We have all been in situations where we needed to make a good impression. The key is to have the person feel as if we are "similar" to him or her. Research indicates that people are more open, relaxed and willing to give you what you need if they see you as "like" them. Here are the top 5 ways to increase your odds of winning over anyone. These insider tips will come in handy in your professional and personal lives.

5. Meet them on their turf. Meeting someone at their home or office can be a huge advantage for you. For example, if you are sitting in their office, look around. Try and get a sense as to what type of person they are and what hobbies they like. Do they have pictures of their boat, dog, cat or family in the mountains. Also, notice the books on their shelves. Look for pens, magazines or anything else laying around that gives you clues as to what they like. This will be pertinent in starting a conversation they can relate to. For example, if you notice she has a picture of her family camping, bring it up. Start talking about camping. People love to talk about topics they enjoy.

4. Dress similar. Find out ahead of time what the person "might" wear. If you know they mostly wear suits, then put on your suit. If they are a jeans and t-shirt kind of person, put on your jeans and t-shirt for the meeting. Again, this is another way of creating the image you are "similar" to them.

3. Match their tone of voice. People have a variety of tones they use however, they usually have a dominant tone in their daily interactions. For example, a friend of mine, from the northeastern part of the country, always spoke very loudly. Her culture and extroverted personality contributed to this style. If you wanted to make a good impression with her, you needed to match her tone. She never responded favorably to people who spoke softly. Listen and create your tone in a similar fashion to the person you are meeting with.

2. Maintain eye contact and nod your head while they talk. Some people who are nervous meeting a new person will freeze up and often look away when the other person is talking. This is giving the wrong signal. You want them to know you are listening and interested in what they are saying. This is done by always maintaining eye contact and nodding periodically while they speak. This will give them the signal that they have your full attention and it reinforces them to keep talking.

1. The number one way to win them over is to match their body language. If they are standing and have their feet spread apart with hands in pockets, you stand spread apart with hands in pocket. If they are sitting and have their arms on the desk, put your arms on the desk. Regardless of what they do, you do the same. They will never know you are copying their moves. It will go a long way in creating an image you are similar to them and increase your odds of winning them over.

I have used these tactics successfully in job interviews, meetings with bosses, bankers, suppliers and everyone else I wanted to make a good impression with. In fact, I'll share a short story with you about one of my past bosses who my colleagues felt was difficult to work with. However, this was not the case with me.

This particular boss was no non-sense and just plain difficult to work with. However, I figured out a way to win him over. Every time I saw him standing outside on a smoke break, I made it a point to stop and talk. I knew he liked fishing, golfing and dogs. So, I always talked about these subjects. I would bring up the topic and let him talk and talk. He loved to talk about himself, so I gave him the opportunity to do it. Also, I stood the same way he did while keeping eye contact and nodding every few seconds. As a result, he began to like me. Whenever I needed a day off or anything else, he almost always said yes. My colleagues were baffled as he rejected most of their requests.

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laskis is an author, professional speaker, success coach, behavior expert, organizational consultant and president of Lex-T.