By Jeff Bowman
Most people recognize the name Dale Carnegie from the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” or from the courses on self-improvement that have sold millions of copies since the late 1920’s. Some more closely associate him with ‘the elevator pitch”
Carnegie’s ideas on changing other people’s behaviour by adjusting your own reaction to them still hold true today especially in the field of sales and presentations. Listening, probing and showing genuine interest in a client’s needs is the basis for relationship selling or put differently, becoming a partner with your client as opposed to a simple supplier of goods or services.
According to Carnegie
“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
Carnegie was quite innovative in his ideas, and in understanding the needs of the common man. After a failed stint as a stage actor, he turned his attention to lecturing others in the art of self-improvement. In the 1914, there was no one to fund his ventures, so as a successful salesperson would, he found an alternative. He persuaded a manager of a local YMCA to let him speak, and he would keep 80% of the proceeds. He was soon earning what would be equal to about $10,000 a week, capitalizing on the fact that everyone wanted to improve themselves in some way to increase their level of confidence – a hidden need not often expressed openly even in the business world of today.
Carnegie operated on the premise that he would not fail. As long as he put the effort into what he did, he would be successfully. A lesson not lost on entrepreneurs ever since.
Remember the old line “when fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”? That was him. Always the positive thinker, and idea innovator. Did you know that he even changed his name to capitalize on familiarity? Originally he was Dale Carnagey, however he changed to Carnegie because Andrew Carnegie the wealthy industrialist was already a household name. Now that’s creative thinking!