Making Your Personal Likeability Your Biggest Business Asset
When you’re in business for yourself, especially as a professional services provider, it’s evident that people do business with other people – not with a product, not with a service. They do business with YOU.
Of course, you need to provide something that they need and deliver quality at a fair price, but they’re only part of the buying equation. Bigger is the relationship component. All other things relatively equal, people will do business with you instead of your competitors because they like you.
Don’t underestimate the likeability factor. Don’t dismiss it as icing on the cake. As a solopreneur, it can be one of your biggest assets.
What being likeable means
Maybe it’s best to start with what likeability doesn’t mean. Being likeable doesn’t mean that you agree with everyone all the time. It doesn’t mean that you give your service or product away for next to nothing. It doesn’t mean that EVERYONE will think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. And it doesn’t require that you’re innately an extrovert.
It does mean that you exhibit personality traits that draw most people to you. It’s about being genuine – and genuinely caring about other people.
Ways to boost your reading on the Likeability Meter
- Be yourself – You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so don’t try. Be real. People can spot a fake a mile away. But…
- Be nice! – When you’re having a bad day, making it a bad one for everyone around you won’t make it better. Just be honest if you’re not at the top of your emotional game. No need to share the intimate details, but let others know that you’re struggling and are operating at less than optimum. They’ll understand and respect your candor.
- Lend a hand – Literally or figuratively, helping a client or prospective client with something that they hadn’t expected you to will generate a ton of good will. It could be pointing them to a resource to solve a problem or question, offering advice (when asked) on a business process, or offering to help them move into their new office.
- Show your support on social media – Go beyond just “liking” someone’s Facebook Page and following them on Twitter, interact with them. Don’t go overboard and “like” every post or retweet every tweet, but regularly check out what they’re sharing and make it known - via comments and sharing with your audience - when you find something interesting or helpful. What business owner doesn’t love it when someone acknowledges that her/his social media efforts are noticed and appreciated?
Being likeable can do wonders for attracting new clients, maintaining those you already have, and gaining referrals from others in the business community. Make it work for your business!
What other ways can you demonstrate your personal likeability through – and for the success of – your business?