Part 2: Your Call to Action for Customer Acquisition and Retention
Latin Biz Today advisory board member Chuck Garcia, kicks off a six-part video series for business owners to secure and retain more customers.
In part 1: How Dale Carnegie Techniques Can Enhance Customer Acquisition and Retention [Video] Chuck makes the connection between customer success and three Dale Carnegie techniques to both acquire customers and sustain client loyalty.
For more than 25 years I rode a commuter train from the New York City suburbs to Grand Central Station. Before the Covid-19 epidemic, approximately 140,000 people passed through the station on their way to and from work. With 49 minutes each way, this was a daily opportunity to make good use of time by reading books, newspapers, or anything that could teach me something valuable.
On the first month of my travels on Metro North’s Hudson Line in the mid 1990s, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were reading the Bible. No surprise since 3.9 billion copies were sold in the past 50 years. I, however, decided to read a different book that felt biblical when I finished it the first time. Written in 1936, it has sold a mere 50 million copies worldwide. It is rich in content, filled with actionable advice, and critical for personal and spiritual growth.
Flash forward to 2021, and I still turn to the book for doses of daily inspiration. Its principles constantly remind me of the critical factors necessary to grow and support my business. Since I was deep into a career of selling and retaining business, I welcomed the powerful tactics which continue to help me today. Whether communicating with a prospect or a customer, I quickly learned they did not remember most of what I said, but they never forgot how I made them feel. Ensuring they felt important and appreciated subsequently became a reminder to keep it handy and religiously practice what it preaches.
The book is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. To say its effect on me has been profound is an understatement. To this day, I thank Carnegie for teaching me to develop my own religion, rooted in the need to build credibility, trust, and respect on the climb to the top of my career mountain.
The book’s key messages encourage anyone seeking guidance amidst the confusion of endless self-help titles:
- You can pursue the job you want and get it.
- You can accept that position and improve it.
- You can take any situation with friends, family, and colleagues, and make it something positive despite any obstacles.
This timeless classic is the best book I ever read on human behavior. It sets aside theories, research, and longitudinal studies, and communicates in plain English how to network, build coalitions, and learn the art and science of influence that propels careers. The simple yet powerful principles are the precursors of Emotional Intelligence and continue to help me redefine what it means to be smart.
From the beginning, Carnegie communicates how to get the most out of his book: “Have a deep, driving desire to learn, and a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people. Remind yourself how important these principles are, as your happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon your skill in dealing with people.”
Divided into four parts, Carnegie articulates 30 distinct principles like a tool kit, to use each as appropriate to the task at hand. Part 1, Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, is a dos and don’ts formula to enhance your interactions:
For today’s call to action, internalize, practice, and refine the book’s first two principles:
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. In the words of Carnegie, any fool can do all three, and most do. Although not ill intentioned, some people have a habit of finding fault in others, no matter the circumstance. To the person on the receiving end of that behavior, it can feel humiliating. Many in this world measure other people’s actions by their own yardstick, rarely taking the time to consider there may be multiple approaches and solutions to the same scenario(s).
Instead of condemning people, seek first to understand them, then to be understood. Consider why they do what they do, before you criticize, condemn, or complain. Trying to understand first is “more profitable and intriguing than criticism, and breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.” As Carnegie so eloquently states, “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until the end of his days. Why should you and I?”
- Titled, “The Big Secret of Dealing with People,” this chapter makes clear that there is only one way to get anybody to do anything. “Give them what they want!”
And what do people want? According to the philosopher John Dewey, the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important.”
Your Call to Action for Customer Acquisition and Retention:
When it comes to winning and supporting your business, Carnegie urges you to “cease thinking of your accomplishments and wants. Start with trying to figure out the other person’s good points.” Then, forget flattery. Instead, be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise” and people will cherish your words. Let them know they matter. Make others feel they are significant, and they will remember you for a lifetime.
When meeting with others, put your self-serving agenda aside. Be mindful of the best way to get what you want. With appreciation, gratitude, and the desire to dedicate time and effort in the service of someone else’s wants. You may be astonished to find that letting others know how important they are can be the magic needed to finally get what you want.
Next week I’ll provide additional tips as you learn the Carnegie tools to to continually acquire and retain the customers needed to drive your business to new heights.