Go out to Google right now and search for “People do business with people that they like” and then stand back.
You’ll find 1.25 million results, and there is a broad range of opinions on both sides of the argument.
Here’s what we know to be true: we can’t name one wholesaler who is at the top of their game that got there by being unlikeable.
Loveable? Perhaps not. Likeable? Absolutely.
So what are the traits that make for a most likeable wholesaler?
If you were to hold a mirror up to the following attributes, how would you fare?
Empathetic: Being empathetic allows you to live for a moment in the shoes of the client and their practice.
It means that you take the time to develop an understanding for the inner working of the advisor’s business so you may determine how to best serve them.
It also means that you are attuned to their personal travails as the relationship deepens.
Responsive: How many business relationships do you let into your life that involve unresponsive people?
Our guess is not many.
In fact, we’ll bet that you have parted company with a vendor or service provider when they have failed to meet your standard of responsiveness.
With all the choices available to the advisor, why should they be any different?
In a hyper-connected world, the notion of even 24 hour turnaround for returning calls seems to fall short.
Advocative: People that have your back are people that people like.
Are you an advocate for your clients when it comes to fighting the good fight, say on a home office decision that didn’t go in the advisor’s favor even though the case appeared strongly in their favor?
Click to Tweet this quote!: People that have your back are people that people like. via @shorespeak http://ctt.ec/5AR0d+
Chameleon-like: One of the all-time requirements for great wholesalers is the ability to form relationships with a wide range of advisors.
This includes your ability to form a working relationship even with those folks that, frankly, you don’t like.
No, you don’t have an obligation to put up with abusive clients, but finding common business ground with the broadest array of sellers can only inure your value to them, which will benefit you.
Well-mannered: One client of ours stresses the importance of the seemingly simple act of being a gentleman/woman.
He told us about the all too often overlooked notion of treating others as you wish to be treated.
Ever heard of the expression “mind your p’s and q’s”?
While the origin of the expression has different theories, the one that connects to our business suggests that it was borne out of English pub owners reminding clients to watch their alcohol consumption – to mind their pints and quarts.
Vulnerable: The notion of vulnerability evokes different meaning for different wholesalers.
To some it’s an unthinkable characteristic because it can be associated with weakness.
Conversely, great wholesalers know that letting their superman/woman guard down just enough to show their more human side has powerfully alluring qualities to many prospects and clients.
Here are three examples of vulnerability in action:
- Your ability to say, “I don’t know. I’ll need to get back to you with an answer.”
- Having selectively personal discussions with reps about challenges or obstacles – with ‘selectively’ being the operative word.
- Allowing advisors to learn more about you via a social media channel that has more personal interaction (rather than solely business interactions), i.e. Facebook.
Optimistic: Who doesn’t get dragged down by the endless pessimist?
Those influences in our lives that constantly find only the negative and are rarely willing to find the positive are vampires that suck the life out of us.
Why then should we expect our clients to develop an affinity for us if pessimism is our m.o.?
In that 30-60 minute window of time that you have to spend with an advisor, do your best to be the bright spot in their day – they have enough of their own issues without living in yours.
Straight-shooter: How’s your b.s. detector?
Chances are your reps have as finely tuned a b.s. detection devise as you.
Then why is it that so many wholesalers insist on bluffing, dancing or cajoling their way through a tough situation when the simple act of shooting straight is so much more effective and attractive?
Dependable: If we have said it once, we have said it a million times, “Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.”
This may sound easy to do while you read it here, but it is actually far less easy to achieve in day-to-day business.
The good news is that you have the ability to control both sides of the statement.
You can make decisions about what you commit to do and you have complete control over when you have committed to making it happen.
Humble: Part of the DNA of all great wholesalers has to do with their egos.
However, some wholesalers have a DNA strand that is misaligned.
They are compelled to place themselves before all others, to sing (shout?) their own praises, and to generally bore others with their own self-aggrandizement.
Quiet humility and the supreme confidence of knowing your own success will always lead others to you.
So, how likeable are you?