You can listen by following this link or read here this weeks podcast. The L in Glue – Likeability.
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Last episode I introduced you to the anagram GLUE G.L.U.E.for making sure that your client and customers stick with you through thick and thin. Over these four episodes I will be sharing with you how you can ensure that your message sticks with your new client, that they stick with you because you are the kind of person people want to stick with.
Building and retaining a strong client or customer base is imperative to any business whether it is big or small, corporate or retail, new or old. Your clients are the life blood of your business success. Without clients no business will survive.
The last episode I discussed genetics and the impact that genetics will have on how well you relate to the people that you meet in business and socially. Of all of the 4 elements of the G.L.U.E. series, genetics is one which you have the least impact on. What I mean by that is that in most cases you are genetically who you are and therefore there is very little you can do to alter how you appear to others. I have managed to give you 4 or 5 elements that are easy to work on and adapt as well as some simple strategies to manage those elements of your own genetic makeup that is near impossible to change.
This is the second G.L.U.E. podcast discussing with you the letter L that stands for like-ability. Like-ability is the art of connecting and creating instant rapport with the client. Like-ability is instantaneous. For many people it may be just a gut feeling that they get. But if you were to break it down like-ability is based on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Recently I was in the position of needing to find a real estate agent to sell some property. I’ve been working with real estate agents for some years now so I looked at this exercise as both a vendors and as a trainer. I was interested to experience the process as someone on the other side. I knew what I was looking for in an agent, I knew how markets worked and I knew how agents would. So for me in this instance I was appreciating the experience from a research kind of aspect. In that I knew that the property would only ever be worth what someone was willing to pay for it, but how the agents were going to entice me to trust them was what I found extremely interesting. In fact I mention this because it was the one with like-ability and the one that I had rapport with that I gave my business to.
This experience was completely different to the time I was looking at purchasing a car many years ago. In this instance. I knew what I was trading in and I knew exactly the car I wanted to purchase. It was a purely financial decision when I chose the dealer who I eventually made the deal with. In one day I went to 5 dealers – showed them my car, told them exactly what I wanted to purchase and asked them what it was going to cost me. I had no interest in the trade-in figure or the purchase price of the new car. Purely interested in what would come out of my pocket and the dealer that gave me the best figure got my business. It was most disconcerting to some dealers, but I got the best deal at the end of the day. I don’t buy and sell cars personally often enough to be loyal to a brand or a dealer. Sorry guys.
This was not the case at all when it came to selling my house. This was a time when like-ability, for me, was a major contributing factor in my decision making. And I found it fascinating as an observer watching steps that were made in the right direction and those that completely shut down any opportunity in my mind of doing business with some agents. I’ll explain how later.
When I talk about like-ability the 1st element of like-ability is rapport. When there is no rapport it is difficult to scale the fence and make a sale. Rapport comes in many angles. Historically you may have heard about creating rapport through matching and mirroring the body language of your client or customer. This is a very simple way to get in rapport with someone but this will not work at all if you are not communicating the client’s values back to them.
This is where you start. When I’m getting to know a new coaching client I start by understanding what their values are. Some people may see this as manipulating the person. For me understanding someone’s values makes it really easy for me to communicate with them at a level that is important to them. It helps to be speaking the same language. These values or linguistic markers help to put your client or customer at ease as you are speaking with them. When I’m coaching there are 19 internal values I elicit to fully understand my client however when I’m getting to know someone quickly there are really only 3 that I’m concerned with. So I’m going to share those with you now as I believe knowing how someone feels or thinks in relation to these 3 personal values will make all the difference in the future when you’re communicating with someone whom you don’t know well that you would like to do business with.
I like start with how someone relates to the rest of the world. In its most simplest form they are either the kind of person who likes to be the same as everyone else who feels most comfortable when they know they doing what the general consensus is. The person who takes comforts in knowing that others before them have done the identical thing or are they the kind of person who does not want to be lumped in with the masses. For myself when I’m taking a client shopping I need to know this because I want to know when I pick up the garment that I think is ideal for them do they want to know if everyone is wearing it or do they value originality. If you’re speaking to someone who values being different or maybe should we say individuality or originality then telling them that what they are about to everyone else is doing has done or will be joining will lose their interest immediately. For me when it came to selling my house the minute I was told that I was the same as everybody else in my suburb the deal was shot. Those of you that know me will know that I have really done anything in my life because everyone else was doing.
It is important, no it is imperative to understand how your client or customer sees himself in the grand scheme of things. Because if you’re working with someone who loves to feel like they are part of the crowd, that they are doing what everyone else is doing, they want to know that the decisions are making the same decisions that other people have made. That will give them comfort.
Now if you are dealing with someone who values their individuality and you lump them in with everyone else you’ve lost them. You must make them feel that what they are doing is original and you must work with them in a manner where what they are getting here is original.
So the 2nd element tell you how much information they require. There are some people who are quite global in their approach. These are the people who just want the global view, the outline of what’s going on. You need to imagine they are looking at the picture from a distance so just tell them what’s important. The outline. Then there are the people who are very detail orientated. They will not be able to make a decision until they have all of the facts. They need to know how everything works, what every step is and they need information to take away and read.
