My father was in his years of needing to use a wheelchair years ago. We were driving to a baseball game and accidentally left the wheelchair at his home.
He said to keep driving to the game, he’d manage.
I could tell, as we approached the stadium, that he was getting anxious. He wondered out loud how he would be able to stand in the long lines waiting to get in. I responded by telling him, “Dad, I have a foolproof plan.”
I explained that if the handicap parking spots were full, I’d pull up to the curb. I’d wave over to someone working at the stadium and tell him these words: “Hi. My father doesn’t have his wheelchair and he doesn’t have a lot of strength to stand in the long lines to get in. Do you know who would have the authority to assist him to his seat?”
My father smiled. He said, “You’re going to empower them by giving them a clear opportunity to do what they would really like to do. They have the authority, but you’ve empowered them by thinking in terms of the other person.”
“Carnegie,” was all I said as I smiled. Then he smiled bigger. He had passed that on to me years earlier. Apparently I had been listening.
Have you read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People?
It was first published nearly 80 years ago, but it’s stood the test of time because Dale Carnegie was really good at understanding people.
“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
When you accurately understand people, on a core level of needs, desires and fears, you can sell anything to anyone. That’s what it took to sell some of the things he sold… Pig lard? Seriously?
Although Carnegie never dabbled in social selling as we know it today, so many of the things he did do and say show us clearly how good he would’ve been at it today.
Social selling and content marketing expert Koka Sexton (@kokasexton) posted an article to LinkedIn almost two years ago titled: “5 Things Dale Carnegie Can Teach You About Social Selling.”
This article has also stood the test of time and is just as relevant, and practically useful, today as it was back in 2013. That’s simply because Carnegie’s lessons about understanding people has stood a far greater duration of time..
“Dale Carnegie understood human nature better than just about anyone in the 20th century – or today for that matter. His message was simple: happiness and success are achieved when you focus on making others happy and successful.”
Think in the terms of the other person. Carnegie said that often.
WHAT DID CARNEGIE KNOW BACK THEN?
In Sexton’s article, the author explains five things Dale Carnegie can teach us about social selling. And it really does work, because social selling is rooted in understanding human behavior.
Whenever you can get better at this skill, especially as a sales professional, do it.
I’ll only tell you about one of the 5 points here; you can read the rest of it after you finish reading this article. That point is: Become genuinely interested in other people.
It sounds as if you would already understand this, but Carnegie had an amazing ability to help us understand principles like this one on a much deeper level through anecdotes.
There’s a noticeable difference, in the eyes of the buyer, between someone who knows they should be genuinely interested in the other person and someone who genuinely is interested in the other person.
On the seller’s end, the differences aren’t easily distinguishable when the genuineness is forced. The seller may feel he or she is fooling the buyer, but it’s not happening. That leads to much confusion and sales slumps.
Becoming, perhaps for the first time in your life, truly genuinely interested in the other person gives us the “Aha!” moment we need to know what to replicate. The confusion goes away and your confidence builds quickly and it feels different. It feels permanent.
The rest of Sexton’s principles are also must-reads (so go read his article now) as are Carnegie’s books. I’ve kept a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People in my briefcase [and now in my laptop bag] for more than 25 years. I even carry extra paperback copies to give away to others.
Along with Sexton’s article, I also highly recommend downloading his Secrets of Success compilation [click to view the downloadable PDF file] as well as bookmarking his Golden Book.
Regarding my father, everything went perfect. I was able to park and take my seat next to him before the umpire yelled: “Play ball!”
It’s once again time for us to get out there and play ball!
[Reading Time For Sexton’s Article: 3:30 minutes]
QUESTION ::: Thinking about everything Carnegie has taught us over the years, which nugget means the most to you.
Let’s talk about it…