Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, was one of the first self-help books to become a best-seller and has sold 15 million copies worldwide since its original 1936 publication. Eighty years later, much of Carnegie’s advice rings true, and is very applicable to those in sales professions.
Humans have an inherent desire to be number one. We love winning! When it comes to business, we all want to be recognized for our hard work, to be well-liked and respected by our peers, and to shine in our department/company/industry.
While it’s true that you can win through ruthless and aggressive business practices, this rarely works out in the long run. A much more sustainable way to get on the winning track is to build a good reputation and rapport for yourself. Carnegie’s famous book lists six ways in which you can do so (listed under “Making People Like You”), which are:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that their name, is to them, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage people to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important, and do so sincerely.
"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." - Dale Carnegie
Think of "friends" as "prospects". While these tips are basic, they are all too often forgotten. It's very easy to get caught up in one's self during interpersonal interactions. Try implementing the above-mentioned techniques into your daily dealings with prospects, and you will likely find yourself fostering stronger relationships with them and closing more sales – in essence, you'll start winning!
Not sure where to start? SRi’s customized sales consulting solutions can help. Align your product offerings to your specific prospects, and develop customized messaging that speaks their language, with our Paint-the-Picture® playbooks. Learn how to train your team to win and be a better leader with our Coaching and Mentoring solutions.