365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 91. Saturday, June 25, 2011
What am I going to wear today? I was frantically searching for something “professional” looking to wear. I can’t wear jeans or shorts—I have to dress the part—I have to look like the title I have at work.
I had to be at a convention about 50 miles away. The ever important question of why I volunteered to attend this event was lingering in the back of my mind. The best I could come up with—I care too much.
I drove as fast as I could within the speed limit (give or take). I was running terribly late. I was worried the event would be closed by the time I arrived.
I pulled into the parking lot at the convention center at 3:15 and noticed a sign that said parking was 15 dollars. What? Are you out of your mind? I rolled down my window ready to argue but the attendant said I arrived so late that parking was free. Nice!
I raced into the convention center and noticed the ticket counter was closed. I turned and looked at the two “guards” at the Expo door and I smiled. They said I arrived so late that I could get in free. Nice!
I passed all the booths in the Expo hall and made my way to the one booth I drove 50 miles to visit. By this time I was out of breath and “glistening” (it was 100 degrees today) and I’m certain I hardly looked like the professional individual that my title implies I’m supposed to be. What I did have going for me was a sincere smile.
I smiled at Enrique. Enrique was so relieved to see me. He had been anxious and worried I would not arrive. (I was there to pick up one of his products).
We hugged and chatted for awhile. Actually—we chatted until the event closed. Enrique has a good reputation and some great products that I am enamored with. His face lights up—and he’s incredulous that I have such high regard for his products. I like to point out the specific reasons why I like his products—they are superior quality, they are unique, etc. I’m always stunned by his reaction that my opinion means that much to him.
As we wrapped up I told him I’d be interested in featuring at least two of his new products to our customers and I told him I’d be in touch in the coming weeks. He loaded me down with free product samples and thanked me for stopping by.
One of the aspects I like about my job is the opportunity to make someone’s day. If you were to look at me and then look at my title you’d quickly recognize the mismatch. For those that can get past this—there is great opportunity.
Enrique is one of these individuals.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
Principle 5. Smile.
Enrique produces great products and appreciates the support I give him through my company. I appreciate the fact that he recognizes and values what we do for him by giving us superior products that our customers love. He does not give us mediocre products. He gives us his best so that we can give our customers our best.
I hope you gather the following lesson from this story: if you value, like or appreciate a person or something that a person has done for you—don’t be afraid to tell him or her.
Enrique’s surprised reaction made me realize that he probably doesn’t receive praise or recognition for his work enough from other individuals. When I left him in his booth—he was walking on air—he was so happy with my words of praise and encouragement.
When you take this approach you will build loyal, appreciative and understanding business partners and friends who will stick with you through the good, the bad and even those days where the temperature is 100 degrees and you look like the sun melted you.
And if you ever show up late to an event, an appointment or work… try smiling!