Spring is here and one of the things that most of us do at this time of the year is spring clean. So armed with with a feather a duster I set about dusting down my book shelf.
This exercise revealed that I have two copies of a book called HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie. One of the books had an old BA boarding pass for a flight from Stockholm in 2007! I used it to bookmark a page.
I decided to forget the dusting and reading that page again and before I knew I had read the whole chapter. The gist of it is that we are all interested in what interests us and if you want to arouse one’s interest you have to talk to them in terms of their interest.
Having read this chapter I put the book back , continued dusting and rearranging the books and when I was done I logged into my account over at Ecademy to catch up with what was going on. My in box had the greatest surprise of all.
It contained two messages and I nearly fell off the chair whilst reading one of them. It was from someone that I regularly communicate with on line and is familiar with my work over at Ethnic Supplies . Here is what it said word for word
How are things in China? Do you know anyone who produces reasonably quality solar panel components for shipping? A colleague of mine is looking at a large infrastructure project to provide power to homes and schools in rural areas in third world countries. As well as obtaining help with sourcing the components, we would need help with checking any cargo before it is shipped in respect of quality and other risks. I should add that this is at the germ of an idea stage, so please do not invest too much of your time for the moment. Sometimes these projects do not get past the funding stages in which case we would struggle to reimburse any costs.
I sat back and said out loud WOW! Suddenly the chapter I had just read in Dale Carnegie’s made a whole lot of sense. Although this is someone that I already know he gave me no reason at all to be interested in his business venture because, let alone help him even if I could
- dispensed with the usual pleasantries or hello, how are you!
- As someone that knows me and I have spoken to a few times he is aware that I work in Africa, why was he asking me about China?
- why did he assume that I know about solar power components
- but this is the sentence that left me dumb founded I should add that this is at the germ of an idea stage, so please do not invest too much of your time for the moment.
He left me feeling WHAT DOES ALL THIS GOT TO DO WITH ME? Does that sound familiar?
If you were advising this person to rewrite his email so that he didn’t leave the reader asking what it’s all got to do with them, what would that look like?
I would be interested in your views on this.