“A dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.” — Dale Carnegie
It has been a tough day in the office. The new contract you have been working so hard to land over the past three weeks has slipped through your fingers. Your team is irritated and you are exhausted.
Your wife has been calling you every hour but you have been ignoring the calls because you know she is still mad because you cancelled the vacation you had promised her for last week’s holiday. You hold your breath as you get home.
Suddenly, Tiger comes running to meet you, tail wagging, showing that he is very happy to see you. Even though you feel tired and stressed, for some moments all the tension is forgotten.
The saying that a dog is man’s best friend is not without basis.
Oprah Winfrey cried uncontrollably when her dog died. Some rich people even go to the extreme, spending more money taking care of their dogs than on their relatives. All this is because a dog gives you unconditional love, makes you feel appreciated and important.
Successful entrepreneurs use similar behaviours when dealing with people.
Be genuinely interested in people
All business transactions involve interacting with people. Although we might not realise it, being human, we make most of our decisions based on emotion rather than logic.
When deciding to make a purchase, hire someone for a job or engage a consultant, emotional feelings play a greater part rather than rationality.
In business, people have to like you in order to deal with you. The person who can make friends is more likely to succeed than one who is not likable. The way to make friends is to become more interested in other people than trying to get them interested in you.
I had a meeting with a new client recently. I had prepared a five-page proposal, with three service level and pricing options in order to give him choice. As he arrived, 20 minutes late, he apologised and explained that he had gone to collect his daughter from school but she was delayed because a teacher was talking to her about entering a short story writing competition.
“So your daughter is good at writing stories?” I asked him.
His face lit up and suddenly excited, he started going on about how she started reading at three years, that she was top of her class in languages and the various awards she had already won in her four years of school.
I listened, without interrupting, for half an hour. When he was done he stood up and said, “Oh, I have wasted your time talking about my daughter. Let’s get down to business. I want you to start working on this project immediately. I assume you have drafted a contract.”
I gave him the proposal but he just glanced at it, saying he would get his accountant to go through and sign it, but the deal was already sealed.
You will find that people will be more willing to work with you if you show unselfish interest in them.
Make someone feel important and he will give you anything you want
When your dog wins a medal or catches a thief, it does not feel any pride. But you do. “That’s my dog,” you will say. The dog makes you feel important.
All people have a basic need — to feel important. Some wear expensive suits, drive top-model cars and live in exclusive suburbs in order to satisfy this need. Others become bullies or even commit crimes to get attention. this makes them feel important.
Almost all the people you meet, feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realise in some subtle way that you recognise their importance, and recognise it sincerely.
Some of the greatest achievements in history have been accomplished by people who had no money but appealed to rich people’s need for importance.
For example, an explorer, Admiral Richard Byrd, appealed to various millionaires for sponsorship to finance his Antarctic voyages, with the understanding that ranges of icy mountains would be named after them.
If you have a worthwhile project, you can appeal to some people’s need for importance and name it after them in return for sponsorship. You can get whatever you want by acting like a good dog. Please share your advice and stories by posting on our website http://smebusinesslink.com.
- Phillip Chichoni is a business planning and financial management consultant who works with entrepreneurs and growing businesses. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org