All these years later, connecting with new people remains a vital
skill for any entrepreneur hoping to grow her network. But
that doesn't mean it's easy, especially for introverts. Not long ago
entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore formed
a list of the habits he's observed in skillful connectors. In the
spirit of Carnegie's "Six Ways," here are six habits from Dinsmore's list,
supplemented with timeless tidbits from How to Win Friends.
1. Smile. "Smiles are contagious and the simple act makes
people feel better," writes Dinsmore. Carnegie goes one step further: "The
expression one wears on one's face is far more important than the clothes one
wears on one's back." Carnegie even cites an old training program that phone
companies provided to teach selling over the phone. "They suggest you smile when
talking on the phone," he writes. "Your 'smile' comes through in your voice."
2. Make friends. "Ask, 'How would I treat this person if
they were my close friend or someone I'd want to be a close friend?'" explains
Dinsmore. Carnegie stresses the practice of empathy. He tells the story of a
Philadelphia fuel salesman named C.M. Knaphle who hated the advent of chain
stores because a chain in Philadelphia bought its fuel from out-of-town dealers,
instead of him. At Carnegie's behest, Knaphle agreed to debate other students in
Carnegie's courses about whether chain stores were good or bad. The catch?
Knaphle had to defend the chain stores. He went back to the store that wasn't
buying his fuel and asked the buyer for advice that could help him in the
debate. "I must confess that he opened my eyes to things I had never even
dreamed of," wrote Knaphle. The buyer grew to like Knaphle personally--and
ultimately became a customer.
3. Pay attention. "People want to tell their story. Be the
person excited to hear it," notes Dinsmore. Carnegie tells the story of meeting
a woman at a party who'd just returned from a trip to Africa with her husband.
"Africa!" Carnegie exclaimed. "How interesting. I've always wanted to see
Africa." He asked the women a quick series of questions. The woman wound up
talking to him for 45 straight minutes.
4. See friends, not strangers. "When you walk into a room,
see the new faces not as strangers but as friends you have yet to meet," writes
Dinsmore. Carnegie describes how Jim Farley, former chaiman of the Democratic
National Committee, had a method for morphing strangers into friends. Whenever
he met someone new, Farley found out their full names, their family situations,
and a few business or political opinions. By soliciting these specifics, he was
in a better position--when he met someone for the second time--"to shake hands,
inquire about the family, and ask about the hollyhocks in the backyard."
5. Contribute. "Meeting people is about making their lives
better....Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful,"
writes Dinsmore. For Carnegie, aiding others became both a sales technique and a
method of persuasion. Once, when a storekeeper couldn't pay him in cash,
Carnegie accepted payment in shoes. He sold the shoes to the railroad men he'd
befriended traveling throughout his territories, then forwarded the receipts to
his employer. Later, when Carnegie was trying to persuade YMCAs to host his
classes, he faced an uphill battle. YMCAs were incredulous that anyone could
"make orators out of business people." So Carnegie agreed to teach on a
commission basis and only take his pay as a percentage of the profits. The YMCAs
agreed to host his classes.
6. Be open to conversation. "Embrace conversation with those
around you. Everyone has something to offer--your server or the guy next to you
on a park bench or plane flight," notes Dinsmore. Of course, being open to
conversation isn't easy, if you're the shy type. But the only way to get better
is to make an effort--even if it's a fruitless effort. Carnegie certainly felt
this way. The best method for overcoming fears, he believed, was "to do the
thing you fear to do and get a record of successful experiences behind you.
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=101576891&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
Disclaimer: This article & any other form of content in the
news and updates section of www.DavePavelich.com do
not necessarily reflect the views of Dave Pavelich or his