Guest post by Mai of Woodland Belle, as part of a three part (three day) series.
Running a business isnt merely about making and selling a product. We are dealing with people, and people are complicated. We are engaging in emotions“”pride, insecurities, secret motivations””not just their wallets. In order to have a successful, prosperous business, you need the power to influence people. You need skills to communicate effectively, appeal to peoples wants and desires, as well as to mitigate conflicts. Persuading people to like you (and what you do!) will take you far in life””not only will it work with customers and other business connections, but with everyone you know.
Finding out what motivates people–what they desire most, is key to getting past their outer defenses. So we must discover”¦
What motivates people?
1. The desire for importance.
Everyone has the deep desire to be important. We seek significance; we want to know that our actions and opinions matter.
Key Communication Tips
*So, give honest and sincere appreciation. Not flattery, but “”¦kind words of appreciation that would sing in their memories for years like the music of the morning stars.” (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.)
* Everyone secretly thinks that they are superior to you in some way. Recognize/acknowledge those characteristics and strong points with sincere praise.
* We want to act on our own accord and ideas. We dont want to be “sold” or “told.” We like to be consulted about our wishes, wants, and thoughts. Dont we love it when someone asks our opinion on a matter? Cater to this desire for importance.
* There are a lot of amazingly talented individuals out there. Taking the time to appreciate someone elses work will in no way diminish your own significance. I know that its easy to succumb to feelings of insecurity or jealousy when we see someone elses amazing work, but resist the tendency to feel resentful. Be hearty in your praise and lavish in your appreciation. Find someones work to be inspiring? Take a moment to let that person know. It will come back to you, I promise.
*Although most of us will not get to know our customers on a deep enough level to praise them thoroughly, you can still let them know you appreciate them. Go the extra mile in your packaging and presentation. Making their order seem as if it were a gift created especially for them””complete with ribbons, special touches, a hand-written thank you note””will wow them and make them feel valued. They really are worth your time and extra effort.
* Consider how your product will make a consumer feel important. Most people like to feel unique, and what they buy is a reflection of his or her taste and judgment. Does your product answer this need for significance in some way? Are your products thoughtful, original, and well-designed””something that someone would feel unique and special owning, using, or wearing? Will it help someone express their identity?
(As a side note, merely imitating someone elses style or concepts, or making whatever is popular in order to be successful is not the answer. Each person has their own unique history and artistic vision. Add your distinctive stamp of individuality to your work to stand out in a sea of creative entrepreneurs.)
* Dont be too “pushy” with your products. Recall that no one likes to be “sold” or “told.” Phrase your product descriptions and direct your marketing in such a way as to invite the customer””appeal to her curiosity, and present your product in a way that will allow her to realize for herself how important your product is. No one appreciates spammy and demanding descriptions (“Buy Now!! Order Today!!”) desperate pleas (“Please buy this, I worked really hard on it”) or blatantly boastful statements (“This is the best product youll ever see! I am so awesome and clever to have made this.”)
* Feel free to ask for customer involvement and allow them to contribute to your brand. Dont you feel important when a company requests that you fill out a survey? Your thoughts and opinions are “valuable” and your participation is “greatly appreciated.” Its true! I often fill them out even if theres no reward or benefit””I just like the feeling of being heard. Take the time to ask your customers about themselves, perhaps in the form of a voluntary survey. What do they love? What are they looking for? Whats their favorite ice cream flavor? Be open to product suggestions, requests, and constructive criticism. They will appreciate that youve asked for their opinions, and believe me, most will be only too happy to let you know what they think.
Communication tips taken from Dale Carnegies highly recommended book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
**Stop by tomorrow for Part 2 of this series, Becoming Influential and Likeable in Business and Life, from Mai…