Let’s face it, performance usually takes the back seat to likeability in the world of business, especially when you’re engaging in face-to-face relations. People like to know that they’re dealing with someone who is trustworthy, reputable, and possesses all of those other wonderful traits that you like to see in a business partner or any company that you’re buying products/services from. That’s an understandable desire, and one that you can fulfill in your everyday business operations by heeding the following seven tips to become a more likeable and welcoming person in your entrepreneurial and career efforts:

1. Dress in Casual Yet Classy Clothing

Your outfit can say a lot about your personality and how you’re approaching a situation. While a suit and tie is the best option in some corporate settings, generally speaking it’s better to take a relaxed approach if you’re dealing with prospective partners, investors, associates, and long-term clients.

Often times you can dress business casual in younger workplaces, and to maintain your professionalism both in and out of the workplace, keep it classy with resort wear for women, which tends to project professionalism and class.

2. Get Better at Greeting People

As you probably know, first impressions are everything, so it’s imperative that you work on becoming a better business greeter. Study the art of the handshake and how to appropriately use eye contact in your favor. Awkward initial meetups can really hurt your chances of coming off as someone that is a pleasure to do business with. Fortunately, there have been entire books written on the subject of business greetings, so be sure to do your studying in this area.

3. Let the Other Person Steer the Conversation Sometimes

While you might think it’s better to be assertive and take control of the narrative, overdoing that approach can actually do more harm than good. Nobody likes to have their ear talked off, and people certainly don’t like being interrupted. Thus, many times it’s better to ask basic questions and listen attentively to the other party’s response to build the conversation gradually and naturally without over-talking.

4. Study Body Language

Being able to gauge the other person’s reaction and respond accordingly will ensure that you’re not misreading anything, which could lead to awkward situations or misunderstandings. Body language can tell you a lot about how well (or not so well) someone else is receiving and perceiving what you’re saying. Pay attention to facial expressions and mannerisms as indicators of whether you’re on the right track in your correspondence.

5. Use Social Media to Build Stronger Bonds

Inviting clients, partners, investors, and other business entities to see who you are as a person might seem risky, but it’s one of the best ways to create more solid connections. When people feel like they actually know you and what your interests are, they’re more inclined to want to do business with you because they already like you on a personal level.

6. Practice In-Person Engagement at Industry Events

Attending industry events will give you the opportunity to encounter an abundance of other business professionals who you can speak with and pitch your ideas to. This will give you a sort of practicing grounds where you can approach people and try your hand at in-person networking without facing too much pressure. You can also find other like-minded individuals who may help by quizzing you and letting you practice your pitches on them while providing feedback about what you did wrong. For example, when you’re done delivering your pitch, you can ask them “what do you think I should change about my delivery?”

7. Take a Public Speaking Course

taking courses on public speaking. This will help you project your voice, avoid stuttering, practice admirable posture, and developer other skills and techniques that will take your conversational skills to the next level.

You Have to Believe in Yourself Before Others Will

In closing, one bonus tip you should heed to become more likeable is to exude confidence in everything you do. If you act unsure, shy, or timid while you’re interacting with other business people, it throws up a red flag that you might not believe in what you’re selling or pitching.

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