How to be more likeable?
So we have covered some of the characteristics of highly likeable people in our previous article. You may have even tried out our fun How Likeable Are You as an Insurance Agent quiz. Truth is, there isn’t a hard and fast rule to become a likeable person, or sales agent. There are traits that you can try to adopt, develop and practice till one day they become a part of your being.
Is it possible to fake likeability? Maybe. Though my personal opinion is that fake likeability does not last very long and that not everyone can be fooled. Likeability comes from a sincere heart, one has to genuinely like people and enjoy being around people to exude the likeability factor. But like I said, this is just my opinion, you may have a different one.
We shall look at other traits that make a person likeable, there are simply too many!
Why is it so important to smile? There are several reasons – smile shows our attitude, our mood, our mindset apart from the numerous health benefits it brings. Research have found that smiling, if done often enough, can help rewire your brain to “scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels”. And the more we do it, the easier it becomes to think and feel positively hence shutting down negativity. In a study carried out by Penn State University, people who smile come across as being more likeable, courteous and competent.
8. Be patient and tolerant
Have patience with people, especially your customers. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes customers will have complaints and are angry at you. Sometimes they need extra attention from you. And sometimes they need you to bend over backwards for them. If clients are angry at you, try to understand things from their point of view. Allow the customer to express his anger and let him finish before speaking. Never take things personally and apologize gracefully if need be. Have patience with their demands, but this doesn’t mean you have to dance to all their whims and fancies!
9. Don’t gossip
Avoid gossiping at all cost! Some people do it because they think others bond with them better when they join in the gossip. But it is not worth doing, especially since gossiping puts your reputation on the line. Once you are known as a gossiper, people will be less likely to trust you. And in this line where you hold a lot of your clients’ personal and private information, you especially need to safeguard your reputation as being trustworthy. If you find a client who likes to trash talk others to you, try to subtly and casually change the subject.
10. Be confident
Likeable people are not insecure. They are usually confident about themselves but yet humble at the same time. This means that other than being able to speak and carry themselves well, they are also comfortable enough to make others around them feel important and at ease. This is because they do not feel the need to compete with others, or feel threatened by others.
11. Be relaxed and calm
There is a certain stability about highly likeable people. Unlike a likeable person, someone who is easily excitable or overly enthusiastic may be entertaining and fun to be around with. But they can also be quite intense and after a while, this can be emotionally draining to the rest of us. Likeable people instead are usually cool and are good at maintaining composure.
Selling insurance shouldn’t be all about business. When you meet a prospect, though it is important to you to make a sale, you shouldn’t think of it as a mission to “close a sale”. Instead it should be about a meeting with someone who is looking for value, and you see yourself as someone who can provide that value. Once you think this way, you immediately break down that burden of having a target or quota to fulfill and are able to be more relaxed during your meetings.
12. Don’t get defensive
To be defensive is to react with “a war mentality to a non-war issue.” Sharon Ellison
Likeable people are self confident and feel secure enough to not take things personally. This means that they don’t see people’s negative behavior or remark as something that is aimed at them. When a prospect is unfavorable towards the product that you have recommended him, not taking it personally means that you don’t see this as an attack on you. Instead, try looking at it objectively and you will see that he may have a point.
13. Be able to laugh at yourself
Confidence means you accept YOU for who YOU are. This means accepting all your imperfections too. The ability to embrace your silliness, like that time when you sat through an entire meeting with an important client with a piece of spinach between your teeth, shows not only that you accept that you are only human, but also shows your sense of humor. More often than not, someone who takes themselves too seriously is insecure and is afraid that they don’t measure up.
14. Praise genuinely
…not excessively. But before that, a word of advice: If you can’t praise sincerely, don’t praise at all. Because people can usually tell when they have received an insincere praise. Even if you are good at acting, you might not want to risk getting caught. You shouldn’t praise excessively either. Your clients may start seeing the act as an attempt to win them over with cheap compliments. So praise genuinely. Be spontaneous about it so it doesn’t appear as you have been rehearsing it. And don’t expect anything in return for it!
Understand that you won’t be liked by everyone. As the saying goes: you can’t win them all. Because that’s just how human work. What’s important is that at the end of the day, you feel good about yourself. And remember, a meaningful change can only take place when you are serious and genuine about improving yourself from within!
How likeable are you as an insurance agent? Take our fun quiz to find out!