Chapter 8: Attracting Other People’s Interests
Anyone who had the opportunity
to meet President Theodore Roosevelt was amazed at his erudite knowledge.
Whether it was a Texas cowboy or a New York statesman,
a horse trainer or a diplomat,
Roosevelt knew how to make a story extremely interesting and this is his secret.
Whenever he made an appointment with someone,
the night before,
he stayed up very late to thoroughly research the issues
that he knew this visitor would be interested in.
Roosevelt, like all the great leaders of the world,
he knew that the fastest way to a person’s heart,
it was to discuss the things that they care best.
In his essay “Human Nature”,
William Lyon Phelps,
a professor of literature at Yale University wrote:
When I was eight years old,
on weekends I used to visit Aunt Lippie Linsley in Fresfor.
One evening, an elderly man came to the house.
After exchanging business with Auntie,
he turned to talk to me.
At that time, I was fascinated with ships
and he discussed with me many interesting things about ships.
After he left, I praised him to the fullest:
What a special person!
My aunt said he was a lawyer in New York
and he didn’t care about ships at all!
But why did he only talk about ships all the time?
My aunt replied:
Because you are a polite person.
He saw that you were interested in ships,
so he also talked about ships to make you happy.
I will never forget that.
Is this also a very useful measure in business?
Here is another example.
Mr. Duvernoy was trying to sell bread to a hotel in New York. F
or four years straight, he visited the owner of that hotel every week.
He also participates in social work that interests him.
He even rented a room right in
that hotel to easily reach the audience.
But failure is still failure.
Mr. Duvernoy recounts the story as follows:
“After studying human relationships,
I decided to change tactics.
I try to find out what that person likes, is passionate about.
I found out he was a member of The Hotel Greeters of America.
Not only that,
due to his lively and positive personality,
he was also elected president of this association.
Wherever there are activities of the association, there he is.
So the next day,
when I visited him,
I started talking about the Association’s activities.
He chatted excitedly with me for half an hour about the association.
I could clearly see that this association was not only his favorite thing,
but it was also his life’s aspiration.
Before I left the office,
he gave me permission to become a member of this organization.
During the contact,
I did not say a word about bread.
But a few days later,
that hotel manager called to invite me
to bring samples of bread and price list.
“I don’t know what you did,
but he kept reminding you, he’s a gentleman”,
the manager Li told me so.
That’s it! Four years of scrambling to promote a product is not
as good as half an hour discussing a partner’s favorite topic.”
A careless, thoughtless word can cause discord.
A cruel word can hurt a soul.
A timely word can bring peace.
A word of love can bring true happiness.
And there are words that can save a person.
Principle 8: Talk about what other people care about