Talk in Terms of the Other Person’s Interests

July 4, 2013

ID-10045826The best advertising campaigns and promotions are the ones that center on the prospects’ hopes, fears, and desires. Basically, as a people, we want the answer to the age-old question, “What’s in it for me?”

In his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie provides a great example of this mantra when he talks about the sudden leap in circulation enjoyed by American Magazine.

The secret to the circulation spike came from John M. Siddall, whom Carnegie met when Siddall was in charge of the Interesting People Department for the periodical.

“People are selfish,” Siddall said to Carnegie. “They are interested chiefly in themselves. They are not very much concerned about whether the government should own the railroads; but they do want to know how to get ahead, how to draw more salary, how to keep healthy. If I were editor of this magazine, “ he continued, “I would tell them how to take care of their teeth, how to take baths, how to keep cool in summer, how to get a position, how to handle employees, how to buy homes, how to remember, how to avoid grammatical errors, and so on. People are always interested in human stories, so I would have some rich man tell how he made a million in real estate. I would get prominent bankers and presidents of various corporations to tell the stories of how they battled their ways up from the ranks to power and wealth.”

Shortly thereafter, Siddall was made editor and integrated his philosophies. The response was overwhelming. The circulation figures climbed up to 200,000, then 400,000, and then half a million. He gave the public what it wanted. Soon a million people a month were buying American Magazine…then a million and a half…finally two million. And circulation continued to grow for many years all because Siddall appealed to the selfish interests of his readers.

In your dealings with people both in and out of the office, remember to talk to them in terms of their interests and you’ll find a lot more people paying close attention to you. Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana:

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

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