Chapter 16: To Get The Highest Cooperation
Do you believe in your own initiatives more than others give you? If that’s the case, then forcing others to accept your opinion would be a serious mistake on your part. It is better to offer a few suggestions and let others make their own point of view.
Adolph Selz of Philadelphia, a sales manager at an auto showroom who wanted to revive the morale of depressed and exhausted employees, called a meeting and asked them to speak up honestly. and exactly what they expected of him. While listening to them, he wrote the ideas on the board. He then pledged: “I will try to meet everything that you expect of me. But in response, what can I expect from you?“.
The answer came to him very quickly: honesty, sincerity, creativity, optimism, teamwork, precious time, effective use of eight hours of work a day, enthusiasm. The meeting ended with a new spirit, a new inspiration. And soon after, sales skyrocketed. “They are determined to keep what they voluntarily commit to, working with the highest spirit, and I just have to take care of fulfilling my responsibilities and promises,” Mr. Selz said.
In politics, this principle is also very effective. Theodore Roosevelt when he was Governor of New York applied this principle very flexibly. Whenever it was necessary to nominate a politician for an important position in his administration, Roosevelt often invited leaders of the opposing parties to his office to consult. He allowed them to nominate a veteran of their party to gain more influence in the government.
In fact, in his mind, he already had the idea of choosing someone, but he did not reveal it. When they nominate the wrong person, he often rejects it on the grounds that the public does not support the politician, if the nomination is unsound. They bring up another character. He also gently sought to refute it on the grounds that the person would not meet the people’s expectations, so people would look for someone more talented and qualified.
The third time they nominated someone better, but it still wasn’t what he wanted. He thanked them and asked them to try one last time. And this time they recommended the right person he had planned from the beginning. Of course, he was completely satisfied and thanked them for helping him find talented people useful for the country.
Leaders of the parties are happy and very satisfied that the Governor respects the opinion. And, the most important thing is that they will not have any intention to oppose the person they have nominated themselves.
A used car seller has also had great success with this principle. When he found a car that matched the requirements of a certain customer, he called the house to invite guests to see. When the customer arrived, the car salesman said, “I know you’re a car connoisseur.
Would you mind checking this car for me to see how much it costs?” The customer happily took a test drive, fell in love with the car, and came back declaring, “If this car were to be sold for $5,000, you should buy it. That price can be profitable.” Then the salesman said: “If I could buy that price and leave you the same price, would you buy it?”. The guest eagerly: “Okay! If so, great! I will buy”. So the car was sold immediately because the customer himself set the price and accepted the price.
In another case, Eugene Wesson lost thousands of dollars before learning this truth. Mr. Wesson specializes in drawing textile designs. For three years, he brought sketches to him once a week, but he never sold anything to one of New York’s most famous fashion houses.
After more than 150 failures, Mr. Wesson understood the first thing was to make the customer happy. So he started researching how to influence human behavior to help him develop new initiatives in communication and relationships.
Then he decided to take a new approach. Holding six sketches in hand, he went to see the fashion producer again: “If you don’t mind, please do me a favor. Here are some of my sketches. Could you please comment on how we can complete them so that you can use them?”. He looked at the sketches for a moment and then said, “Please leave it here for a few days and then come back to me later, Mr. Wesson.”
Three days later Wesson returned, took his suggestions, brought the sketches back to his workshop and finished it exactly to the buyer’s request. As a result, all are accepted.
After that, the fashion manufacturer also ordered dozens of other sketches of Mr. Wesson. “Then I understood why I had not been able to sell to him for years,” Mr. Wesson said. “I forced him to buy what I thought he had to buy. Changing his approach to the problem by consulting him before finalizing the design made him feel like creating the designs himself. And that’s true! I don’t have to sell to him. It was he who wanted to buy his sketches.”
A used X-ray machine salesman this deal to sell equipment to one of the largest hospitals in Brooklyn. This hospital is being expanded and needs to be equipped with a state of the art X-ray machine. Dr. L., who was in charge of the purchase, met with X-ray machine sales representatives, and each seller bragged about the quality of their products.
However, there is one shrewd salesman who understands human nature better than others. He wrote a letter to Dr. L. as follows: “Our company has just built a new set of radiological equipment and the first batch has just been shipped.
We know it may not be the most perfect and want to improve it for optimal quality, so we hope to receive the help of a good expert in this field like you. If you have time to come over and comment on what needs to be improved to best serve your profession, we would be extremely grateful. Since we know you are very busy, we will send a car to pick you up at any time that is convenient for you.”
Dr. L. said: “I was surprised to receive this letter. Both surprised and delighted. Never before had a radiograph manufacturer consulted me. That makes me feel important. I was busy every night that week, but I canceled a dinner appointment to come check it out. The more I researched, the more I realized that the machine was very suitable for my hospital imaging requirements.
No one has invited me yet, but I feel very excited to buy that equipment for the hospital, because it is my own intention.”
A fisherman in the beautiful town of New Brunswick, Canada, has used this technique with me as well. I was planning to go fishing and boating in New Brunswick so contacted the tour guide for information. Immediately, I was harassed by dozens of letters, brochures, and copies of certificates from fishing lakes. I am confused as to how to choose.
At that time, a very wise lake owner sent me a letter containing the names and phone numbers of many people in New York who approached him with the suggestion that I call them to find out for myself about the quality of service at your place.
I was surprised to see some familiar names on this list. I called them on the phone and they all got compliments about the place. So I decided quickly, to call him to let him know when I would arrive.
Others tried to sell me what they had, only one let me find and buy what I liked. And this way won.
“The spring water and the rain from the source both flow to the deep river and the great sea because the river and the sea dare to accept a low position. The saint wants to show his majesty and virtue higher than others, so he puts himself below them, wants his intellect to be ahead of his time. Therefore, even if a saint is above the world, no one will be angry, even if he is ahead of the world, no one will resent it” – Lao Tzu.
“Everyone likes to do their own thing, but no one wants to act on the orders of others. Everyone likes to be asked about their wishes, aspirations and thoughts” – Dale Carnegie.
Principle 16: Let others believe that it was they who came up with the first idea.