Sunday, September 16, 2012

Persuasion & Influence for Modern Marketers - #2 Liking

Yes, it's true, you have more persuasive clout if the person or group you are addressing actually likes you.  This is one reason Bill Clinton is so influential and was able to become President.  This is one of the reasons large firms like to hire charismatic CEOs; they are naturally likable and therefore are more influential to employees, shareholders, and customers.

People tend to like good looking celebrities or just good looking people.  This is one reason why models and sports celebrities are successful at promoting a brand. Think Nike and Michael Jordan or the famous Cover Girl models for examples of the principle of liking in action with advertising.

So, you're probably not a Covergirl or you may not be very charismatic (most of us are not), so what can you do about the 'likeability' factor.  You too can use the principle of 'liking' to influence your family, friends or work colleagues.   Two things that help people like you are genuine praise and similarity.  If you've ever hosted a sales person in your work environment or in your home, more often than not, the sales person starts out with some small talk chattering on about how they once lived in a neighborhood down the street, or how they also have a family of the same size and so on.  Natural sales people know that they have more influence if their prospective customer likes the same sports team for example.  If you take the time and make the effort to learn of authentic similarities between yourself and your colleagues, you are likely to be more persuasive in your work place for example.

Praise is harder to use to increase likability because people could suspect manipulation if trust has not already been established.  As with each of the 6 principles I'll discuss, likability must be genuine for it to help persuade and influence.

Next up,  #3 Social Proof.