How To Win Friends & Influence People

If you have had the enormous pleasure of not seeing me recently, you will have avoided me no doubt banging on about Dale Carnegie and How To Win Friends And Influence People, a book I recently revisited armed with a highlighter pen.

I know what you’re thinking, why would such a happy-go-lucky guy like Craig need such a book. But, considering it was written in 1936, it has so many snippets of ‘of course’ moments that are so relevant today. If you’ve not read it, I would suggest it. You can get it for £8 from Amazon.

dale carnegie

Marketing is people skills

The reason I mention the book is that so many of the basic concepts that come out of it relate to marketing, even now 84 years later. In fact, with the proliferation of social media, they are possibly even more relevant, seeing as how we now have quick and easy tools to talk to vast audiences about ourselves. If you’ve never read the book, there’s a section with chapters with the following summary headings:

6 WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU

  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Smile.
  • A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.​

It’s not (about) you, it’s (about) me

One of the biggest issues with marketing [for me] in 2020 is organisations and individuals actually caring. So many people (marketers included) say what they think people want them to hear, rather than taking time to fully understand what they are saying – So many bandwagons, happily jumped upon.

At the moment we can post that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and that we ‘Support the NHS’ (both worthy causes) but how many people actually, really, truly mean what they say without thinking it’s just something they want to be seen to be doing? Complex subjects compressed into single sentences.

How many companies step back, think and discuss what their position is before they write stuff. Does the position seep through the business DNA?

That’s why, more than ever, the questions are becoming more important than the answers.

No loaded guns please

Take a look at your own social media feed and the people you follow, especially LinkedIn if you are on it. Have a look at the messages people put and start to understand where you think there is genuine value being shared.

Yes, marketing needs an end-game, but creating empathy is more important than showing off and talking about yourself.

This morning I had a LinkedIn request…

“Hi Craig, I see we have people in common. I am trying to expand my network and think it would be good if we connect.”

Not one mention of me.

And how about you?

Why not turn down the background noise online and concentrate on the people that matter – the customers you have. By all means, have a stance on important issues if it REALLY matters and your business DNA backs that up, but in an age where people complain they find it harder to connect online to new clients, it makes sense to stick to a basic message to create articles, stories, campaigns and content that engage the people who will pay you. THAT, is the backbone of marketing.

Practice rules 1,2,4,5 and 6 and you’ll find you’ll get so many content and campaign ideas directly from your clients. Add rule 3 into the mix and you’ll be maximising the impact when you start speaking to people about the things that matter to them.