It may be hard to believe, but it’s been 80 years since Dale Carnegie originally published the bestselling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” For anyone in corporate America at the time — sales teams included, this gem was a must-read.
Among other things, Carnegie’s book promised to give you the tools to become a better salesman, win people over to your way of thinking, help you network more effectively — and, ultimately, increase your earning power. More than 15 million copies later, you’d think “How to Win Friends …” would finally be a bit irrelevant in today’s tech-driven business climate.
Actually, they’re more relevant than ever. Even if you never meet your prospects while engaging them in the digital space, the principles still apply. You need the skills to be able to win over people through whatever communication channels you’re using. Here are some skills that carry over from Carnegie’s vision — no matter what decade or platform you’re operating in.
Maintain a “relationship” mindset. Whether you’re communicating online, through emails or in person, your warmth and genuineness must come across to your targeted audience. Here’s what Carnegie had to say about developing this mindset.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Smile (Yes, this works even if they can’t see you. Try smiling when talking to someone on the phone. The warmth will come through).
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. (Use data to determine what is relevant to your prospects).
- Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.
Be diplomatic in winning them over. When you’re close to closing a deal, don’t offend your prospects. Take the time to listen and follow these tips from Dale Carnegie on your way to negotiating an agreement.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong.”
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Dramatize your ideas.
As you’re seeking to develop relationships with your customers, you also need to make sure that you’re freed up to have meaningful conversations. MonsterConnect can help. Let us show you a demonstration of our sales prospecting enablement tool — and how it can help your team.