Stop caring whether or not someone likes you. Or your business.
Care that they think they are Like You and that people Like Them frequent your business.
I have had this wrong for years.
I realized this week how many people don’t like me. And it doesn’t matter because they still feel like they belong at my business. This is good. It gives me a chance to figure out why there’s a change in the perception of me as a person but not about my business. I can’t wait to learn. And grow.
I also realized there are a lot more people who really really like me and have no idea why. This I attribute to Likability. They at some point found common ground with me, Lemonjello’s, or both. That has lasted and will last unless I do something drastic to change that.
Third. I realized that there are a lot of people I like just because they have been regular customers for months or years. I don’t know that much about them. But because we share a love of coffee and of the Lemonjello’s central hub of community, I assume that I like them. And I do. I really do. That’s reason enough.
Point Being This:
You and whoever else is a face for your business will win followers when they recognize that they are like you and want to support what you’re doing.
They will then invite other people they like to be part of it because they want to be around people like them. Their community. Their peers.
This sparks something we call Word of Mouth advertising.
This is the best kind of advertising.
How do you do this?
Here’s 6 ways to be intentional about creating a culture of likability around yourself and your business.
- Reveal Similarities.
- Exposure & Familiarity.
- A Common Goal, against a Common Enemy.
- Damaging Admission.
Reveal Similarities. This one can be sneaky but doesn’t need to be. The idea is that if you recognize a similarity between yourself and someone (like a customer or potential customer), you should casually bring it up in conversation. By pointing to your similarity, you increase the odds that they will assume you like the same things. The evil side of this is knowing someone’s interest and pretending to have the same interest. But you’ll probably get found out and ruin any future likability. However, if you recognize a similarity, point it out. It’ll help. And maybe you’ll even make a new friend.
Exposure & Familiarity. Do you have a friend that you don’t really know why you’re friends with? They’ve just always been there? Chances are you were around each other enough, perhaps in the same friend group, that you ended up spending more time together. You get more comfortable as you get more familiar. And you end up liking each other more over time. Same with customers. More face time, more exposure, creates a greater sense of familiarity and likability. This one is simple, automatic, and why I recommend new business owners spend a lot of time at the business, at local events, and in other local businesses.
Samesies. This one is also simple. Do you do something the same? This can be as little as wearing the same shirt, having a common friend, going to the same yoga session, buying the same brand of car, being from the same hometown. You name it. Every thing that’s the “same” increases likability.
A Common Goal against a Common Enemy. I don’t think I need to explain this one. If you are in cahoots about the evil ways of X, you will like each other and join forces.
Flattery. When you compliment someone, they like it. Oftentimes, they’ll try to find a way to compliment you back. It’s called balance. And it makes them look for a way to like you. As a point of reference, there are plenty of studies that say this works better on men than women. I would have assumed the opposite. Just thought that was interesting.
Damaging Admission. This isn’t one to use all the time, but it totally works. Admit a minor flaw about yourself. People are constantly feeling guilty and let down by themselves. They’re constantly trying to get better. The realization that you’re also human and that you have areas to grow in will increase likability. Similarly, having a business that’s always trying to improve quality and train staff higher mirrors this human trait.
Okay. Go be likable.
It is the key to the kingdom and it’ll take a whole lot of pressure off you the next time you start to wonder what someone thinks and instead find common ground.