“You know what charm is: it’s a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.” ― Albert Camus, The Fall
In a world full of choices & options, the biggest differentiator is customer experience. My personal experience of both—using & delivering service, has shown that the impact of any service is dependent on how it is delivered. Here is where personal charm comes in. Charm is the power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others. More importantly to charm someone is to attract them and win them over. It is a form of social interaction that makes people believe you.
As a discerning customer I have often been bowled over by the charm of some people I have dealt with, making their product or service more easily acceptable. And this is what we, as a service organisation, tend to deliver to all our own customers. I firmly believe with poet Maya Angelou that “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Charisma is a god given gift that makes a person more endearing through non-verbal communication & body language. Being a Sagittarian, charm comes naturally to me & I have seen it work extremely effectively when it comes to negotiations, business acquisition or influencing decisions.
I can pin-point 5 key ingredients of charm:
- A genuine smile: I once asked my wife what is that one thing she liked about me before our marriage & she said my smile. It gave her the feeling of trust & security. That’s how powerful a genuine smile is. In the words of Anthony J. D’Angelo “Smile is the key that fits the lock of everyone’s heart”
- Listening attentively: There is nothing to beat the power of listening & being attentive. Half of people’s problems get resolved if someone listens to them with patience & understanding. The ability to listen is one of the most profound influencing skills available to us.
- Courtesy: A show of politeness, good manners, humility, wishing properly, a thank you, makes a person far more attractive than physical appearances. Treat a customer the way you would want to be treated & you can’t go wrong
- Handshake: A handshake says more than words do. In the words of Helen Keller in “The Story of My Life” “The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. The touch of some hands is impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger-tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm. Others there are whose hands have sunbeams in them, so that their grasp warms my heart. It may be only the clinging touch of a child’s hand; but there is as much potential sunshine in it for me as there is in a loving glance for others. A hearty handshake gives me genuine pleasure.” Every great deal, treaty, friendship or association begins with a handshake. There is an etiquette involved here. A great handshake can charm the other person, a wrong one can be the biggest put-off.
- Eye contact: The old saying that “eyes are a reflection of your inner self” is absolutely true. Eyes reflect a person’s sincerity, integrity and comfort when communicating with another person. No matter what words say, it’s virtually impossible to lie with the eyes. Eye contact reflects attentiveness & genuine concern. It creates trust & says far more about a person than any verbal communication.
Charm is a most powerful business tool. Used wisely it is the finest way to transfer enthusiasm & gain trust & confidence. I have literally over the years, charmed my way to success.