We all judge people on our first impression of them. And you meet new people all day long. So here are 5 ways to help people to immediately warm to you.
Assume That You Will Like Them!
In your mind, assume that you are going to really like this new person, and that they are going to like you. This is the “Fake it till you can make it” approach.
And it works, because your positive attitude will influence all of the following techniques. The new person will sense that you are approaching them with openness and warmth, and they will respond. This is called the reciprocity of liking. If the guest believes that you like them, then they will like you back!
This is such an old-fashioned recommendation but so true. When the guest sees your smile, they see your warmth, your openness, and your welcome.
But it needs to be a real smile that shines in your eyes as well. This only happens if you adopt Rule #1 which is that, in your mind, you have already decided that you like this person, and so you are smiling in anticipation of enjoying talking with them.
Even if you are playing the role of the Negative Enforcer, such as No, You Cannot Have That Comp, you can still approach them with a smile. It does not give away your power, it actually makes you seem in control and gracious.
As you walk towards this new person, find something that you can compliment. The way their shoes match their outfit? Their funky baseball cap? You are off to a good start if you can ask a question such as “I love that purse, where did you find it?” If you cannot find anything then take a quick look at the people with them! If they have a Boston t-shirt then start with ‘I loved Boston. The lobster was amazing.’
You are not doing this to make them feel good… You are doing this because of something called Spontaneous Trait Transference.
This fancy term means that people will assume that YOU have the same qualities that you describe others. If you are saying nice, kind, generous, enthusiastic things about other people, then the listener will assume that you are nice, kind, generous, enthusiastic etc.
If you cannot think of anything to say about them, then have some general phrases all ready to go such as ‘What a great atmosphere in here tonight, everyone is having so much fun!” You are saying something positive so they will assume that you are a positive person.
There are very subtle ways for you to copy the Guest. If they are wearing a team-shirt then you can bond over sports. You can match their body language e.g. leaning sideways into a slot machine. Don’t mimic their accent but you can slightly copy their tone and speed of speech. This is called ‘mirroring’ and the concept is that the guest will like you if you seem to be like them.
You can also repeat their phrases and observations back to them.
For example, if they say “I can’t believe the buffet has run out of crab legs”, you might say “I can’t believe that either. It just shows how much everybody loves it. I guess you do too. Do you eat all kinds of seafood?”
In that simple response, you first copy their phrase (can’t believe), you give a positive spin (everybody loves it), and then you turn it around to them (and try to change the subject!)
Extract and Repeat Some Facts!
Everybody wants to be ‘seen’ and acknowledged. Develop a range of open questions that you can use to smoothly get them to talk about themselves.
“Hi, I am Jackie. I wanted to introduce myself and see if you are having a wonderful time here today. Is this your first time here?” You can ask where they are from, you can ask what they enjoy most about the property, and you can ask for their opinion on anything new such as an Amenity or an event.
Before you walk away, be sure to repeat back some of what you have learned about them, along with their name. “Well Carol, I will let you get back to playing, but I hope you have a safe drive back to Charlotte, and that you will come and see us the next time that you are visiting your son Harry. Have a great stay with him, and perhaps you will be back to see us before you leave on Tuesday?” That closing line tells them that you truly paid attention.
And, if we have not yet met, then I just know that we are going to like each other when we meet in person!