Big IdeasSelling

How to win friends (and clients) like Dale Carnegie

By 01/25/2011August 12th, 2022No Comments

Selling the Dale Carnegie way 

As a business owner, you persuade and sell with the words you use. Yet many people hold back when it comes to selling one thing – themselves

If you’re not a natural salesperson, you’re not alone. Selling yourself – whether at a networking event, over the phone (perhaps the hardest way), or face-to-face with one person – isn’t easy, and can create anxiety and avoidance. Even for big-time CEOs and high-level managers.

The Dale Carnegie method

In his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Carnegie was talking about friends, but this technique can also work for clients. Instead of always being ready to launch into your “elevator speech” and talk about yourself and your business, work on becoming a good conversationalist and an effective listener.

Selling made easy

3 ways to do this: 

  1. Ask interesting questions. People love to talk about themselves (much more than they like to hear about you and your business.) 
  2. Keep informed and well-read. The more you’re up on the world around you (current events, business ideas, even entertainment), the easier it is to find common connections and establish rapport. 
  3. Take a sincere interest in others. When you’re genuinely interested in someone else and what they do, and ask thought-provoking and relevant questions, they’ll open up to you. 

If your motivation in asking questions and listening is to truly understand the other person, it will lead to natural openings in the conversation. Then, and only if you can frame it in a way that solves their problem, should you talk about what you do.

Is this just a thinly-veiled sales technique? Not at all. It’s just a simple (and “reverse”) way to go about communicating your ideas. One that could lead to more clients … and probably, more friends.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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