Interested people are more interesting.
Building strong connections through conversations is one of the most valuable skills a business owner can ever have.
As we continue our Creating and Elevated Environment in Hospitality, we are going to continue exploring all of the different avenues that can help you reach your full potential as a business or as a successful person working in any area of life. I designed this series to not only give you the tools you need to expand your potential, either in the service industry or in whatever industry you’re working in, but to give you practical steps and actions to propel you forward right now, too. I learned something really important from one of my pastors 20 years ago that I still live by all these years later. He told me that there’s essentially no point in offering anyone advice if you don’t have any practical information that they can use at that very moment. If you can’t do something immediately to start making changes, you can’t really expect much in the way of change at all. I wanted to outline the context of every piece of advice I will give you and how it will benefit you down the road while also giving you things you can incorporate into your life right now, today, that will help you achieve your goals.
In the last section, we talked about how to create an open and honest environment for your staff and clients. The environment and atmosphere you create is going to dictate the way your business runs. If you establish an environment where people don’t feel comfortable enough to speak up for the things they want and need, you will find yourself without very many positive client-relationships and without a strong and reliable team to help you achieve your goals. We talked about the ways to actively create a loving and open environment through non-physical, physical, and verbal communication and how each of those things are going to play a huge role in establishing lasting connections with other people.
It’s not just how you act, though, that draws people in and helps to build relationships. There’s also the fact that if you want people to enjoy your company, you have to be an enjoyable person. Most people are pretty good at picking up really subtle signals about the people they interact with and making judgements based on that intuition. In fact, that saying, “first impressions are lasting,” isn’t a bunch of mumbo jumbo. People read into you and your character within the first few minutes of meeting you and form a solid judgement of you. It’s a lot more difficult to change someone’s opinion than it is to work toward giving off a better first impression next time.
Especially in a business setting, the way that people see you is incredibly important. The reality of the hospitality industry and the service industry is that people are doing business with other people, not businesses. What I mean by that is people are forming connections and exchanging services, ideas, and compensation with the people they trust, not with a faceless conglomerate. If you want to improve your business and better yourself in your industry, you have to work on yourself before you can start making big changes to your business practices. One of the best ways I’ve found to improve the quality of the connections and relationships you’re making, whether it’s with clients, staff, or whoever you’re talking to, is to work on making yourself all-around more likable.
Being a charismatic and likable person is something anyone in the service industry knows is crucial to success. If you are or have ever been a server, you understand the importance of getting customers to like you. How enjoyable you are as a person directly translates to how much you’re going to get paid, so if you’re in a bad mood and not taking care of your guests as well as you should, you’re probably walking away with little more than nothing. The same thing extends to sales and business. The more people like you and the easier you are to talk and connect with, the more likely you are to make more frequent and even higher sales.
“How do I become more likable?” Well, once you start paying attention, it’s not that hard. Even if people tend to generally have a good opinion of you, there is always room to grow. I won’t leave you hanging, I’ve got a few tips that can help to guide you in the right direction in giving yourself a more inviting presence that will make people want to know you more and do business with you. Being able to leave strong, lasting impressions on people is going to give you more clientele in the long run because people that like you are going to recommend you and your services to their friends, and then those friends are going to recommend you to their friends and so on and so forth.
Putting Energy Into Being More Likable
Making people want to do business with you.
There are a few tips I have for making yourself have a bit more charisma when interacting with other people. Not everyone is born with an exuberant amount of charm, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to be unliked by others. These tips revolve around having a strong awareness of self and being able to think about and alter your behavior in the moment, so if this isn’t something you’re strong in, work toward drawing more awareness of your behaviors around other people before trying these things.
People want to be heard. We talked about in the previous section that everyone has an innate need to be loved, heard, and appreciated, and how that can be utilized in a business setting. You don’t have to be manipulative in how you interact with clients or staff, but knowing the impact of how to communicate can be really useful in forming better relationships.
Use the skills we mentioned in Express Your Love Openly to show people that you are attentively listening to what they have to say. If you’re putting a lot of effort and attention toward listening, you’re going to pick up talking points and topics that can be used to lengthen your conversation time. Reference what you’re picking up in the conversation and establish a common interest. Longer conversations are often signs of stronger connections, and stronger connections are what is going to bring you and your business closer to success. Remember, interested people are more interesting.
Eye contact is another really important form of communication, which is why it’s worth bringing up again. Strong eye contact is key to letting people know you care about what they have to say. It’s like saying, “I’m here with you” without saying it out loud. You don’t want to be easily distracted and looking around the room or at their clothes, or even checking notifications on your phone or watch. All of these little glances away from the other person are telling them they are not important enough to you to deserve your full attention. That’s definitely not something you want your clients or team members thinking at any point during your relationship. These people are directly responsible for your livelihood, so treat them like it.
People like to talk. Most people want to feel heard and want to be listened to. If you give them a chance, they will probably share a lot with you no matter the circumstance. If you’re being attentive during conversations, you’ll pick up on topics that can be expanded further. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questions are going to give the other person the opportunity to share more of themselves with you, making you feel like a more approachable person in an inviting and comfortable environment. The more someone is willing to share with you, the more connected to you they are going to feel. The more connected they feel, the stronger that trust becomes, making you more likely to be recommended to others.
Alongside asking questions to show your attentiveness, another way to indicate that you are prioritizing this person is to give compliments. You don’t have to be putting too much thought into these compliments. Something as simple as, “you have been a pleasure to talk to,” or “you’ve really made my day a lot more enjoyable,” is enough to make anyone feel appreciated. Do your best to sound genuine, or better yet, push yourself to be more genuine. Find something you truly appreciate about this person and bring it to their attention. Odds are, they will feel gratitude and feel more inclined to talk with you again.
Use Their Names
One of the most effective ways to make people like talking and interacting with you is by using their names in conversation. It’s not something you find very often anymore, and it’s a shame. People love to feel acknowledged in whatever ways they can. Even in a one-on-one conversation, addressing someone by their name can be an indication of “I value you and your input.” It’s a sign of appreciation and respect that is bound to help people lower their guards enough to build a trusting relationship with you and your business.
Support the People Around You
Leaving a good, lasting impression is key to establishing a healthy network.
Everyone wants to feel heard, seen, and appreciated. Help them feel validated in this and they will want to spend more and more time with you. The #1 thing people want to talk about is themselves. Their opinions, interests, whatever it is, so give them an opportunity to do this and you’ll notice how much more comfortable people feel around you. This is how you make yourself into a more likable person so that you can form deeper and more long-lasting relationships for your business. Remember, all of these things can be applied to areas of life outside of work, too, but are really great for anyone trying to expand their network and reach their full potential in life.
There are still so many more important skills and ideas that I want to share, so make sure to visit the original series introductory article and review every part of this series as it continues.
I would love to answer any questions you may have.
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