Anyone who is anyone important in business knows this golden rule…

People ultimately choose to do business with people they like.

The truth is that people are naturally drawn to individuals they have a personal connection with. Likability helps foster a sense of rapport, commonality, and shared values. Customers often feel more comfortable and at ease when doing business with someone they like, creating a positive working atmosphere.

As humans, we do things for people we like – and avoid giving out favors to people we don’t like. So if you really want to influence and win people over in business, it’s in your best interest to be likable.

Being likable helps increase trust and credibility, foster a stronger emotional connection with you, and associate you with positive feelings. But most importantly, being likable is important because it appeals to people’s emotions. Emotions can be powerful drivers of decision-making and tapping into the right emotions can enhance your persuasive impact.

That being said, here are a few ways you can become more likable – and thus win more people over:


There’s nothing in this world that sounds sweeter to a person’s ears than their own name. When you speak to someone and address them by their first name, it creates a culture of respect, recognition, and consideration for the discussion. But the most important benefit of acknowledging other people by their name is that it’s telling the person you are addressing how important you think they are, which helps in strengthening the bond between both of you.


It’s very easy to be the person who always brings everyone down and is nit-picking for things to complain about. But what’s hard is to be the person who is consistently generous with compliments and praise. By doing that, you become more easily rememberable but you also put yourself in a position where people are making positive associations with you and who you are as a person. So do yourself a favor and spread positivity by offering compliments, expressing gratitude, and focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Optimism is contagious and can really create a favorable impression.


When you actively put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their feelings, experiences, and viewpoints, you come off as compassionate and supportive. People appreciate those who demonstrate empathy and understanding – emotional intelligence can really bring you a long way in business.


If you spend a bit of your time trying to discover shared hobbies, passions, or topics of interest with key decision-makers, you’re halfway there to scoring them over to your side. Like any other type of relationship, common ground helps build connections and encourages conversation. The more of this you can develop, the more likable you become to them.


No one likes talking with people who are bad listeners. Whether they cut you halfway through a sentence or tend to always bring the conversation back to themselves, these bad listeners aren’t likable at all. Good listeners, on the other hand, are loved by all. Simply pay attention to others when they speak and show genuine interest in what they have to say and practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and asking relevant questions. This demonstrates that you value their perspective and helps build rapport. When you are genuinely interested in other people, they will like you more. This is because, ironically, they love hearing you talk about them and being encouraged to talk about themselves more.

Remember that building likability is not about manipulating or trying to please everyone at all times. It’s about being genuine, and respectful, and creating positive connections based on shared values and interests.

Building relationships takes time and effort, so be patient and consistent in your approach and you may just be surprised at the amount of business you have coming your way.