Bulletproof Persuasion: The Law of Likability
Likability And Persuasion
The Law of Likability is evident to most of us; people prefer to do business with individuals they like.
Practically anything we do in life we favor doing with people we like and enjoy being around. What’s not so clear is how we get individuals to like us more. In fact, it might astound you to learn that the secret to the law of likability isn’t so much about getting others to like us; it’s really about us coming to like them.
We Have This The Wrong Way Around
Too often individuals are concerned with doing whatever it takes to get people to like them, neglecting to recognize if they genuinely like the particular person they’re with, that person will sense it and naturally return the compliment.
What can you do to bring this about?
There are three particular points: pay attention to similarities, give compliments and look for cooperative efforts. We’ll take a peek at each of these.
Ever notice how people who like the same sports teams have a natural link? Or people who own the same car? The same could be said of a lot of things and so many pursuits. What you need to do is keep an eye out for those things you have in common with the individual you’re with. Raise those commonalities to the surface, and you’ll begin to develop a liking association.
The Power Of A Compliment
All of us enjoy a compliment … even when we view it as pure flattery. But, you don’t have to give dishonest praise because there’s consistently something genuine you can praise someone on (an outfit, a tie, an award, their business office, etc.). By looking for the good in a person, you will naturally tend to like them a little more. They’ll appreciate the praise and consequently, come to like you more as well.
Working together toward a goal, a collaborative effort, aids people set aside their differences thanks to the job at hand. Even though we felt like we really did not like the other person we’re with, quite often we begin discovering “they’re not so bad after all” as we learn more about them when we work together.
As our walls come down so do theirs and liking happen.
So, if you want to get more done at work, or in life in general, then try like the individuals with whom you associate more. You can’t always make them like you, but you can choose to pay attention to what you have in common instead of your differences. You can make a mindful effort to search for the good in them instead of their flaws.
Cooperation Is Key
And finally, you can attempt to work in cooperation with them. Do those simple things, and you’ll like that other person a little more. Will everybody react in kind? No, but many will and that will make your daily life a little more pleasant and make you a bit more effective.
Just like all the other laws of influence, I will talk about in my Persuasion Course. The Law of Likeability even works when you are conscious of its deliberate application.
About twenty years my ex-wife and I were on vacation in Tenerife. Tenerife is one of the Spanish owned islands off the coast of Africa.
In the eighties and nineties, they became a timeshare hotspot. For a while, you couldn’t walk more than fifty foot without some unscrupulous timeshare tout jumping on you and trying to strong arm you into agreeing to spend thousands on one-week holiday ownership.
High Pressure Does Not Work
Eventually, word got around about how these shady salesmen were operating, and tourists got wise to what was going on. The touts now had to work twice as hard to entice their victims. This is where a guy called Brian comes into the story.
He stopped us with a huge smile while we were walking down the seafront one evening.
He offered us the chance to play a free scratchcard game. We instantly recognized this as a timeshare technique.
The way it works is you are provided with a free scratch card. Slowly you scratch away the concealed boxes and what a surprise you win the mystery prize. The tout goes into full Oscar-winning actor role and pretends that in all his years doing this he had never seen anyone win the prestigious mystery prize. He will then usher you with great haste and urgency into a waiting taxi to send you off to collect your fabulous winnings.
As we recognized the scam from the outset my ex-wife Denise politely declined, and we turned to continue our evening walk.
These touts are never that easily dissuaded and it’s at this point he pulled out another weapon in his compliance arsenal… the law of likeability. Recognising Denise’s Irish accent. He reached out and shook her hand and with a slight Gaelic lilt to his voice he said ‘Oh my God you are Irish, my mom is from Dublin ya know.’ Honestly, he was acting like he was meeting his long-lost sister after a decade apart.
Next, he reached into his pocket and pulled out an Irish penny.
“Look, even my lucky penny is Irish. I had carried this coin with me since I was ten years old when my dad gave it to me. He died a few weeks later, and I know it’s silly, but I always feel like it’s brought me good luck. Go to use my coin, give it a go, I would love to see someone from Ireland win the big prize”, he continued in full flow.
Impossible To Say No
It was impossible to reject him further. It was obviously a part of his routine and no doubt his pockets were full of currency from around the world, and his dear old mum would change her citizenship with the flip of a coin. However, he was just such a lovely chap, and with such a beautiful smile we couldn’t say no.
Guess what? We only won the mystery prize, in all his years he had never seen anyone win it before.
As we sat in the taxi on the way to collect our ‘prize’ we looked at each other and said ‘shit, we’ve been had.’
Learning how to use the law of likability is just as important as becoming a master of defending against it. If you are serious about learning how to influence people – click here to get started with Persuasion University.
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