Dale Carnegie often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. He liked to say that personally, he was very fond of strawberries and cream, but he found that for some strange reason, fish preferred worms. So when he went fishing, he didn’t think about what he wanted and bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, he dangled a worm or a grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”
The point is why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
In his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Carnegie tells the story of Michael E. Whidden of Warwick, Rhode Island, who was a territory salesman for the Shell Oil Company. Mike wanted to become the number-one salesperson in his district, but one service station was holding back. An older man who could not be motivated to clean up his station ran it. It was in such poor shape that sales were declining significantly.
The manager would not listen to any of Mike’s pleas to upgrade the station. After many exhortations and heart-to-heart talks—all of which had no impact—Mike decided to invite the manager to visit the newest Shell station in his territory.
The manager was so impressed by the facilities at the new station that when Mike visited him the next time, his station was cleaned up and had recorded a sales increase. This enabled Mike to reach the number-one spot in his district. All his talking and discussion hadn’t helped, but by arousing an eager want in the manager, by showing him the modern station, he ad accomplished his goal, and both the manager and Mike benefited.
Remember: “First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
Here’s an example of this important principle from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:
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