Monday, April 29, 2013

Secrets of likeability and persuasion power!

"The idea of a self made man (or woman) is just one big myth"

It is possible to succeed without much help from others.   But that is a slow and painful process and rarely works.   The truth is that our success is most often determined by our interpersonal skills.   We need as many people as possible on our side and as few or better none working against us.   And we need the ability to persuade and influence others to help us reach our goals.

"Given the choice we prefer to do business with those we like"

Likeable traits such as honesty, dependability, respect cannot be just turned on and off.   Others are watching and if they see that you are nice when you want something and then dismissive to those who can do nothing for you, they form a negative opinion of you.  Sometimes all it takes is one person bad mouthing you behind your back to destroy an opportunity for you.

How can I improve my likeability and ability to persuade?

Seek the similarities

The more we have in common with someone the more likeable they think they are.   Every similaritiy counts.....

* are you from the same town
* do you cheer for the same team
* do you enjoy the same sports
* do you like the same movies, books or music
* do you like the same activities
* do you have kids the same age

The list could go on endlessly but you get the idea.    Find some similarities and your odds of being liked go up.   And as your likeability goes up so does your ability to persuade and influence.  

Mirror the other person

Mirroring the other person creates trust and comfort with you.   Here are some ways to mirror another person...

* mirror their body movements (make sure to pause 2-4 seconds before you mimic their movement or you'll be perceived as disingenuous.
* mirror voice...including pace, volume, vocabulary, expressions and tone

Mirroring is something lovers and close friends do quite naturally.   So when you mirror someone they start to feel that you have a connection with them.   Their resistance drops, they get comfortable with you and are open to your suggestions. 

The Power of Touch

Yes I realize this is a touchy subject (pun intended).  But humans crave touch.  We frequently seek touch from those we like.   Understanding how to use touch can increase your likeablility and your persuasion powers. 

Their is a safe zone for touch which is from the shoulder to the hand.    A hug or arm around the shoulders or waist is only appropriate with someone you already have a relationship with.  

How to use touch..

Warm up your hand when possible before shaking hands.   My favorite trick is hold a hot coffee in my hand.   That way when you shake hands your hand will be nice and warm.   You've heard the expression warm hands = warm heart.   Well psychologically that is exactly the message that gets conveyed.

Touch and request..

A manager who puts his hand on an employees shoulder and then asks him to do something has just drastically increased the odds that the job will get done quicker and better.    He is also creating a bond between himself/herself and the employee.  Likeability goes up as does respect.   We like those who seem to like us.   It's powerful stuff if used properly

Another variation is to make a request while shaking hands.  For instance, a salesperson might shake hands with a client and at the same time say something like this.....Thanks for giving me some of your time,  would you mind if I called your again next week Bill?    It is very difficult to say no to a request when you are making physical contact with another person. 

It is very persuasive to use their name

This is the simpliest and yet proably one the most persuasive techniques you can use.   We love hearing our name spoken.   So start and end every conversation with a persons name.   When you use this method I guarantee you will notice a slight difference in the other person.   Your name is you!   So when you use another persons name frequently you are recognizing them as a person.   Powerful stuff for managers, sales staff and anyone who wants to persuade another.  

Remember....close with their name!   Whether it is a conversation, an email, letter or text end with the persons name.   You don't need to sign an email off with your name, they know who you are.   Instead close a conversation or email with something like this....I appreciate your time and I'll look forward to talking to you again Dan!

Have some fun...

It takes a lot of mental energy being around people who are too serious.   It is draining.   We seek and love levity.   Yes, there are times when we need to be serious but those are rare.   We love being around and doing business with those who are light hearted.   So have some fun!

I have lots more I could say but as Mark Twain said....a good talk (or article)  should be like a womans dress.   Long enough to cover the main points and short enough to maintain interest.   (sorry ladies I couldn't resist)

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