Never forget the Likeability Factor when providing a service

In the field of influence and persuasion, Dr Cialdini  (pronounced Chilldini) is the most quoted social psychologist in the world today. And he talks a lot about the importance of being likeable when going about our business. Whether you’re a surgeon, a mountain guide or a receptionist, you need to influence people to like you and like the ‘brand’ you represent, as an individual and as an embodiment of the organisation and its values.

For example, for all you surgeons out there who are reading this blog, research in the US found that surgeons with a good bedside manner were considerably less likely to be sued than those who failed to connect with their patients. And it makes sense. If we start off well, working on the relationship before we even think about doing the deal, we are creating the most important groundwork for any business. But what constitutes likeability?

Well, according to Robert Cialdini, when we’re looking at the art of communications, we tend to like and trust people with whom we have some common bond. Anything can create that bond, that sense of similiarity, from discovering that you’re both smokers to a shared interest in a particular sport. The second factor that can help even the most strained relationships is to give praise – that is specific and sincere praise – to show you value what the other person values.

Action Point

If you want to win friends and influence people, work on increasing their liking of you and your brand.
Look for points of similarity – a shared interest or connection
Find real and sincere reasons to praise – even when dealing with negative feedback about you or your brand. For example, you could praise the person for letting you know about the problem because this is giving you a chance to fix it and make sure the customer is happy.

Now, how hard is that!