The Power of a Smile

By Sue Voyles / March 13, 2017 /

“Your best networking tool is a smile. Don’t underestimate its power when meeting people.”

This was my quote selected by the Woman’s Advantage Shared Wisdom calendar for 2016. And it’s one I try to live by, because smiling has many benefits.

sue-voyles-smile-quoteWhen we smile, we signal our friendliness, openness to engaging, and interest in people. Smiling reduces stress hormone levels, and increases mood-enhancing endorphins. A 2010 study by Wayne State University even showed that smiling might help you live longer!

Smiles are one of the few non-verbal communications that translates between cultures. Common signs like a thumbs-up have very different meanings in other cultures (in Australia, it could be considered vulgar). But a smile is able to communicate the same positive feeling, no matter where you’re from.

With all of these benefits, is it really a surprise that smiling can have a positive effect on your business, as well? Smiling creates a connection between two people — in this case, you and another person (client, employee, vendor, etc.). And one of the most important things in any successful business relationship is a connection.

Furthermore, smiling is a mindset. If you start your business interactions with a smile, you’re actually more likely to be in a happier, more relaxed frame of mind. This will help you put your best foot forward in any business interaction.

Studies back up the power of a smile. In a survey by Kingston University, 59% of consumers claimed that a smile and a friendly greeting was the reason that they were loyal to their company. This was the most common response given, proving that a smile is key in deciding how consumers are going to perceive you.

While social media and online communications are all valuable, meeting people with a genuine smile and handshake can go a long way in building relationships. And in the end, it is really true that people “do business with people that they know and trust.”

–Sue Voyles