After re-reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, a couple of more times and reflecting on the subject, I realized that the book’s main lessons are twofold:
1. How to best evoke “eager want” from the prospect – (i.e. how to best communicate so that the why, the benefit of your product is the main focus)
2. How to connect with strangers you want to influence (i.e. pitching or negotiating)
The first part, how to evoke an eager want, is part of a mind-state shift to where you stop talking about what you want and focusing on what the prospect wants. This is accomplished by writing emails without using the word “I” a single time. Only use “you” or simply only write about the benefits of what you are offering. Nobody cares about your story or who you are. Start with the benefits of your service, don’t waste a millisecond of your prospects time talking about yourself.
Fairly trivial example: I want to get people to join my basketball team. The Pre-Dale Carneige pitch:
“I want to play basketball every Wednesday and I need teammates. Currently I don’t have enough people to play with”. This would be a pitch 99% of the world would write, with the main focal point being “I”. Basically it won’t urge anyone to join. What’s in it for them?
This is post-Carneige: I.e evoking an eager want by focusing on benefits for them rather than talking about yourself:
“Do you want to meet new people and get fit in the process? Join our basketball team on Wednesdays”.
I used this method to create a Meetup-group for public speaking last year in Shanghai and had 30+ people join on the first meetup. [This was very high attendance for a first meetup]. My Meetup-headline stated something like: “Do you want to meet new people and improve your confidence and presentation skills?” The Dale Carneige method works.
1. What do they care about?
2. List benefits about your product that makes sense to the target audience.
3. Demonstrate it through imagery, copy, taglines, videos and any way you can.
Try not to use the word “I” or “we” a single time, only “you”.
Go through the 1,2,3 – then write your headline or email or sales pitch.