The desire to be well-liked by our peers is human nature, and it’s even more important in business. Oftentimes, business is done between people that like, know and trust each other. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you and that will translate to a loss in sales.

It can take some time and effort to build up credible and likable relationships with clients, customers and partners. But when you have a strong foundation among people, you will set yourself up for success. Try these tips to increase your likability in the business world.

Handwritten Letters

In this digital age, most of us get thank you emails from various companies we do business with. However, it’s easy to tell if it’s a mass email if it’s addressed as “Dear customer” or has an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Sometimes you may not get the email if it gets filtered into the wrong inbox.  

Don’t be like one of those companies. When was the last time you received a nice letter or card in the mail? Be a standout by taking the time to handwrite a short message on a card, address the envelope, stamp it and send it out via snail mail. It can be a letter that simply says “thank you for doing business with us” or something to celebrate the holidays. A small gesture like that can do wonders, so purchase some blank cards in bulk and practice your handwriting!

Giving Discounts for Customer Loyalty

Some businesses, like Starbucks and Sheetz, have rewards cards for its customers who either spend a certain amount to get a discount or make a number of purchases to get an item for free. Some businesses, like CVS/Pharmacy, have rewards programs and give their customers access to all sorts of discounts for future purchases. Adopt this methodology by giving your loyal and frequent customers access to rewards and discounts.

However, if you’re an owner of a small business, you might not be able to implement a rewards program like the bigger chains. Is there someone you’ve been consistently doing business with for years? The next time they buy from you, give them a discount just because. Not only will it brighten their day, but they will be raving about you to their customers and friends. Positive word-of-mouth marketing is powerful – and will make your business more likable and trustworthy among the public.

Send Follow Up Emails

To show your clients that you care, send them an email to see how things are going. A quick email that says “just touching base about how you like our products/services” is enough to say that you value what your client has to say about you – regardless if it’s good or bad. You can also use this as a time to get constructive criticism from your client so you can give them the best services possible.

Listen to Others

Be engaged in conversations with everyone you meet. Ask your customers what their plans are for the weekend or ask your acquaintance about her recent vacation. If you and a client have a similar interest in an activity such as golf, ask them their opinion about the latest tournament.  Not only will they think you are more likable, but it will make them feel like they have a connection with you and will want to continue doing business with you in the future.

The goal is to become more personable among your clients, customers and partners. If they feel like you’re an old friend to them, that’s a great sign because they will feel like they know you well and can trust you – which will be great for your business.