OK, you’re in business to make money. That means you are going to have to find clients and customers somewhere. If you sit around and wait for them to find you, you’ll grow and poor. You have to go out and find them.
One thing to remember is that they are, in all probability, just as shy as you are. After all, they are real people just like you. They’re not some evil behemoth searching for new business people to eat for breakfast. If you ask, they will respond… nicely most of the time (unless you’re a jerk).
Here is the secret of most of the most successful business prospectors today:
Did you know that Warren Buffett
took the Dale Carnegie course “How to Win Friends and Influence People” when he was 20 years old and to this day has the diploma in his office?
Now, you can take that course if you want ($2,000 last time I checked) or you can read the book ($10.99 for the Kindle edition or $8.22 for the paperback at Amazon.com). My advice: Read the book. It’s quicker.
When you read How to Win Friends & Influence People, study the simple, straight-forward advice, and start applying it in your life, you will lose your fear of talking with other people. That might be a small step, but it is the first giant leap to business success.
Here’s What You Will Learn:
Eight Things This Book Will Do for You
This section was included in the original 1936 edition as a single page list, which preceded the main content of the book, showing a prospective reader what to expect from it.
- Get you out of a mental rut, think new thoughts, acquire new visions, and discover new ambitions.
- Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
- Increase your popularity.
- Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
- Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
- Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
- Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
- Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.
The book has four major sections. The core principles of each section are quoted below.
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong.”
- If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- 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.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise every improvement.
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
I recommend that you focus your study on the second section, “Six Ways to Make People Like You”. This section teaches you have to easily and naturally gain rapport with the people you are talking to. When you can do that, prospecting is a breeze. You are now simply chit-chatting with a new friend.
One last hint: Encourage the other person to do most of the talking. They’ll love you for it!
In my next article, we’ll talk about an easy way to find kind-hearted souls to start talking to and what to say to them.
John Gilger is a Business Development Coach with over 40 years of experience as a systems engineer, leader, and trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702.527.8508 (voice or text)
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