One of the more difficult aspects of sales is keeping a positive attitude in the face of constant rejection, pressure, and even rudeness. It takes practice, or a special type of personality, to be able to brush off setbacks and push on undeterred.
Salespeople are taught that the customer is mostly always right, and we’re trained to be nice to all prospects and customers.
But is it possible to be too nice to customers in sales?
There are plenty of salespeople who are quite successful while being respectful to their prospects without necessarily being nice. On the other hand, there are also plenty of salespeople who seem to worship the ground their customers walk on, and also do quite well.
So it’s worth exploring whether, and more importantly, when a salesperson can be too nice to their customers.
You Can Never be Too Nice to Your Customers
In most cases, you can never be too nice to your customers. We live in a fast-paced and abrupt world. Everyone has so much on their plate that most people don’t take the time to be truly nice to the people they’re talking to. This is exacerbated in business situations. Competing interests, pressure, and stress can cause many interactions to be less cordial and enjoyable than they could be.
For this reason, being nice is always a good choice. You will stick out in the customer’s mind, make it more likely that they’ll do business with you, and even send you referral business in the future. When in doubt, always choose to be nice…
…Except in the Following Situations
There are, however, three situations where being too nice might not be a good thing, and might even cost you deals.
1. Over-faking Your Niceness
The first situation is when being too nice crosses over into being obnoxious or fake. It’s one thing to be nice and polite and friendly. It’s another to put on a transparent act, which can come off as disingenuous. This can make the customer call your trustworthiness into question.
Some customers also don’t want to talk to someone who they think is kissing up to them. So make sure you don’t cross the line into obnoxiousness when you’re being nice to your customers. Be nice, but be yourself.
2. Allowing Customers To Walk All Over You
The other situation where being too nice might not be a good thing is if you allow customers to walk all over you. Sales is tricky. You need to earn the customer’s trust but also push them to a decision. If you’re too nice, you risk not being taken seriously enough by the customer to get hard and definitive answers to your questions.
Customers may mean well, but there are plenty who will string you along without any intention of buying. They may just being polite and you’re being too (what you consider) nice. Be polite and friendly, but don’t be afraid to push the customer to a decision and hold them accountable.
3. Only Selling to People it’s Easy to be Nice to
There’s one other pitfall that may result from being too nice; only selling to people it’s easy to be nice too. We naturally want to talk to people that we like. But, some salespeople unintentionally make the mistake of reaching out to the prospects they enjoy talking to, instead of the ones that are most likely to become closed deals. And by picking a conversation that’s easy to have instead of one that might be a bit harder, some salespeople are expending their energies in the wrong places.
Of course, you can use a tool like Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM to help remind you to call the prospects that are most likely to close, instead of the ones that you simply enjoy talking to. But make sure you understand the difference yourself when planning out your day.
So always be nice, but never too nice, or you might end up with a lot of friends instead of a lot of deals.
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