It has been said that all things being equal, people will do business with people they like. This became crystal clear to me some years ago when I was selling meeting services for a large company in the Midwest. We had scheduled a meeting with the Ricoh Corporation, the Japanese copier firm. Upon entering the meeting room we spotted a cake adorned with colorful balloons, which immediately brought us to the assumption that there was a birthday celebration in the works.
As it turned out, their current supplier had just earned an award for creative excellence. This is known in the business as “bad timing.” Our competition was taking bows and patting themselves on the back while we were cooling our heels in the lobby waiting for our turn to speak. As long as we were there, we decided to present our services prior to packing our bags and whining about our bad misfortune.
We presented. We left. We whined
The very next day my phone rang and to our surprise and delight we were awarded the Ricoh account. The business was ours. We stopped whining, politely accepted and began to work on their next meeting without pausing to ask for an explanation.
A year later, after befriending the decision-maker, I managed to gather enough courage to ask the question, “Dan after your current supplier won an award for you, you gave us the business? What’s with that?” (Actually, my New Jersey accent probably kicked in at the time and it sound more like, “Wuts widdat?”)
I will never forget his reply. “Mike,” he said. “That’s an easy question to answer: I didn’t like them.”
Here again was an example of the truth that people actually will do business with people they like. If this is true (and it is true), then it is in your best interest to become more likable in the eyes of your prospects and customers.
So what exactly do people find likeable? Here are seven common traits worth emulating. Likeable people:
- Ask questions, and then listen to the answers.
- Show a genuine interest in what is being discussed at the time.
- Don’t interrupt others in mid-sentence. They pause before speaking.
- Make others feel welcome, comfortable, and important.
- Do what they say they will do without exception, excuse, or needless delay.
- Have a healthy sense of humor; and they are not afraid to laugh at themselves.
- Are always polite, soft-spoken, and well mannered.
There are probably other areas that can be associated with likeable people, but these seven will give you an accurate picture of what I’m talking about.
Mike Marchev has lots more to share with you. Email him today to receive a Special Report titled, “THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GAVE TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS” at email@example.com Be sure to write the word “advice” in the subject box, and while you’re at it, include what you enjoy about reading Mike’s column.