No matter what business you think you are in, you are in the people business. And the more people like you, the better and easier life becomes.
It’s that simple. Likeability can get you where you want to go – whether it’s a promotion at work, election to a political office, building a wonderful circle of friends … it applies to nearly every facet of life.
Likeability is crucial in the sales game because people buy from people they like. People like people who are genuine, pleasant, sincere, easy to talk with and friendly.
You can’t please everyone, as the saying goes, but you’ll do better on the job – and in your life – by being likable. Since most of us spend more than a third of our lives at work, it’s important to be likeable, which will allow us to be more successful.
“Likeability is a skill – something we all universally can work on getting better at,” wrote Robit Bhargava in his book, “Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior and Inspiring Action.”
Bhargava focusses on five main principles for businesses to be liked, and he uses the acronym TRUST – Truth, Relevance, Unselfishness, Simplicity and Timing.
Don’t confuse likeability with niceness. Nice people will try to make you feel better and protect your feelings, but likeable people tell the truth. A perfect example is Steve Jobs, a well-known tough-love truth-teller. He was blunt and transparent, which instilled trust among those who worked with him. And the people closest to him were passionately devoted to him because they knew he would be straight with them.
That holds true for co-workers and customers alike. Your customers have easy access to plenty of information about you, your products and services, comparative pricing, and your reputation. Trust is fundamental to being likeable.
Simplicity is critical to developing likeability. Using plain language helps your message to be understood. Big words might sound impressive, but if they leave your audience wondering if they know what you were talking about . . . well, there’s not much to like about that.
When co-workers and friends enjoy your conversation and companionship, they’ll be more eager to help you achieve your professional and personal goals. You can boost your overall “likeability” by focusing on these areas:
And if you need a little boost after you put all those strategies to the test, here’s one last idea that I’ve heard works wonders: clean out the office refrigerator! You will immediately move up the likeability scale!
Mackay’s Moral: Improve your likeability, improve your life.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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