Last week I was indulging a very guilty pleasure and trying out the delicious new Dorito Taco at Taco Bell. During my dining experience they begged me repeatedly to "Like" them on Facebook.  They asked me 5 different times, in 5 different ways.  The uptown girl in me had to marvel at WHO on this earth would admit to all of their FB friends that they "Like" Taco Bell?!!! As it turns out, over 8.5 million people admit that.  Amazing.

How to get 8.5million people to like you on Facebook certainly deserves its own post.  But for purposes of this post, I am focusing on the old fashioned way to get anyone to like you the moment they meet you. It's the strategy that will get you a free hotel room upgrade, score the best table at a restaurant, or impress your bosses boss.  It's the strategy to use for nailing job interviews, getting a free extra few minutes of a foot massage from your mani/pedi girl, or inspiring a cute guy at the bar to buy you a glass of champagne (and maybe even ask you out on a date).  Simply put, this strategy will get you anything you want in life, including (but not limited to) friends, upgrades and more fun at parties.

Some time ago behavioral scientists studied the question, "Why do we like the people we like?"  They interviewed all kinds of people from all walks of life and asked them questions like: "Why do you like your best friend?"  "Why do you like your favorite employee?"  "Why do you like the barista at your coffee shop?"  The answers that came in were things like: "She makes me laugh." "He smiles at me when I arrive."  "She remembers my name."  "He makes it a point to call me on my birthday and holidays." "She always listens." "He compliments my clothes." etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,

What was fascinating is that these scientists were able to take all of this input and then boil down "likeability" into a simple formula.  And here is it: People like people who make them feel good about themselves. Put another way, we like people who make us feel good about ourselves.

That's it.  It's that simple.

There are a million ways to make people feel good about themselves.  And when you make someone feel good about themselves, they will be nice to you.  You can regale them with funny stories about your dog, compliment their pink plaid shoes,  or send them an e-card with a sheep on a skateboard and a caption that says, "Thinking of Ewe."  Lots of things work.  When it comes to getting a complete stranger to instantly like me, I have adopted a strategy I learned from a successful door-to-door salesperson: my brother Cameron.

When Cameron did door-to-door sales he just knocked it out of the park.  Old ladies in particular just loved him.  Here is how he describes a large part of his sales strategy, "As I am walking up to a door, I start imagining some person who will open it.  I start saying over and over in my mind, 'I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  You're amazing. Gosh I just like you so much.'  I repeat this over and over in my mind, directing these thoughts toward whoever is going to open that door.  I get myself in a place where I really do like whoever is going to be on the other side. So when someone answers my knock,  they see me all lit up.  They FEEL how much I really like them.  They instantly feel how wonderful I think they are and, more often than not, invite me in and start chatting it up.  Once I get into their house, I know I can make the sale.  The approach is everything."


I have taken this page out of my brother's sales book and have used the "I love you. I love you. I love you." strategy with hotel clerks, sales clerks, possible customers, and a mechanic who I wanted to give me a free new license plate light bulb to replace mine which had burned out.

Aside from getting what I want, whether it be an extra 10% off a pair of shoes or a better seat on the airplane, I instantly make friends.  Everyone at my local coffee shop knows my name.  My hair colorist remembers to bring me a People magazine.  And the waiter at my favorite Mexican restaurant automatically brings me a water with no ice and lemon the minute he sees me and says, "Hola amiga!"  It feels good.

What also feels good is everyone who bravely and publicly admits to "liking" my company on Facebook.  Thank you.  I like you too.  And to all of my amigos (and readers) all over the globe, I hope you know that:  I love you. I love you. I love you.  You're amazing. You make my world a brighter place. Thank you for being you.


You can check out the video of the strategy here.