Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ is second only to the Bible as the bestselling book ever.
Why is ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ so popular?
Apparently, it provides ‘The Template’ for productive human interaction and relationship.
Whether it is in business or personal human interactions, the book according to pundits contains the most effective formula for persuasion.
Having read the book myself and applied some of the principles to great success, I will say without a shadow of doubt that ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ contains very effective persuasive tools.
However, the book like the majority of business books missed a very crucial element in the process persuasion.
That missing element is: the individuality of the individual.
In the final analysis, people buy other people.
They buy the story you tell them and the story they tell themselves about your story.
It does not matter if a business is a fortune 1000 or a home based business, in the majority of cases, when people make the decision to buy from a particular business, they buy the person behind the business.
Apple is a prime example of this principle at work.
In the early days, people bought Apple computer because of Steve Jobs.
Lots of people invest in Berkshire Hathaway and many companies simply because Warren Buffett invested in them.
The Virgin brand without Richard Branson will not last an hour.
You might be thinking to yourself that there are lots of businesses that are very successful without them having a single figure head as the face of the business.
What I will say to that is those businesses would not have achieved their current level of success if in the early days, they did not have a face behind the name.
People do not buy faceless entities, they buy the ‘Soul’ in the centre of the business.
When I said ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ and many other success or business books missed the most important factor in the persuasion process, I meant the uniqueness of the individual.
All of the people who built successful businesses, are those who dare to express their individualities.
Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet are people who challenge and went against the status quo.
Instead of following the template outlined in ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, they forced the market to conform to their personalities.
How Can You Apply Similar Principles to Marketing Your Business?
We now live in the attention deficit age.
Ironically, we also live in an over communicated age.
With the internet, social media, smart phone and thousands of gadgets and apps at our disposal, it is very easy for your marketing message to get drowned in the noise.
Competition is fiercer than ever.
While at the same time every market is saturated.
Despite these developments, what can never be taken from you is your individuality and uniqueness.
Instead of trying to fit yourself into some type of box in order to attract clients, boldly pronounce your uniqueness and let those who are attracted to those unique traits of yours become your customers.
Never succumb to the pressure of becoming who you are not simply because you want to get customers.
You are the expert, you are the creator of the product, let those who want to enjoy the privilege of your product or service succumb to you.
Remember, you are Steve Jobs, you are Richard Branson, you are Warren Buffet.
Let those who want to become members of your tribe send in their application and you choose to accept or reject them.
You are the one with the skills, you are the one with the talent, you are the one with the expertise.
There are seven billion people on the planet, you will find people who want to deal with you in spite of your uniqueness.
Last week I saw an advert for Amnesty International in the Metro Newspaper. Amnesty International as we all know is involved with human rights work all over the world.
Every day, they are involved with thousands of cases of people purported to be experiencing human right abuse.
Therefore, in their advert, they could have mentioned the thousands of cases they are currently investigating.
Instead of mentioning those thousands of cases in their ad, they chose to focus on an eleven years old girl in South America who was forced into marriage.
You see that time and time, even in the heat of disasters, when NGOs make appeals, they do not just mention the disaster as a whole, they identify a single person to use as the face.
Heck, even the news media do not just report stories, no matter how big the story is. They focus on a particular family or individual.
In journalistic speak, they call it the human element.
The NGOs, the news media both understand that people buy people.
So forget the formula for business success as stated in ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ and other business books.
Those are primitive formulae that have no basis in the new business environment.
Express your uniqueness and let those attracted to it become members of your tribe.
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