Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DC4W: Arouse in the Other Person an Eager Want

Technique Tuesday

The third principle in the Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, the first section in Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, is, "Arouse in the other person an eager want."

I specifically wanted to comment on the way Carnegie's third general principal, "Arouse in the other person an eager want," applied to the query process.

Carnegie spends a fair portion of the chapter hammering home the point that other people couldn't care less about what you want. Uppermost in their minds in what they want. For example, he shares a letter from a freight company that details all the problems they had when customers delivered goods late in the afternoon and then suggests a better letter would concentrate on the benefits (i.e., no delays) that customers who could arrange to deliver their goods earlier in the day would enjoy.

So what does this have to do with querying?

According to Carnegie, the best way to get someone to do what you want is to show them that it is in line with something they want.

What do we want when we query?

To secure representation or publication.

What does the agent want?

A project that they can sell without too much effort.

Because there's no way to know what will sell, the best way we can give a prospective agent what they want is to make sure our project is a good fit and to follow their submission guidelines.


[If you enjoyed this post you may also be interested in Professional Relationships, book 2 of the Dunlith Hill Writers Guides.]
Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net