HOW TO INTEREST PEOPLE
Maybe you don’t like mountains. Maybe you don’t like cars. But do you like the person? Dale Carnegie says that “Talking in terms of the other person’s interests pays off for both parties.”
LET ME GIVE A PERSONAL ILLUSTRATION
I never thought about that when I went to visit my friend, Francis Shook, decades ago at her place. Wanting to gain some more gardening knowledge I thought, “Why not ask the senior gardeners in my area?”
Mrs. Shook took the time to show me all of her gardens. I asked questions about everything. As I listened I could hear her passion and absolute love of growing things. It was fascinating to me. I was learning heaps. As I look back on it with 4 decades of hindsight I realize she was enjoying it as much as I. I wanted to hear everything and this motivated her to tell me everything! She must have given me 2 hours of her time.
At the end of our visit she asked me if I would like a small prune/plum tree. She gave me 3 well rooted shoots; one of which is still producing in my yard. So yes…I have experienced how ‘talking in terms of the other person’s interest pays off for both parties’.
MR. CARNEGIE’S STORY
Mr. Duvernoy had been trying to sell bread to a certain New York hotel. He had called on the manager every week for four years. He went to the same social affairs the manager attended. He even took rooms in the hotel and lived there in order to get the business. But he failed. “Then,” said Mr. Duvernoy, “after studying human relations, I resolved to change my tactics. I decided to find out what interested this man–what caught his enthusiasm.
“I discovered he belonged to a society of hotel executives called the Hotel Greeters of America. He not only belonged, but his bubbling enthusiasm had made him president of the organization, and president of the International Greeters. No matter where its conventions were held, he would be there.
“So when I saw him the next day, I began talking about the Greeters. What a response I got. What a response! He talked to me for half an hour about the Greeters, his tones vibrant with enthusiasm. I could plainly see that this society was not only his hobby, it was the passion of his life. Before I left his office, he had ‘sold’ me a membership in his organization.
“In the meantime, I had said nothing about bread. But a few days later, the steward of his hotel phoned me to come over with samples and prices. ” ‘I don’t know what you did to the old boy’, the steward greeted me, ‘but he sure is sold on you!’ “Think of it! I had been drumming at that man for four years–trying to get his business–and I’d still be drumming at him if I hadn’t finally taken the trouble to find out what he was interested in, and what he enjoyed talking about.”
When we show interest–real interest in someones else’s interests we make ourselves agreeable. You don’t have a lot of knowledge about your acquaintance’s interests? No problem. Be interested and just keep asking questions about the subject. It allows the other person to feel appreciated, therefore moving the person to trust and like us.
Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
I look forward to sharing Mr. Carnegie’s 6th Principle next week.
–Karen Moilliet February 12, 2020