A solid background in sales can help you immensely, no matter what industry you’re in.
For decades, “teaching people how to sell” has become a profitable business of its own. With dozens of courses, ebooks, and videos coming out on a monthly basis on just that topic.
With all of this information out there, how do you know if it’s worth it?
What should you actually be focusing on?
While marketing and sales are ever-evolving industries that require fresh insights and strategies, a large portion of the fundaments of sales and customer relationship advice can be attributed to one pioneer of his time, Dale Carnegie.
We’ll be breaking down exactly who Dale Carnegie was, his top strategies for sales success, and how you can begin implementing them in your own life and business.
Who was Dale Carnegie?
Dale Carnegie was an American writer, lecturer, and developer of several courses regarding salesmanship, self-improvement, public speaking and more.
Perhaps what Dale was most famous for, however, was his world-renowned book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book has a legacy of its own, being published in 1936, it sold over 15 million copies and listed by Time Magazine as one of the most influential books of all time.
The strategies discussed regarding sales and building effective relationships served as the birthplace for thousands of similar materials to come. Despite passing away in 1955, Dale’s advice and a sound understanding of people continue to educate and inspire millions around the world.
Here are some of Dale’s top tips for sales success that you can begin implementing for yourself:
Tip #1: Show Genuine Interest
Perhaps the easiest, but also the most effective piece of advice catered to sales and relationship building is showing a genuine interest in people and their business/problems/etc.
People don’t like being sold to. They like being listened to and offered sound advice and feedback regarding whatever situation they are in.
By showing a genuine interest in your customers or clients, asking valuable questions, and actively engaging with them beyond a standard sales pitch is the quickest way to build legitimate relationships with your clients and can set you up for a lifetime value of business and customer loyalty.
Tip #2: Arouse an Eager Want/Need
As mentioned above, people generally don’t react positively or take immediate action based on sales pitches alone.
Dale frequently preached that the easiest way to get people to take action in a sales situation is to arouse an eager want or need that this person possesses.
It’s easy to reframe your mindset to match the strategy. Take the fitness/supplement industry for example, people don’t buy these products based on their specifications or endorsed reviews, they buy them because they eagerly want to get their body into the best shape it can be.
When you identify and arouse the specific wants or needs of your customers with your products or services, it can go a long way in initiating action.
Tip #3: Dramatize and Correctly Position Your Ideas
Customers and clients can get overwhelmed when too many facts, statistics, and perceived benefits of products or services are presented to them.
As mentioned above, this is mostly because none of those invoke emotional responses. When you can position your offerings as ideas to benefit your customer, rather than simply a product or service that you would benefit from the sale of, people become much more receptacle to allowing you to implement them.
Tip #4: The Best Way to Win Arguments is to Avoid Them
Conflict is never a good thing, and even when you think you “win” arguments, you’re really losing, due to the loss of potential contact and the way that you’re perceived.
Dale regularly said that the best way to win arguments is to simply avoid them, by instead working to find common ground and acknowledging the ideas you may not agree with, in a respectable way that can allow for future productive conversations and dealings.
Tip #5: Build Excellent Relationships to Win Consistent Referrals
All of the foundations of Dale’s messages revolve around building genuine relationships with people and clients.
While this is effective for increasing the long term value of individual customers, it’s also an effective and relatively effortless way to earn referrals.
After all, people seek products or services that have benefitted those that they personally know and have discussed about before. The more satisfied clients and customers that you have, the more referrals and new business you’ll win from their contacts.
Tip #6: Keep Client Communication Loops Open Even After-Sales
It’s a common misbelief that the sales cycle ends after the sale itself, which is entirely untrue.
In fact, the real value that you’ll gain from individual clients or customers comes long after that first initial sale. By consistently engaging with, providing value, and generally being helpful after a sale will set you up with a lifetime of added value for your business.
There are countless ways to keep client communication loops open post-sales, including weekly newsletters, personalized content, or even monthly or quarterly “catch up” calls.
When it comes down to the fundamentals of it, while difficult to master, the fundamentals of sales and relationship building are really quite simple.
By treating your customers as real people, building genuine relationships, and treating your products or services as ideas to benefit your customers rather than your business, you will already be light years ahead of your competition.
While Dale may not be here to continue to offer his relatable advice, his legacy certainly lives on.