The Law of Liking

I shared this law with my team yesterday at our monthly meeting.

 It was supposed to be a casual errand. I was asked to drop off a document.
I put a call through to the recipient who asked me to wait for him. I waited for about an hour sitting in my vehicle outside his home. When he got back, I met him and his wife. While dropping the document, a conversation ensued.
I discovered he studied engineering. I told him my first degree was in engineering also. Our discussion veered into other areas including business and finance. I observed that the wife listened very keenly, interjecting once in a while.
At a point, the man told me the history behind some of the pictures on his wall. 

As we discussed, a friend of the family visited. I stood up to acknowledge him when he came into the library where we were seated.
Quite an elderly man, I was introduced to him and he gave me his business card. He wanted to share a bottle of wine with his friend and he asked me to join. I respectfully declined. By the time I told the man I would like to take my leave, we had spent about two hours.
He walked me to the door and we still discussed for another thirty minutes. 

When I got home that night, I sent a text to the wife thanking her for the warmth and hospitality.  In less than three weeks, I visited the man four times.
The wife established a business relationship during the period. She then forwarded a link to me introducing her daughter's business. I was actually amazed at the way I was accepted until I learnt the secret during one of my visits.
As I bade the man goodbye that morning, he told me, "I like doing business with people I like". I walked away with the promise of a new business he just got.
It's the Law of Liking. We are all attracted to people we like and we tend to trust then- at least until they prove otherwise. We buy from those we like- sometimes even at a premium. We avoid the business of those we don't like unless it is absolutely necessary.
I usually tell my colleagues that customers have to buy into you first before they buy your products or services. 

If your customers like you, they will almost certainly find a way to patronize you.
To increase your sales conversion rate therefore, you must find a way of getting your prospective client to like you. The same thing applies in other areas of life. If your boss likes you, you'll most likely be able to get a raise or promotion- all other things considered.
The same applies if you're in trouble. You'll be let off with less stiff sanctions if the person who sits in judgment likes you. So let's call this the Likeability Quotient. That's a measure of how much people like you.
From my experience, you meet some people for the first time and you just like them. There are some you meet and for no plausible reason, you're repelled from them. How do you increase your likeability quotient and apply the Law of Liking?
1Find mutual interests

The man is an engineer while I studied mechanical engineering for my first degree. He also knows some of the lecturers who taught me. You should find a way for you and your prospect to 'click'. It can be football. It can be sharing the same club.
If you're a Chelsea fan and you see a Chelsea jersey on your prospect, that's the place to begin your conversation. It's easier to be a fan of each other when you're both fans sharing a mutual interest. Look out for similarities. This could be shared values too.
You may need to carry out a background search before meeting up with the prospect.
2. Watch your comportment and deportment.

Both are not the same. Comportment has to do with your manners and attitude. Most prospects observe you the first time. You're creating an impression with your comportment and first impression lasts longer.
Don't take your seat if you're not asked to. Don't slouch over their sofa. If you're offered wine, take water except it's a social gathering. Listen without interrupting. Put your phone on silent mode. Say thank you. Shake hands firmly. Make eye contact.
Deportment is about your behaviour and physical turnout. Your dressing, shoes, hair cut. Be polite and soft-spoken. Deportment is how you present yourself. Carry yourself well. 

Both comportment and deportment add up to your social graces. Be graceful.
3. Use compliments freely

We all love to be praised and appreciated. Find something good to say about the prospect. If you enter their home, pass a good compliment about something you notice.
The key point here is that you must be sincere with your compliments- a compliment does not equate flattery. Send a thank you note. Show gratitude if a favour is granted. I believe my thank you message worked the first night.
By the way, don't pass compliments on a man's wife or daughter. Know your bounds.
4. Be friendly

This should go without saying. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, says the Good Book. The Easy To Read Version of Proverbs 18:24 says some friends are fun to be with. Be that friend. Smile. Be nice and approachable.
Have a healthy sense of humour. People will want you around them.
5. Do what you promised
This is really how to sustain and increase your likeability quotient. Don't promise and fail. You'll lose your likeability quotient. 

Happy selling.

© Bayo Adeyinka
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