Customers prefer to do business with people they like

In business, and also our personal lives, making people like you is very important. Anywhere in life, if people like you, they are more willing to help.

From a business perspective we know that customers prefer to do business with people they like, and, why wouldn’t they? It makes a lot of logical sense. Likability also affects and influences careers. All career opportunities come through other people, and people give opportunities to the people they like.

The classic book by Dale Carnegie, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ lists six ways to help make a person likeable:

  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Smile
  • Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about them-selves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important –and do it sincerely.

In a study conducted at UCLA on likeability the top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).

Likeable people also:

  • Put away their phones – Nothing is as big a turn off as when the person you are speaking to is more interested in playing with their phone.
  • Are Genuine – Being sincere and honest is essential, nobody likes a fake.
  • Don’t pass judgment – Nobody really wants your opinions unless they ask for them (and even then, not very often).
  • Are consistent and reliable.

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