Dale Carnegie once told the story of Adolph Seltz of Philadelphia, who was a sales manager in an automobile showroom and a student in one of Carnegie’s courses. Seltz had suddenly found himself confronted with the necessity of injecting enthusiasm into a discouraged and disorganized group of automobile salespeople.
Calling a sales meeting, he urged his people to tell him exactly what they expected from him. As they talked, he wrote their ideas on the blackboard. He then said, “I’ll give you all these qualities you expect from me. Now I want you to tell me what I have a right to expect from you.”
The replies came quick and fast: loyalty, honesty, initiative, optimism, teamwork, eight hours a day of enthusiastic work. The meeting ended with a new courage, a new inspiration—one salesperson volunteered to work fourteen hours a day—and Mr. Seltz reported to me that the increase of sales was phenomenal. Said Seltz: “The people had made a sort of moral bargain with me, and as long as I lived up to my part in it, they were determined to live up to theirs. Consulting them about their wishes and desires was just the shot in the arm they needed.”
No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.
Remember to let the other person feel that the idea was his or hers and watch the level of cooperation you get rise accordingly.