People want to do business with someone they like. Some salespeople are naturals–oozing charisma, delivering one-liners and remembering every customer’s kids’ names and birthdays. Have you ever wanted a piece of this salesperson mojo? Unfortunately there’s no magic formula to be more likeable, but there are steps you can take that will help you relate and engage with your customers and form more meaningful relationships.

  • Be honest and transparent. Give clear answers to questions from clients, even if the answer is you don’t know or if it brings up a shortcoming in your service or product. Being honest will help build trust with the other person and it’s simply the right thing to do.
  • Show genuine curiosity about your customers. People want to feel valued and important. Ask appropriate questions about their lives to get to know them better and remember the anecdotes they share. Understanding how they live and what they value will help you get know their needs better as well, which will allow you to better serve them in the future.
  • Give customers a channel to share. When your customers are heard they feel like they are part of the process. Gathering customer feedback is a necessary exercise that will help strengthen your relationship and may encourage them to look to you for their needs in the future. It will also help you improve your product and services.
  • Keep the customer’s best interest in mind. A great example of this approach to building customer relationships comes from the brand Patagonia. They recently created a program with eBay that makes it easy for customers to resell and purchase used Patagonia gear. Making business decisions for the benefit of your customers first will help build trust and strengthen your brand in the long run.
  • Be accessible, even after after the sale. Most salespeople are Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes closing a sale. An even more admirable trait though is to be responsive and helpful if a problem arises after the sale has taken place. Give customers more than one way to reach you, and then make sure you’re actively checking and responding to messages and incoming communication.

Taking steps to improve your likeability with your customers will allow you to transition your relationships from buyer/seller to subject matter expert/interested party. Take these tactics and make them your own to put your best, most authentic self forward.