Let me expand on this idea: people will continue to do business with people they like.
Seems like a pretty simple concept, doesn’t it? Yet so many people miss out on business opportunities simply because they do not come across as likeable. I’m not here to tell you to become best friends with everyone you meet, but if you present yourself as a likable person it will go along way to getting more business.
Everyday we interact with all different kinds of people from the coffee barista, to your boss or your clients. Unless you are a hobbit, you will most likely have spoken to, emailed or interacted with at least a few people today. And if these people like you, then they are more likely to give you a free coffee, a promotion, more business or a referral.
Being a likeable person will simply get you in front of more people thus providing you with an opportunity to get more business.
Then how come so many of us miss doing the simple things? I am often telling our lawyers, especially the younger ones, that if they want to build a practice and become an expert in their field, they need to build up a network of people they can grow with. The easiest way to build up a network is by being personable and approachable. Clients expect that you know the law but that doesn’t mean they want to do business with you.
It’s also important since you never know where business will come from in the future.
Imagine that the barista working at you local coffee shop today eventually moves on to own a chain of coffee shops in the future. Think of the amount of legal work required to run this – leasing, employment, litigation, and general corporate work – the list is endless.
Now imagine you are lucky enough to get an initial meeting with the owner. Do you want to be remembered (or not remembered) as “tall, nonfat latte” or do you want to be remembered as “Good morning Johnny, what’s your best brew today?” The latter has already established a relationship and stands a good chance at this initial meeting of bringing the coffee shop owner on board as a new client. Better still, that initial meeting with the chain owner may never have been necessary because you were doing the legal work for them since the beginning!
Was getting to know the person’s name and asking about their day that difficult? Not really. Did this improve the experience for both you and the coffee shop by taking the time to understand their business? Most likely. Did the opportunity for a business relationship develop because you were likable? Definitely.