Tip #9 Be Likeable and Relatable

This is the ninth in a series of 10 tips about networking based on a phone call I received.

You can read the eight prior tips and a little bit about the conversation that prompted this series on prior blog posts:

Tip #1 Participate Fully In the Event

Tip #2 Set Realistic Networking Expectations

Tip #3: To Feel Comfortable – Serve Others

Tip #4: Dress and Act the Part

Tip #5: Have Fun!

Tip #6: Don’t Take No Personally

Tip #7 Say Nice Things About Others

Tip #8 Be Consistent

One of the most effective networking tools you have in your arsenal is your ability to be naturally YOU!  There is an art to being yourself and it’s not easy especially if you are the least bit unsure of the situation, such as entering a room full of people looking to network with one another.

Tip #9 Likeable and Relatable.

I guess it seems obvious to tell someone to be likeable but what does that really entail?  How do we make people like us?  What does it mean to be relatable?

I make it a point to observe people that seem to have that “gift” that “charisma” that just draws people.  If people like you and they can relate to you, that is to say, you don’t seem pretentious or unobtainable, they are more likely to do business with you.

Here’s what I have observed.

1.  Likeable people keep their focus “outside” of themselves and “on the other person.”   They seem genuinely interested in others, they like people, and it shows.  At networking events let others talk.  You’ll learn all about others and they’ll love you for it.  People just don’t listen to each other like they should.

2.  Likeable people are relatable.  They don’t pretend to know it all or be “bigger” than they are.  They take other’s opinions in stride choosing not to believe that they are less than or better than anyone else.  Instead, they just “are.”  This can be more difficult than it sounds.  We all have our insecurities, it all starts with accepting yourself.  Once you accept what you like as well as what you don’t like about yourself, you’ll find that others will like you more.  In fact, they might even appreciate the fact that you are so human, just like them.

3.  Likeable people don’t have to be the center of attention all of the time.  Instead, they share the spotlight with others and try very hard to raise everyone up.

4.  Likeable people don’t gossip ever, not even behind closed doors to their most faithful confidants.   I’m sure you’ve had someone tell you some rumor they heard that they were so eager to share with you.  Didn’t it cross your mind, if only for a fleeting second, that if they are gossiping about someone else today that they’ll be gossiping about you tomorrow?   If you must engage in juicy story telling, tell only your dog (or cat) when no one else is home.  Pets, unlike people,  have a great way of keeping secrets.

5.  Likeable people are not afraid to be “regular folk.”  They serve others, pitch-in, and get their hands dirty.  Instead of trying hard to impress others they work hard at serving others.

About 2 years ago I had the great fortune of hearing Elizabeth Sanders of Real Life E, in person, at a conference.  My firm was a vendor at the conference and I was there the day before working hard to set up my booth.  Elizabeth was there a day early going around to all of the vendors, talking with them, asking them questions and even helping some of them set up their materials.  I’ve never ever seen a professional speaker do that ever.  But there’s more! Unlike the other speakers, on the day of the conference, she was around the whole day.  She ate lunch with everyone, she was accessible, and when it was all over, she even helped the conference promoters clean up.

Who does that?  Would you believe it was someone who has been featured in Time, Mashable, NBC, Inc., Forbes, or whose recent article in the Harvard Business Review is the “Most Read” post in the last 24 hours and currently ranks #2 in terms of “Most Comments?”  If anyone has “the right” to simply come to an event and do their speech and leave it would be Elizabeth.  I wouldn’t even fault her for acting a bit “stuck up”  but instead, she was just humble and served others beyond what anyone could ever expect.  After the conference, I immediately signed up for her emails and have been following her ever since.  There were a lot of other great speakers at that event but I can’t remember what they spoke about let alone their names.  Truth be told, I just liked Elizabeth and similar to other people, I prefer to follow and do business with those that I like.

It was after that conference that I came to really, really appreciate the power of being likeable and relatable.

Want to learn more along with me?  I’m rereading this book, taking notes, and trying every day to be a little bit better.  You can join me in reading it and we can discuss it here.

I fall short, so much but at least I’m trying to learn and just be better.  How about you?

Disclosure: many of the links in this website are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it and if you have any questions about any of the products or services please let me know!

 Stay tuned for Tip #10 Connect OUTSIDE of a Networking Event




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