Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
—Dale Carnegie

Long-time readers of MCE may know that I have been a “collector” of quotations since I was a teenager. I love having my favorite inspirations and insights around me, to hold me up or to push me forward. In the long ago these were in notebooks and displayed on walls; now I keep them all in a big computer file. That sounds kind of cold… but since Wednesday Words has been part of the Maximum Customer Experience Blog from the beginning, I actually comb through them and take time to reflect on them now more than ever.

This is one that I collected so long ago I can’t remember when it hasn’t been with me, and it’s one of my guiding lights. In life and in business, I have a natural, human tendency to talk about me, but Dale Carnegie has been on my shoulder for for than half my life, reminding me that others have that same natural tendency. There is nothing more generous, or more appreciated, than letting the other guy feel invited and welcome to do just that—talk about himself or herself, her business, his dreams and plans.

I recommend you put Dale Carnegie on your shoulder for a week. Nothing’s easier!

Right when you’re about to launch into how great the product is, instead ask how difficult the problem someone’s come to you to solve is. Listen, and you can be a better problem solver for the customer.

Right when you’d love to yak about how business has been slow in this economy, instead ask how you can help someone else over their recession woes. Get to the heart of the matter, and you’ll both benefit.

When you’re thinking about the car and the kids and the seventeen things you have to do tonight, ask How’s things? at the watercooler. Wonderful things can happen when you truly focus on what the other guy’s going through instead of waiting until it’s your turn to vent.

Carnegie has been reminding me for decades that I can always shut up more, and listen harder. My turn will come.

The funny thing is, if you’re interested in your customers, your colleagues, and yes, even friends and family, and listening a lot more often than you’re used to, not only will you get the business you hope for, but when you need it, you’ll realize that a sympathetic ear’s a lot easier to find, too. If you’re looking for a way to begin building on yesterday’s post—getting interested in other people is a powerful way to cement those business relationships.

Let me relate this a bit to our time together at MCE:

Half (more than half!) the joy of having a long-running blog is in hearing from you in the comments and in your emails. It’s so important to MCE that you’ll often catch me getting misty-eyed as I reflect on how lucky we are to have such a great crowd of engaged readers and thinkers here, tossing out their ideas and even helping each other out at times.

So if you’ve kept your thoughts to yourself so far, please accept my hearty invitation. Jump in to the comment section and have your say—today and any day. It’s not just a place for “Yes, wow,” but a great place for “How about this, too?” or “I see it another way” or “My problem’s similar, what do you think?”

Interested in other people?

Heck, you know what I always say…

I’m obsessed with your success! So feel free to give a shout when a post has touched you, stung you, moved you to action, or left you shaking your head. And then put Dale’s advice to work—get out there and get interested in obsessed with your customers.   🙂


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson