All else being equal, from whom will prospects want to buy?

A. A salesperson that is likeable, or B. A salesperson that is not-so-likeable

The answer is clear and simple. If you are likeable, you have an unfair competitive advantage.

Likeability alone won’t win you the deal but you will open more doors to start with.
By the end of this article, you will find a simple way to increase your likeability in the right way.

I wrote a chapter on Likeability in my first business book “Beyond Code” (foreword by Tom Peters) published a while ago.  I will share a bit of what I covered there and build on that topic.

The Likeability Exercise

First some background about two kinds of people you will generally meet.

The first kind is called Energizers.

These are people that will leave you with more energy – meaning you went to meet with them with a certain level of energy and when they leave, more energy got added to you.

When you meet with them you will feel good about yourself. They make you a better YOU. 

Before you proceed further, take 60 seconds to do this exercise:

List as many energizers in your life in 60 seconds.

Now, moving on to the second kind of people.

They are Dissipaters. You guessed it right. Dissipaters take away your energy.

You went to meet with them with a certain amount of energy and they sap some of it and you return back with lesser energy.  When you meet with them, they might show how better THEY are but that doesn’t matter because you will NOT feel very good about yourself.

It’s exercise time again. 

In the next 60 seconds, write as many dissipaters as you can behind the first piece of paper.

You now have a piece of paper with a list of energizers on the front and the list of dissipaters on the back.

Take a moment to re-adjust the list if you want.

Now that we are done with the setup, here is the test of your likeability.

Imagine we do this exercise with 25 of the people that matter most to you professionally. They are all given a piece of paper where they are listing energizers and dissipaters in their professional life.

Now comes the real question about your likeability.


How many of those people will put your name in the energizer list and how many of them will put your name in the dissipater list?

The answer will give a clue to what your current likeability looks like. Yes, it is easy to label other people as energizers or dissipaters but that rarely takes you anywhere. The fact to remember is that other people are putting similar labels on you and you better be that person for whom an “energizer” label is assigned.

Improving Your Likeability Quotient

Here are three ideas to start improving your likeability quotient

1. Remember that it’s About Them

Always. When you start genuinely caring for them, automatically you start becoming an energizer. Why? Because a LOT of people they would be dealing with won’t be caring about them genuinely and they can see through it. You will bring a breath of fresh air with genuine caring attitude.

2. Learn to Disagree Gracefully

I have seen time and again where relationships go sour. It starts with disagreements especially how they are expressed.

Granted, nobody wants to be surrounded by people who say “Yes” all the time but they also don’t want to be surrounded by people who are trouble and won’t agree for anything.

Leaving extremes aside, if you are like one of those people somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, chances are that you need to disagree sometimes.

You can disagree gracefully when you separate them and the argument at hand.

You have to make it crystal clear that you are disagreeing with THAT something under discussion and it has nothing to do with how you view THE relationship between the two of you.

[More on this topic is here: The Art of Graceful Disagreement ]

3. Be Vulnerable

This is hard for most people.

To be vulnerable does not show your weakness. It’s the exact opposite.

You need a LOT of strength to be vulnerable and expose yourself to the world.

Nobody likes to be around a Batman or Superman or an Incredible Hulk. They are all unreal.

So, why pretend to be like one of them. Being vulnerable simply shows that you are a human being AND you are comfortable with who you are. When you are comfortable being YOU, automatically you bring a certain sense of comfort and start accepting others for who THEY are. The result: A sure shot likeability boost!

Other Posts in this series 

A is for Alignment (title changed on blog) 
B is for Bonding
C is for Confidence
D is for Detachment
E is for Excellence in Small Things 
F is for Follow Up (On Huffington Post)
G is for Grateful
H is for Hunger to Succeed
I is for Intent to Serve 
J is for Judgment (On Huffington Post)
K is for Knowledgeable
L is for Likeable
M is for Margin
N is for Nurturing (On Huffington Post)
O is for Onward
P is for Please
Q is for Questions (On Huffington Post)
R is for Resourcefulness (On Huffington Post)
S is for Storytelling
T is for Teaching

U is for Upbeat

V is for Velocity

W is for Word of Mouth

X is for X-Ray Vision

Y is for YourStory

Z is for Zeal

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