This week, Mr. Carnegie gives us 6 ways to make people like us. Have you started your mental list of what they could be? They are pretty common sense, as you’ll see.
Last week, we went over Principles dealing with Handling People—don’t criticize, condemn or complain, give honest and sincere appreciation and getting people to really want what you want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
1. “Become genuinely interested in people.” Don’t try to ‘sell’ someone before developing a relationship. This tip is really spot on and so important in the social media era we’re now in. With information always being pushed out to us, via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds, we get a firehose full of messages, invitations and offers. How do we determine what we’ll click on or gather further information on? It’s the people who seem human, who have conversations and interactions with other people. We want to know who we’re doing business with before we do business with them.
2. “Smile. ancient Chinese proverb, A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” With so many interactions we have being electronic, it’s sometimes easy to forget to have a smile in our voice when speaking. We are more approachable when we have a smile or at least a pleasant expression on our face. If you’re at a networking event, remember to smile! Mr. Carnegie always said one of the two top positions in any company is the receptionist and he insisted that person be ultra-friendly. To people coming in, that person represents the company.
3. “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language, be aware of the magic contained in a name.” How many of us say we’re so bad at names? I know I’m one of them. All of us want to be remembered – that’s why when we attend conferences, we get a name badge that we wear proclaiming our names, Twitter handle and other personas. There are many tips and tricks published out there on how to remember someone’s name. According to Mr. Carnegie, some of the most successful are those who have mastered a way to remember names.
4. “Be a good listener“. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Ask questions, you know they’ll like to answer.” The key here is to ask the question that will get someone to open up. It does help to do some research on someone to get an idea of their hobbies and interests. Again, it goes back to building relationships one small step at a time. When you meet someone (perhaps a potential client), you’ve always wanted to meet, don’t start telling them about your great product or service, instead, get them to talk about what they are passionate about. Listen intently and ask follow-up questions to draw them out further. When they feel you are genuinely interested in them, a friendship has happened. In the book, Mr. Carnegie practiced this in his sales days and often visited clients and didn’t bring up what he was selling, he observed things in the client’s office and started a conversation about something that looked like a hobby. People would often say about him, he was a ‘Great conversationalist’ but all he did was listen. He got sales too!
5. “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Let them know how your skills will benefit them.” When you get an audience with someone or see someone at an event, craft your ‘pitch’ around how it will benefit them. If I (or you), am looking for a service, I’m looking for how it will benefit me or solve a particular problem. If you’re writing a page for your website, especially your ‘About Me’ page, craft it in terms of your ideal client’s needs. Instead of going on about your background and history, write in terms of how your background and experience could solve someone’s pain points.
6. “Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely. Figure out what people are interested in and ask them about it.” This is really tied into #4, be a good listener. We all want to feel important and be recognized, don’t we? For those of us who are employers, it’s important to find and recognize the good things our employees do. When we praise an employee for a particular job they did, it’s gives them confidence and desire to keep it up and even do better. This chapter in the book, chapter 6, has many stories that detail some of Mr. Carnegie’s experiences.
Those are the ‘6 Ways To Make People Like You’, from ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People. How many of these do you practice and what has your experience been? Leave a comment. We’ve all probably heard these principles at one time and it’s good to review them periodically. As Mr. Carnegie said, re-read the book from time to time to keep things fresh in your mind.