You’ve heard it before: people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Do you have all three of these covered?
Chances are you do if you’re authentic and vulnerable.
Knowing people and becoming known is the simplest of the three. It boils down to how involved you are in the community; the more you put yourself out there, the greater the likelihood of making a connection.
But simply putting yourself out there isn’t enough. This is where trust and likability come into play.
One of the best ways to master likability is to treat everyone you interact with as you would a long time friend. By doing this you let your guard down, and people are more likely to view you as approachable. You can take this idea a bit further by regarding others as not only long time friends, but as those you haven’t seen in awhile. From this perspective, you will be more eager to “catch up” with your “friend” and will naturally want to ask questions to learn about what they have been up to. People love to talk about themselves, as studies have shown, and by facilitating this your presence is likely to be positively correlated with their enjoyment.
As an added bonus, when you regard those around you as a friend, the likelihood of doing anything that would violate their trust is reduced. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but if you’ve developed and deepened the relationship, the odds of recovering from a mistake or error in judgment and maintaining the connection is greatly improved. As a rule of thumb, if you have to stop and think about whether or not you should or shouldn’t do something in terms of behavior, don’t do it. If it’s questionable and you find yourself starting to rationalize and justify doing it, don’t.
At the end of the day, trust comes down to your reputation, which can take years to build and only moments to destroy.