Do traditional selling methods hold up in today’s technological world? I happened to catch yesterday’s episode of Sunday Morning, which revisited the teachings of one of the icons of selling, Dale Carnegie. Carnegie is famous for his “good guy” approach to sales—influencing people through kindness. One of the interesting questions raised by Sunday Morning is how Carnegie’s teachings translate to a technological age, where selling can be done through email.
How do you take one of Carnegie’s principles such as “Smile.” and use it in an email? Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates, answers, “You can choose words that communicate. It takes longer.” You might write in your email, for example, “I’m having a great day, I hope you are, too.”
Last week, I received a business email that said “Tx” instead of “Thanks” or “Thank you.” It’s such a simple thing—and on the surface, the meaning is the same—but I winced at the sight of “Tx.” I immediately felt as though I was an interruption. It can be hard—we are all busy. But Handal is right. It takes more time to write out a personal message, but it pays off. Consider it an investment.
When all is said and done, Carnegie’s message comes down to relationships. If you build a personal relationship and become genuinely interested in your customers, be it through email, over the phone or face to face, they will want to buy from you.
So do Carnegie’s principles hold up with today’s methods of communication? If anything, I’d say Carnegie’s ideas are more relevant today than they were in the 1930s. With email, texting and everything else, it’s easy to forget about developing personal relationships. (Interestingly, Carnegie’s book was recently re-released as How To Win Friends And Influence People In The Digital Age to address new technology—and was met with scathing reviews, so you may want to stick with the original.)
Sunday Morning also asks, why do so many people (8 million so far) pay so much (almost $2,000) for Carnegie’s popular course, only to learn such a simple lesson as the Golden Rule? Handal says, “It’s common sense. The difference is it’s not common practice.”
My question for you is this: In your experience, how can you create a personal connection online?
You can watch the Sunday Morning broadcast below or read the transcript here.