Yesterday I had an unusual encounter in Wailuku (in Maui). I went to a garage sale with a list of things I wanted to get. Nearly 2 hours later, I bought things that were not on my list.
- Shower curtain $4: I already have one.
- Orange, red, and yellow striped table cloth $3: I don’t need it. My table is just fine without it.
- Hamilton Beach hand mixer $5: I don’t plan on baking.
- Cucina table top blender $5: I’ve never used anything like this before. Not sure if I can make green smoothies with it.
- Bronze over the door coat hooks $2: I’ve never used this before, but the owner convinced me it’s very useful.
- Orange mug $2: I thought the owner was offering a mug for the above, so I chose my favourite colour.
To use the above items, I’d have to wash them first (except the bronze hooks) and create opportunities to use them. I’d have to find space in my apartment in Hawaii to store them until I find use for them. What I really wanted were book cases and a bed (mattress etc).
What happened? The owner did an amazing sales job on me. She nearly sold me her used water filter container, small kettle, fruit basket, and other things that are not THAT important right now. I am still wondering how I spent $20 and 2 hours on buying things I did not want. I can only conclude that she is a brilliant sales woman.
She was persuasive but not pushy. She seemed well-connected. She was helpful. Most of all, she was likeable. I enjoyed listening to her talk about her life, her 15 years on the island, and her passions, interrupted by her attempts to sell me everything she owned so she could get out of here.
I concluded that her likeability made me vulnerable to transact with her. I became a buyer of her goods without intending to.
Maui-based search engine optimisation (SEO) and communications expert Bob Sommers, also known as the likeability guy, created the concept of likeability. He postulated several laws of likeability which he examines in a series of articles on his website. They are short and easy to read. I will learn tons about how to deal with strangers and get them to like me and engage my piano guitar duo. His article “How to be dislikeable in one easy step” is a must read for everyone who is competent but comes across as being arrogant —- a common misperception of talented but introverted musicians and professors.
People tell me that art, ornaments, and clothes are hardest to sell at yard sales. I remember a golden piano clock I had bought brand new while touring the west coast of England. It was handmade and interesting. As soon as I brought it home, I saw there was no place for it in my Victorian cottage in London. Friends who visited remarked that it was kitschy. At my open house declutter sale, I was surprised that somebody wanted to buy it as a present for his wife.
Dare I conclude the following:
- You can be likeable on the telephone. This is what makes cold calls work.
- You can appear likeable on stage. People will come up to you when you get off stage.
- You can be likeable via e-mail. People will want to reply to your e-mails and carry a correspondence with you.
- You can be likeable in a chat such as MSN messenger or skype.
- If you come across as a likeable person, even strangers would go overboard to help you.
- Every time you appear likeable, you increase the chance of getting what you want.