catches the customers’ attention first, be it to get them into the store or to engage with them in a conversation, the sales representative’s appearance could have a negative effect on the customer’s buying decision and that could be a major drawback.
While these 2 studies came to contradictory conclusions, lets get back to the very basics of what makes a sales rep succesful.
The sales game can be a long process. Finding the people with the money, building rapport, following up and following through, closing the deal and maintaining the relationship. If you don’t have the desire to succeed and the drive to keep going, selling is just not for you.
The sales industry is full of rejections. It is a mental game. A good attitude is what’s going to make the sales rep survive and succeed. At the end of the day, it does not matter how good looking you are, if you don’t keep working towards closing the deals, you just do not get any deal. Period.
It is knowing and having the belief that you are able to accomplish the particular goal. Highly confident people approach difficult tasks as a challenge and not a threat that needs to be avoided.
Top closers do everything with confidence. People have limited control over looks and attractiveness but total control of how they speak, walk, smell and dress. When all is done right, it is one of the simplest ways to elevate confidence and feel competent at once.
In short, what makes a sales team successful is understanding that the Sales DNA wins over good looks or any surface-level traits candidates may posssess. While good looks can win the short term game, it certainly cannot survive over the long course.