One of the Best Books You Can Read About Sales Isn’t About Sales.
That book is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. His self-help book is a fantastic guide to getting away with ANYTHING. Just kidding. His book dives deep into how humans operate and what you, the reader, can do, to take advantage of that for the benefit of both parties involved.
With this said, you may wonder — What does this have to do with sales? Sales at its core is about how you can benefit people to benefit yourself. Dale Carnegie’s book is all about that. Being in print for over 80 years, his book still holds exceptional value today.
Now what in his book applies to sales? Here are some points in his book:
“If You Want to Gather Honey Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”
This is the name of the first chapter in his book. Essentially this chapter is about not criticizing people. In Dale Carnegie’s own words,”Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”
This applies to sales perfectly! When in a sales call or emailing session with an annoying customer, you may want to scream and criticize their opinions on your product. Criticizing a customer is something a salesman should never do. You can lose sales that way and even lose future customers if that lead leaves nasty online reviews. Allowing that person to have their ego, is the best way you can protect yourself from an angry customer.
But, how do you convince someone who is certain that they are right that they are wrong?
“The Big Secret of Dealing with People”
The big secret in Carnegie’s second chapter is: appreciation. Appreciation is the act of making someone feel important by valuing something about them. Every single person on the earth wants to feel important some way, somehow. Appreciation is a surefire way to make any person like you and want to help you.
In sales, appreciation is easily implemented if you know something about the customer. Once you know something about that person, acknowledge it and uplift them. It takes practice to perfect, but over time appreciation will convince customers that you are worthwhile to them. Once they feel appreciated for, instead of a feeling of being used for profit, their previous reasoning may fade. Once they feel comfortable, making sales becomes much easier.
But, what if the customer doesn’t want what you offer?
“He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way”
What is Dale Carnegie talking about now? In this chapter the big lesson is: giving people what they want. We all want something different. Finding what other people want is like using the “right bait to hook the fish.”
As a salesman your job is to find exactly what your clients want. You can’t persuade someone who only has a budget of $500 to spend $1500. You have to analyze your customer to find out what type of fish they are. All fish like bait, but all have different sized mouths. Use practice and experience to find the perfect option for your customers. Giving people exactly what they want is how you seal deals.
But, what do you do with all this information?
With all this information at hand there are few options. You could read all this and say to yourself,” Huh, those are some great tips! On to the next article!”
That would be silly wouldn’t it?
Lots of people including myself do this everyday. We consume information, but don’t put it to use! The only thing you can do is take action! Practice makes perfect right?