As the father of two Girl Scouts and the husband of a Girl Scout leader, I have seen, first hand, the power of likeability. Take a vacuum salesperson and stick him/her in front of a supermarket on a freezing cold January afternoon. How many people do you think are going to stop and chat? Take that same scenario but replace the vacuum salesperson with a couple of Girl Scouts selling Thin Mints. Does the answer change?

Of course it does. I have seen the most miserable, angry, ‘don’t-bother’me’ looking people approach from the parking lot. And when those girls ask if they would like some cookies, everything changes. The smiles emerge from nowhere. The money comes out of the pockets. And, sometimes, they don’t even take the cookies!

Does likeability, believeability, and trust-worthiness matter? You bet it does. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have cookies… 🙂

It would be no surprise to say that we make a lot of decisions in our personal life in terms of from whom we take advice, with whom we spend time, and with whom we forge relationships – all based on likeability. It turns out that likeability is very closely linked to believeability and trustworthiness.

What may surprise you is how big a a REAL ROI there is to likeability in transactional and corporate relationships. According to BMC speaker and best-selling author (“Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action“) Rohit Bhargava, we are now living in a world where personal relationships, likeability, brutal honesty, extreme simplicity, and basic humanity are behind everything from multi-million dollar mergers to record-breaking product sales. Likeability sells computers, personal products, semiconductors, financial services, and more. It wins political races and sells tickets to terrible movies and sports teams. And, yes, it sells flavors of cookies we buy just once a year.

Likeability, as much as the name may imply, though, is NOT a soft quality – and it is NOT the same thing as just being nice.

So, how likeable is your brand? Your company?

Do your customers buy from you and tolerate you in the process because your products/services are currently the best featured or priced? Or do they search for things to buy from you because they LOVE your company/your brands/your people? Where do you think Comcast falls in that spectrum? Where does your organization? Where do you think is the better place to be?

This post is beginning to sound a bit gloomy…so on to the brighter stuff! The good news is that Rohit Bhargava is going to be covering actionable ideas for how you can harness the power of likeability and use it to build brands that are ADORED by customers and employees alike. Through a combination of ground breaking research and entertaining non-obvious branding stories, he will uncover the five key principles to win trust (or win it back) AND keep it. He will also teach us how to stand out (in a good way), avoid the hype and strategic traps of social media, and change our brands’ trajectories by being more likeable, believable, and (most of all) trusted.

I hope you will join us in October in Las Vegas on October 1-2 to learn from Rohit Bhargava and many other amazing speakers. And, if you want some Girl Scout cookies, just let me know…