Robert Cialdini’s marketing tactics in “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” tells us you are more likely to say “yes” to someone you like. Yes, that’s common sense. It doesn’t take a marketing consultant or someone with years of sales training to tell you that. But what many haven’t mastered yet is how to have someone like you. That’s why you’ll see many people curling on a coach, watching a movie for one, or those who found their special someone may find themselves spending time trying to avoid arguments, rather than sharing a gelato masked in some fancy Italian name. It’s no wonder that How To Win Friends and Influence People became a number one on the best seller list and remained on the list for ten years straight, even outselling the bible!
The Third Face to Persuasion is the Law of Liking
We’re strongly influenced by people who we like; liking someone builds trust and you tend to believe them more often. The simple math is that we like to do business with people we enjoy being around, or feel are “just like us.” It’s about establishing rapport, which means an employee-employer relationship is more important than ever, if you want to achieve goals in the workplace. This means developing a social network within your work environment.
How likeable are you to your team and co-workers? Are you approachable, optimistic, trustworthy and a person of integrity? Psychological tactics applied by successful salespeople include mirroring – from finding common backgrounds and interests down to speech and body language. Salespeople using these tactics can build rapport to a much deeper level, improve and accelerate the sales process. We all get along with someone whose values, beliefs and assumptions match up with us (Perhaps you might even pretend to root for the boss’s footy team around grand final, but secretly hang your team’s colours around your neck and cheer for your team by a television in the basement!).
When it comes to brand building and marketing tactics, customer insight is the key to reaching this rapport. If you’re targeting teenagers, you can use the same language or jargon as them – but without looking like you’re trying too hard! Likewise, finding information on a target market can tap into a prospect or customer’s deepest hopes or fears. When it comes to choosing brands, just like we do with people, we choose those we feel most connected to, those we like more and those brands that reflect to us our beliefs and values.
Of course, another dimension is that people like others that make them feel good. The easiest and most overlooked way to do this is to compliment people. We’re all suckers for flattery so compliment when you can, but make sure you are authentic in your praise. Complimenting fulfils two of our most important needs – the need to be recognised and the need to feel loved. Praising people for their efforts will also means that you will be more appreciated and respected in the workplace, or within personal relations. Of course, this links back to the Law of Reciprocity where people are more likely to “return the favour” in the future.
What people don’t realise is that complimenting others will enhance your own well-being as well. By focusing on other people’s needs and desires, rather than on yourself, you can improve your self-esteem by perceiving yourself as a thoughtful and kind person. Likewise, complimenting will naturally lift others’ self-esteem and in turn, boost productivity.
As the need to be liked goes down to the core of the coveted feeling of belonging, it is no wonder that Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People” is still as applicable today as it was 80 years ago.
Below is a list of his Six Ways to Make People Like You:
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Perhaps nice guys can finish first.