You know the people… you meet them and you like them instantly. That “likeable” quality seems innate, but if you consider those encounters more closely, you’ll find key behaviors that are easy to adapt, instantly increasing your own likeability:
Be Eager. Make sure your body language communicates your eagerness to engage new people. Direct eye contact is a given. Step or lean forward to shake hands. A slight nod of the head shows deference, respect.
Be Interested. There is a saying… “If you want to be interesting, be interested.” When you meet new people, focus on learning about them (versus sharing your own impressive qualities). Did you think Exploratory Skills were just for identifying customer GAPs? Asking questions is the best way to communicate genuine interest in a new acquaintance and make a genuine, personal connection.
Be Impressed. We like people who make us feel good about ourselves, not those who point out the ways in which they are superior to us. Resist that competitive streak! One-upsmanship will cause you to lose the war on the likeability front. Always let the other guy/gal win!
Be Vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to admit a weakness – it can make you more approachable to new acquaintances, and in turn make them feel more comfortable around you. Obviously, you need to be judicious about which weakness you reveal – make sure it is not overly personal or tied to your professional performance.
Think of the last person you met whom you instantly liked. Chances are they made you feel comfortable and in some way they made you feel good about yourself. In the sales profession, likeability can be the difference between getting the business or walking away empty handed.