Two powerful techniques Dale Carnegie communicates that make not only for good salespeople, but are also traits of a good human being.
Latin Biz Today advisory board member Chuck Garcia’s six-part video series for business owners to secure and retain more customers. Part 5’s call to action requires that you sell Wirth humanity.
Parts one to four can be found here: Part 1: How Dale Carnegie Techniques Can Enhance Customer Acquisition and Retention [Video] Part 2: Dale Carnegie Principles & Tactics to Acquire and Retain Customers, Part 2 [Video], Part 3: Customer Acquisition & Retention: Be Interested & Listen Part 3 [Video] Part 4: Acquisition & Retention: Selling More to Your Base to Drive Business Success, Part 4 [Video]
In our modern world of social media, people around the globe spend lot of time self-promoting. While some consider this shameful, others see social media as an opportunity to build their business and differentiate it in ways unimagined one generation ago. The speed and ease of use of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook enable anyone with a smart phone to reach the four corners of the earth with lightning speed.
In 1936, the year Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, radio was a well-established device seen in most of America’s living rooms. Loaded with advertisements to buy Colgate toothpaste, drive a Ford automobile, or disinfect your kitchen with Mr. Clean, advertising worked effectively! People bought what companies sold thanks to technology that established the art and science of 20th century promotion. They persuaded prospects that they were better off with their products than without them. “Spend your money with me” and you can “lose 20 pounds,” “have glistening teeth,” or “cook a gourmet meal in 7 minutes.”
These companies continue to endlessly promote their products in new and innovative ways. Individuals have learned from these tactics and now promote their favorite offering…themselves! “Follow me on Instagram,” “Like me on Facebook,” and “Subscribe to my YouTube channel” have become part of the 21st century lexicon.
Heading into 2022, the avalanche of promotion techniques on any given day is overwhelming. What tools work, what don’t, and what can you learn in order to win more customers and keep them? Whether you use social media or not, promoting yourself and/or your company is as critical as ever to stand out and be heard above the noise. But how?
In our LBT series on customer acquisition and retention, what’s old is what’s new. In prior articles, I described many of Dale Carnegie’s timeless principles which offer tactics and techniques to move customers and prospects closer to your cause. Winning new business is more than rattling off endless features and functions that make your product distinctive.
Carnegie continually reminds us that God gave us two ears and one mouth. No matter which principles you choose, listening twice as much as you talk is a cornerstone of being a good salesperson. It is no wonder his blockbuster book sold over 30 million copies and is offered in 36 languages. This self-help bible transcends any one topic and reminds us how important it is to show the best sides of our humanity while infinitely promoting ourselves to stay on the path to success and prosperity.
As you ponder behavioral adjustments needed to convert prospects into customers, consider the following techniques.
Two powerful techniques Carnegie communicates that make not only for good salespeople, but are also traits of a good human being:
- Become genuinely interested in other people. When you speak to prospects, hold off on communicating the magnitude of your product’s features. Before you claim all the magnificent ways your offering will change the world, think differently about how you connect to them. Carnegie asserts that the best way to promote your product is not by talking, but by listening. Then, as you engage with a potential customer, don’t make any statements about you or your offerings. Instead, go into question mode and start getting acquainted with that individual on a deeper level. Your questioning techniques can start as simple as, “Where are you from? What do you do for a living? What is your favorite hobby?” Then, as you show your interest, the customer will start to relate how your offering may apply to either their livelihood or pastime. In spite of a global population of 8 billion, loneliness is rampant. Some prospects just want someone to pay attention to them. Give it a try next time. Slow down. Resist the impulse to dive into your product features. Show interest in the prospect, and you’ll be amazed how they reciprocate and buy what you are selling.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing another person’s. Brene Brown, a college professor, social worker, and bestselling author, spent decades studying the topics of courage, vulnerability, and empathy. She continues to persuade an entire universe of TED Talk watchers that admitting your mistakes is a sign of strength, not weakness. She expresses in this decade what Carnegie knew eighty years ago; we are all striving for progress, not perfection. If you want to relate to someone on a more personal level, spewing your list of accomplishments is not the best way. Share with your prospects the struggles, mistakes, and lessons learned. You may find, as both Carnegie and Brown communicate with great conviction, that connecting with others comes from a place of honesty, authenticity, and emotional intelligence.