19Do I Like You?

When it comes right down to it, whatever business you're in, you're in the people business. After all, people prefer to do business with people and companies they find likeable.

—Karen Salmansohn

At dinner this past weekend, our good friend Michelle told a story about an experience she had while shopping for a mattress. Now, this wasn't just any mattress; this was a high-end mattress that cost a couple of thousand dollars. Prior to hitting the stores, she'd done extensive research online and narrowed her focus to a few brands and styles. She found exactly what she was looking for at the first furniture store she visited, and the price was right. But she didn't make the purchase.

Instead, she drove all the way across town to visit another furniture store where she met sales representative Gwen. There, she purchased the same mattress she'd seen at the other store. When I pressed her, she admitted (while avoiding eye contact with her husband) that she paid more at the second store than the first.

“Why would you do that?” I asked.

She responded, “The guy at the first store, I think his name was Ray, just didn't impress me. I mean, from the first moment there was just something about him I didn't like. So even though he had the mattress I wanted, I decided to shop around some more. Gwen, the rep at the other store, was different. Even though we'd just met I could tell she cared about me. She made me feel good.”

No Second Chances with First Impressions

Like Michelle, ...

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