The good news is no one likes to be sold to. We all want to buy a car, own a car, but no one wants to be sold a car. We’d love to buy a home, own a home but we don’t want to be sold a home.
Richard Branson said of Nelson Mandela, that above all Mandela is a great salesperson. In his book ‘Business Stripped Bare’ Branson reflects that it is a very rare occurrence that he has dinner with Mandela without writing a cheque for upwards of $1 million. Arguing that whatever field you are in the ability to influence and persuade people is the cornerstone of doing great things.
The good news is, anybody can learn how to influential in business by utilising the right strategies.
When Warren Buffett, the most revered investor in history was 20 years of age he was socially inept, he’d much rather be reading books than talking to people. It was at this time when he took Dale Carnegie’s course How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Buffett recognised that if he was to attract capital from other investors, if he was to attract mentors to help him navigate the business world, if he was to attract great people to work with him and for him, he’d have to become an effective communicator, someone people wanted to follow.
“You can’t believe what I was like if I had to give a talk. I was so terrified that I just couldn’t do it. I would throw up. In fact, I arranged my life so that I never had to get up in front of anybody.” – Warren Buffett
Buffett reflected in an interview with The Independent Newspaper in UK in 2009, going on to talk about How to Win Friends and Influence People. “It changed my life. I actually have the diploma hanging up in the office. And I don’t have my diploma from college, I don’t have my diploma from graduate school but I’ve got my Dale Carnegie diploma there because it changed my life.”
Be it in the business world, philanthropic space or even our personal life, learning to understand other people and ourselves on a deeper level, makes us a more effective person. It’s not about being salesy or pushy, quite the opposite. It’s about respecting other people and communicating in the way that they like to be communicated with so that you can inspire and lead.