In an experiment conducted using an office stationery wholesaler, two salespeople, both the leading salesperson for their respective branch, rang a list of 50 current clients each, using an identical phone script and both presenting an identical offer. However, one of the salespeople sold the offer to 40 clients the other to only 11. Why?

Because one of the salespeople had a pre-established relationship with the clients. The other salesperson also talked to pre-existing clients of the business, but had never met them before.

THE FINAL PRINCIPLE TO CONSIDER IN YOUR BUSINESS’S SUCCESSFUL DRIVE TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE IS LIKEABILITY.

NO MATTER HOW REASONABLE WE MAY THINK OURSELVES TO BE, WE ARE ALWAYS MORE LIKELY TO SAY “YES” TO THOSE WE KNOW AND LIKE.

In another experiment, two sales assistants were behind the counter at a travel shop. The assistants were both female, and of similar age. Statistics were kept on which assistant people went towards first when both were free. Despite swapping counters throughout the experiment, and regardless of whether the customer was male or female, 87% of the customers went to the same assistant first. Why?

Because she was more appealing to the eye.

Attractive works - visual and audio

Physical Attractiveness, yep we’re still that simple an animal that physical attractiveness automatically grants likeability. Make your spokesperson attractive, use attractive voices on radio. Incidentally, who thinks Russell Crowe, George Clooney or Sean Connery are good looking? Tests have proven that ladies’ predominant attraction to these actors is audio. When these fellows’ voices were dubbed over actors who looked more like Mr Bean, ladies still found them attractive.

In a set of studies, researcher Randy Garner sent surveys to perfect strangers by mail. Accompanying the survey was a request to complete and return it made by a person whose name was either similar or dissimilar to the name of the survey recipient.

For example, Robert Greer might get a letter from a Bob Gregar or Cynthia Johnston might get the survey from a Cindy Johanson. For the non-matching names, 30% returned the survey, for the similar names 56% replied - nearly twice as many.

Here’s a surprising statistic: did you know that a disproportionate number of people have jobs or roles that start with the same letter as their first name. Likewise, with your suburb, street name, spouse’s name, favourite products and so on.

SIMILARITIES - WE LIKE PEOPLE THAT ARE LIKE US

When connecting with your customers look for similarities you share. The more similar we feel, the more inclined we are to like that person and grant his or her requests.

While checking out, guests at a 5-star hotel in Washington were asked to rate the doorman on a scale of 10 to 1 on whether he was very helpful or not at all helpful. Over a period of several weeks, on each alternate week the doormen - although never changing their actions - added a little piece of information to their interactions. On these weeks, the guests rated the doorman an average of 2.7 points higher. What could they possibly have said that rated them as so much more helpful?

COMPLIMENTS

Everybody likes to be liked, and one of the most obvious ways to tell somebody you like them is to compliment or praise them. Don’t make compliments part of an agenda though. Make compliments sincere, natural, and honest. Always ask questions before a compliment, and then only compliment them on a choice they have made, not on something that is not a choice.

COOPERATIVE EFFORTS

We like those people who cooperate with us for common goals. If customers are reminded of the mutual goals you share, they are more likely to cooperate in a sale.

Teach your salespeople to recognise and share mutual benefits. “I need to make one more sales today, you want to get a good deal - let’s work together on this.”