Similar to the principle of proximity, the more people see someone the more they like them (even if they are not physically close to them). Known as the ‘mere exposure effect’ in psychology, the simple fact that the more frequently you are exposed to something the more positive you are likely to feel about it. This is referred to as ‘familiarity breeds liking’.
As a general rule, people distrust new things and people. This makes sense because the more unfamiliar your surroundings and the people around you, the less you know what to expect and are naturally more guarded.
As mentioned above, the mere exposure effect, also known as the familiarity principle, states that the more we are exposed to something, the more we come to like it. An example of this principle can be seen in a study by Moreland and Beach (1992). Over a semester at a college, four women of similar appearance attended either 15, 10, 5 or no classes.
Other students of those classes then rated the women for perceived familiarity, attractiveness, and similarity at the end of the term. Results indicated the students liked the women who had spent the most time in the class.
Becoming familiar is a necessary first step to becoming liked and accepted. It is also important to present yourself consistently as this sends the message that you are reliable and trustworthy, whilst presenting yourself inconsistently sends the message that you are haphazard and unpredictable.
So to overcome this we need to make ourselves as familiar as possible. This is one of the reasons I strongly encourage Brokers to use their face on all their marketing and business materials. We are trying to get people to buy us, so making yourself as familiar as possible to them is only going to help.
If you were selling your home and had a list of your local real estate agents to choose from, you would naturally lean more towards the ones you were more familiar with and had regularly seen their faces on billboards and bus-stops around your neighbourhood, rather than one you had seen for the very first time.
People are very aware when they meet someone for the first time, whereas if they have seen someone’s face many times, though never having met in person, this first interaction is usually more friendly and less cautious.
This is also why I recommend Brokers work and become known in their local areas rather than running state-wide newspaper ads. As a rule, I would always prefer to spend $100 in advertising to have 10 people see me 10 times each, rather than 100 people see me only once.
So to make ourselves more approachable to others, you need to expose others to who you are. That exposure needs to be repeated in a consistent manner, until you are clearly recognisable and comfortable to them. The more they see you, the more comfortable they will be with you.