Being likeable is a major asset in networking. Even better, it can be monetized. So don’t miss the chance to capitalize on your likeability.
The Business League is heavily involved in the professional community across the east coast of Australia, but has its roots in the Gold Coast. And this is where Jason joined us to gain access to expert speakers.
By listening to what the business speakers have to say, he gained first-hand insight into the struggles that other professionals, who are ahead of him in the level of their success, face. And for him, the main takeaway is the different problem-solving strategies that help you grow a business to amazing heights.
And one of the key strategies he learned was how to maximize the opportunity when networking.
The Business League’s unique approach helped Jason learn how to strike up a conversation with people he wanted to meet and to do that without any friction.
He also learned how to be more appealing to his professional network and approach new prospects the right way.
Currently, The Business League is the only professional network that Jason attends. And it’s enough for him, because he receives all the support he needs to boost his professional presence and reach. And he likes the fact that you can get into the community at your own pace.
He understood The Business League’s unique approach well – if we wouldn’t have a beer with a member, we don’t want them. With this philosophy, it was easy for Jason to find like-minded people in the community he can network with.
It’s clear that Jason has mastered the art of likeability.
There’s no reason you can’t do the same. Here are five tips to help you be more likeable and get more out of networking.
How to Be More Likeable
#1. Work on Your Body Language
Have you ever been dissuaded from approaching someone because of the body language cues that you’re getting from them?
The fact is that negative body language, like poker face, stiffness, and aloofness prevents you from building your network.
Some people have stage fright, which can prevent them from behaving the right way. But even if you do, you can still work on improving your body language.
Make sure to smile naturally and avoid awkward gestures when meeting someone for the first time. Smiling, in particular, is the easiest way to make others feel at ease.
Being expressive and moving around while you speak is perfectly fine as long as you don’t overdo it, lest you appear aggressive or boastful.
#2. Be a Good Listener
You’ve probably heard people say listening is a skill everyone needs to master 100 times before. But did anybody explain what being a good listener is all about?
At the core, it means you should concentrate on what others have to say and stop focusing on what you want to express. But listening attentively doesn’t mean you should completely shut up.
There’s a difference between not having anything to say and shutting up – the latter implies that you’re still thinking about what to say next, but you choose to remain silent.
If you’re to become a good listener, you have to be curious. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and express interest in what the other party has to say.
Of course, the right timing is crucial here. So, how do you suppress the urge to express your thoughts when you’re listening?
Make a conscious effort to not just say anything that’s on your mind. Instead, try first to understand what they’re saying. Think before you talk – it’s as simple as that.
And of course, you should do so while maintaining your focus.
#3. Be Humble
It’s not uncommon for people to let their ego run the show. Even worse, some professionals are eager to show how others are wrong. Just take a look at the comments on different online professional networks.
But this mindset and behaviour are detrimental to your rapport.
When you feel compelled to correct someone or follow up with a clever remark, just hold your horses for a little while. Putting your opinions, needs, and desires upfront would be the complete opposite of humility.
If you want to build mutually-beneficial professional relationships, you have to show respect for what others have to say, even if you disagree.
Showing interest in the conversation helps, as well as asking questions. Just make sure that your narrative doesn’t clash with others.
Lastly, don’t brag – position yourself instead. Often, the amount of money YOU make can put people off. But sharing how much money your clients are making as a result of your work together can be a winning move.
#4. Always be Authentic
“Fake it till you make it.”
That’s an old adage spilled over from the entertainment industry. But the fact is that inauthenticity is among the worst things you can do when networking.
Entrepreneurs and professionals are usually very good at gauging if your talk and attitude are real. If not, they might not show distrust in you and your expertise directly, but you’ll disappear from their radar for good.
But if you’re authentic, act natural, and never fake success, people will be much more interested in what you have to say. Even better, authentic behaviour, stories, and business strategies have the power to attract.
You may have noticed that some professionals seem to get all the attention at networking events.
While some would point to their success, money, or influence, it’s more likely that they are the most authentic persons in the room.
#5. Truly Care About Others
The business environment and culture can be cut-throat, so there’s little room for care sometimes. Not to mention there’s usually a lack of customer care within these businesses, and this ripples throughout their professional network.
However, showing genuine care ties in with all other tips in this write-up. It shows that you’re humble and it helps you become great at listening.
But true care is also about empathy.
It’s vital for the people in your network to know that you’re not only concerned about the money.
Caring about your professional connections as people attracts loyalty and trust, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Also, your care for others should be reflected in your actions and decision-making. As such, to care is to not belittle others or hurt their business.
The Likeability Contest Winner Is…
To recap, your mission to become more likeable starts with body language. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk to attract all the right attention.
But then, you need to know how to listen, ask the right questions, and show genuine interest. In doing so, you’ll also learn how to be more humble and show respect for what they’re doing.
And in many ways, all of the above makes you care more about others. This is one factor that you should ensure spills over to your business.
Nothing is more attractive than a supporter – celebrate the wins of others.
And if you’d like to get good at virtual networking, we suggest you do the following:
- Join our free online Workshop.
- Attend the Business League Networking Event where you can practice your skills.
- Book a Brainstorm Call with us to find out more about how we can be of help.