Four Easy Steps to Winning Friends on the Web
Most of you will be familiar with the works of Dale Carnegie
and, in particular, his best-selling publication 'How to Win
Friends and Influence People.' People.' It may be over half a
century old, but this powerful book is still largely relevant
today. Some of his basic ideas need just a little modification
for running a successful online business. Here's how to win (and
keep!) friends on the web:
1) GET PERSONAL. Dale says: 'Remember that a man's name is to
him the sweetest and most important sound.' Political
correctness aside, he's spot on. We're less likely to trash
personalised emails, are more likely to open these first, and
(providing the email is also well-written) we'll be better
disposed to actually reading them. Limited use of names within
the body of the email can also draw attention to important
points, but if this is overdone it will loose its effectiveness.
2) PRAISE WHERE IT'S DUE. Dale says: 'Begin with praise and
appreciation.' This is a great technique when promoting products
or services. A small amount of praise can go a long way - as
long as it's sincere and you've done your homework. Take a look
at the following two notes:
a) Hi there friend! Great site! I've got a great new product to
share with you at a very special price ...
b) Hi Name. Your articles in X Ezine are top-notch. Your ideas
have helped to turn my website into a goldmine. By way of
thanks, I'd now like to share some exciting new ideas of mine
with you ...
No points for guessing which letter will get results. The first
smacks of insincerity and contains no personalization or
indication that the writer has even visited your website. The
second letter uses a small amount of targeted praise as a great
introduction to the sales patter. This helps to establish an
element of trust - necessary if you hope to make any sales.
3) INFLATE YOUR INTEREST. Dale says: 'Talk in terms of the other
man's interests.' Of course, this isn't so manageable with an
online business. It's easy to apply with a reciprocal
face-to-face conversation, but it's another matter entirely via
You have to learn to be an email 'scavenger.' It usually takes
several emails before a deal is struck. In this time (providing
that you have followed the personalization and praise
techniques), your reader will probably have opened up a little.
You should read all their emails carefully (keep them together
in a separate file if necessary) and search for anything that
they let slip about themselves - personal details, country of
residence, even their preferred style of writing (formal or
informal). These details are your marketing weapons. Comment
upon or casually drop in a few of these choice details in your
replies for added personalization. When used discretely, they
can establish and build a bond between you and your potential
4) LET THEM HAVE THEIR SAY. Dale says: 'Let the other man do a
great deal of the talking.' Encourage feedback from your reader.
Give them a reason to reply and to pass on more of their
personal details. This can be done by making a few relevant
enquiries. Ensure that you don't ask questions which simply
require a 'yes' or 'no' answer. Ask something specific and get
them talking. Not only does this help you extract your marketing
weapons but it also means that your potential client won't feel
as though they've been talked into anything - even if they have.
I think you'll find that these four steps will give you a really
unfair advantage over your competition. If you want to learn
more, pick up a copy of 'How to Win Friends and Influence
People.' It's not too old to teach you a thing or two.