Carnegie: Arouse an Eager Want

“You can’t make people do something they don’t want to do.”

That’s what Dale Carnegie wrote in How to Win Friends and Influence People, a classic self-improvement bestseller that also contains a terrific example of a “How To” title or headline, perhaps the best of all time.

Carnegie goes on to say “arouse in the other person an eager want.”

I was reminded of Dale Carnegie when I saw my wife (who has more friends than I have socks) reading our weathered paperback copy of the popular title.

How do you arouse an eager want? That’s for each of us to figure out in each specific instance. But if we’re thinking about it as we construct marketing messages and copy, we’ll be ahead of much of the pack.

Carnegie offers more than a few clues, including this: “The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”

To repeat, consider it a simple two-step approach: 1) Find out what people want. 2) Show them how to get it.


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