Appealing to the Other Person’s Interests

June 29, 2013

ID-100179283It is human nature to want to focus on “what’s in it for me?” But if you come across that way when dealing with someone, you’ll find more roadblocks than opportunities when it comes to reaching your goals. After all, the person you’re dealing with has the same mantra in their mind and it results in the two of you butting heads like two mountain rams fighting over the same territory.

A far better approach to winning someone to your way of thinking is to appeal to the other person’s interests. Dale Carnegie liked to tell the story of Edward L. Chalif, a man active in Boy Scout work.

It seems a big scout jamboree was going to be staged in Europe and Chalif wanted the president of one of the largest corporations in America to pay the expenses of one of his boys for the trip. Luckily for Chalif, before he met with the corporate president he heard that the man had recently drawn a check for a million dollars, and that after it was cancelled, he had had it framed. (Keep in mind this is early 20th century we’re talking about, and even though a million dollars is still a lot of money, back then it represented a great deal more wealth than it does today!)

The first thing Chalif did upon entering the president’s office was to ask to see that check. He told the man that he never anyone that had written a check for such a huge sum, and wanted to tell his boys that he had actually seen a check for a million dollars. The president of the corporation gladly showed it to him as Chalif asked him to tell all about how it happened to be drawn.

Chalif never mentioned the scouts until the man asked him what it was that he had come to see him about.

The president of the corporation not only granted Chalif what he asked for, which was sending one boy to Europe, he also offered to send five boys and Chalif himself, gave him a letter of credit for a thousand dollars, and told Chalif to stay in Europe with the boys for seven weeks. He also provided letters of introduction to his European branch presidents, putting them at Chalif’s service; and arranged to meet Chalif in Paris to show him and the boys the town. Even afterwards he gave jobs to some of the boys whose parents were in need and remained active in the group.

Think about how valuable appealing to the other person’s interests can be in your business dealings. Here’s an example in action for you from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:

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