If your job is to sell something or lead someone, you have to be liked. Not by everyone, but by most people. And if not by most people, than at least the right people. (Unless you’re Steve Jobs. Or Jack Welch. But enough people had to like them too, at some point.)
In business settings, do most people you meet like you? Why? Is it your good looks? Bubbly personality? Command of the alphabet? Smile? Taste for fine wine?
In a business setting, what are the characteristics that you’re most attracted to you when you meet someone?
It’s important to have an understanding of why people like you and why you like them. By doing so, you have a much better chance of being more likeable and, therefore, making more and better connections. Pretty important if you’re a sales producer or business owner looking to grow a business.
Believe me, I don’t connect with everyone. Not even close. No surprise there! But I do tend to connect with most of the people that I want to connect with — based on their work, attitude and behavior. For those who may not like me, I tend to not like them either. That’s just the way it goes.
It’s difficult to fix the dynamics between those that you must see through family and social obligations. Unfortunately, that exists for everyone. You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family.
But there are some ways for you to be more likeable in business settings.
1. Focus on the other person
Show an interest! Ask great questions about their work. Outside activities. Favorite sports teams. What they do in their spare time. Hobbies. Ask lots of how questions. How did you get started in the manufacturing industry? How did you pick your major in college? How did you train for your marathon? How are you marketing your business? How are you generating referrals? How are you getting your clients?
2. Don’t take too much stage time
Keep your answers short, sweet and to the point. Don’t ramble. Be aware that a conversation is a two-way street and it’s important that there be a steady back and forth. Do you know people that you’re reluctant to talk to because you can’t get a word in edgewise? If not, it could be YOU!
3. Downplay your accomplishments
It’s so easy to brag about that book you’ve written, all the clients you have, the cases you’re working on and all of the success you’ve achieved. I remember meeting someone at an event and when I asked how he was doing he replied, “Playing too much golf and making too much money.” Those who take the time to tell you about their success always make me wonder. I’ve found the most successful business people are humble when talking about their success. Be one of them.
4. Recognize their accomplishments