If you give the global person too much information your watch their eyes glass over and the interest wane. You will have lost them just as easily as if you overlook the importance of details to the detail orientated person. They will see you as shallow, uninformed and inexperienced.
Most people will have a preference for one or the other and it can be quite a challenge to adapt to client needs. To satisfy these clients, if you have someone else in the office who is more in line with their style, hand them over you can save yourself a whole lot of pain. Simple way to understand which is your client’s preference is to very simply ask them. For clarity on this area I’ll ask my client if they want me to give them all the details or just the overview.
Finally I like to know if my client is someone who operate away from a problem or towards a solution. Is really handy to know what motivates your clients because if you’re someone who was motivated towards gaining something. Let’s look in terms of weight loss. There are those people who are motivated to be fit, to get in to a pair of jeans, to reach the desired goal. They are motivated towards an outcome. Which is great because then the closer they get to the outcome and easier it will be. Then on the other hand there are the people who are motivated away from something. They don’t want to be fat any more. They don’t want to be puffing when they walk or they don’t like the look of themselves. Their challenge is always going to be maintaining momentum as they move further and further away from that which originally motivated them, that that is a whole other podcast. Suffice to say if you’re getting to know a person who is motivated away from something and you were trying to promote your product as something they will be motivated towards they won’t be interested and they wont be interested in you. Give your client their motivators in the direction they work in.
So clearly You can’t walk into a room and say “Do you like to be the same as everyone else or do you prefer to be different? Are you motivated towards or away from things?” No that is not going to work. The most important step you must to do is to get to know someone And that is to let them talk about themselves and through what they reveal about themselves you will start to get a better understanding of who they are. As they talk you can get a clear understanding of who they are. Ask them questions about why they made certain decisions or how they came to make those decisions to get a good idea of what makes them tick so that you can then start talking to them in a manner that makes them feel most comfortable.
So what did the real estate agents do wrong? In one case rapport was disconnected within 5 min of the agent walking into my house and in another case that disconnection occurred within 5 min of my walking into their office. In both of these cases simple communication skills could have saved both of these situations. One assumed I wanted to be lumped in with all of the other women selling their houses as I was in my suburb, the second assumed that power and longevity would win me over. He did not ask me one question about what I was hoping for, why I was selling or what my expectations were. I didn’t care that he had a very big desk in a very small room and he was third generation. Incase you are wondering I went with the person who listened to me and I felt most comfortable that they cared about me, my situation and my property.
In the majority of situations the more you can allow client or customer to speak, to tell you about themselves and for you to be genuinely interested in what they have to say will create like-ability. When you are listening the greatest gift you can give someone is the time to speak. The time to arrange their thoughts and a time to feel comfortable in your presence. Add to that the power of the pause. Don’t feel you need to fill gaps of silence. Allowing someone the chance to collect their thoughts and to not feel rushed is very generous. It is a step which is often overlooked and one which goes a long way to building rapport.
With like-ability comes the ability to connect with the person and as I mentioned earlier matching and mirroring their posture goes a long way to making someone feel quite at home. In addition you can, match and mirror their tonality, their manner of speech which will make them feel very comfortable as well. Now in none of these instances am I recommending that you overtly match or mirror someone’s body language or vocal intonation. That is just insulting.
Think of t this way if you are with a person who sits back and has a considered speech pattern, someone who does not rush their words and someone who likes to take pauses in their sentences. Now let’s say your very excitable kind of person who can’t wait to get everything out, who leans forward, who is very excitable, whose pitch is high and whose words rush into and over each other. The two of you were almost diametric opposites when it comes to your speech patterns. Show some respect by slowing your speech and modulating your pitch to make your client feel more comfortable. Even sitting back will create more harmony and rapport. Often this is only necessary until 1st impressions are instilled but the more you show respect to the manner of your client the more they will respect you as well.
So before I wrap up like-ability I’d like you to consider one final factor and that is how much eye contact you make with the person. I recommend looking someone in the eye no more than 80% of any given one-on-one conversation. Any more and you are interrogating them, any less and you are not giving them your full attention. 80% allows someone to feel comfortable in any conversation.
So how likeable are you. Well now that depends. For the people who are most like you, you’ll be very likeable. And to the people who are not like you at all well it’s up to you. It is almost impossible to be the person that everyone likes. You can however be the person who likes everybody, who wants to get to know people and who likes those who are the same just as much as those who are different.
Lookout for my next podcast where I share with you the value of uniformity. Uniformity can help you to settle into the comfort design of your client so that no matter how much you stand out you will always fit in.
Thanks for tuning in, you were just listening to Styled For Success, if you enjoyed the show please leave a review here on iTunes and make sure to head over to Clare Maxfield.com.au to Subscribe and receive for FREE Seven secrets to Business success and other updates to help you with your Presentation and Communication skills. & Stay tuned for upcoming episodes on Styled For Success. Our next show will cover how Uniformity in business is not about wearing a uniform but making people feel comfortable around you.