Law of Persuasion: Is Likeability Really Important in Business?

Technical whiz kids, scientists, and others professionals focus on increasing their skills:  the goal is to be an expert in their chosen field.  While education and expertise are important, researchers now insist that more is needed for success.  The highest levels of achievement come to those who mix expertise with likeability.

Research studies consistently reveal that people respond positively to others whom they like.  People prefer to do business with and to buy products from people they like.  Mitch Anthony, author of Selling with Emotional Intelligence,puts it succinctly, “Likeability is as important as ability.” 

While you may not officially be in sales, you must sell your ideas, your credibility, and your recommendations every day.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Accept the fact that developing likeability is an important success strategy.
  •  Find and mention the points of contact or similarity you have with others.
  • Learn to listen respectfully and to demonstrate an open mind.
  • Engage in small courtesies and expressions of appreciation, regardless of the other person’s formal status.      
  • Learn to keep gossip, unkind words, and disparaging remarks unsaid.
  •  Take time to laugh with others.
  • Choose a likeability mentor—observe and learn from someone who excels in likeability.
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2 Responses to Law of Persuasion: Is Likeability Really Important in Business?

  1. Bonnie thanks for pointing this out. It’s proof that nice guys finish first. Regardless of the scientific evidence it feels better to be likeable especially when we can be authentically likeable without compromising our values.

  2. Jim Tudor says:

    Great post Bonnie ! Being likeable is an essential element in the formula for success. My motto is ” treat everyone with respect and you will have an outstanding total effect”.

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