How to Win Friends and Influence People

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A Summary NOT a Review

This issue is a summary of the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie.

This is not a review because I think it would be arrogant of me to dare review a book that has been in print for over 70 years.

Plainly, this book and the concepts it puts forward have stood the test of time.

Given that this book was first printed in 1936 during the Great Depression it may be worthwhile reading it today because in 2008 we seem to be facing many of the same challenges that salespeople faced back then.

The fours parts of the book are titled:

  1. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment

In no particular order here are the lessons I took home from How to Win Friends and Influence People when I read it many years ago.

Important Points

  • Never criticise, condemn or complain, positive reinforcement works better.
  • Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Urge others to talk about themselves, ask pointed questions.
  • Make the other person feel important.
  • Praise others’ strengths and they’ll strive to reinforce your opinion.
  • Use Names whenever possible.
  • Smile, it comes through even over the phone.
  • Avoid arguments: you can only lose because even “winning” will hurt the loser’s pride and build resentment.
  • Begin in a friendly way by opening conversation with sincere praise, appreciation, sympathy and a friendly tone.
  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  • Others need to finish spilling their ideas before listening to you.
  • Be sympathetic. Tell them: “I’d feel the same way under those circumstances.”(Agreement Frame)
  • Respect others’ opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."
  • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  • Demonstrate your willingness to rationally examine the facts.
  • If another is about to criticize you, don’t let them start!
  • A harsh self-rebuke may prompt the others to soften their critiques.
  • Admitting errors clears guilt and everyone to move forward quickly.
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  • Another’s perspective and motivation is the key to understanding their decisions, agenda and personality. I call thisPersuasion Psychology.
  • Frame requests in terms of what others find motivating, ask yourself: “Why would someone want to do what I'm asking?”
  • Get the other person saying "yes, yes" as soon as possible. Take Care ! Use this correctly or it will backfire.
  • Dramatize your ideas.
  • Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  • Appeal to the nobler motives: a mother’s love, personal character, integrity, etc.

As salespeople surely we want to know How to Win Friends and Make sales. 

I have read through the notes I took when I read How to Win Friends and Influence People years ago, but I will take the time to read the whole book again now.

What will you do ?

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