Dale Carnegie was writing motivational books and inspiring tens of thousands of people in the 1930s, his ideas are even more relevant today. Dale Carnegie promoted the importance of being genuinely interested in people. Unfortunately most people's primary concern is often themselves and they want the universe to revolve around them. This may sound harsh but I think it is true.

By focusing outwards instead of inwards, our perception changes. If you take a very real and genuine interest in the people you encounter they will pick up on this and be extremely receptive. It is the way to build friendships and relationships and businesses. You have to leave your ego at the door and encourage people to open up and talk about themselves. It often takes time but when you do, you find out some amazing things.

Personally I love people. I meet a lot of them and I believe that every single one has a great story to tell. I go into every sales meeting with a desire to learn about the person or the people I will be talking to. This is my primary thought. Sure, I want to sell to them and I hope they will decide to buy from me, but if they don't I'll be happy to have met some new people whom I am sure I can learn something from.

If you find that you are not that interested in the people you are selling to, try this experiment. Spend one day making the effort to talk to people, to connect with them. Try to get them to tell you something about themselves. I think you will find that your attitude towards them will change as they open up. And this will lead to a much stronger relationship and that of course leads to increased sales.

Now I am not saying that we should do this to be manipulative--quite the opposite. Do it to be a genuine human being. We all have highly evolved insincerity detectors, so if you don't do it sincerely, people will notice and the result will not be nice.

I take this one step further. Over many years, I've really developed my curiosity gene. I've become fascinated by pretty much everything. I have a hunger for everything from bee keeping to fishing trawlers, from nano technology to ancient civilizations. This sense of curiosity really helps me to build relationships with others, because I am genuinely interested in who they are and what they do.

The bottom line is pretty simple. In a world that is increasingly inwardly focused, those that can look outwards, and who are genuinely interested in those around them, live a richer and more rewarding life in many ways.

Dale Carnegie really did know what he was talking about. The fact that what he said is almost 80 years ago doesn't make it any less relevant. We are all searching for ways to do what we do better, sometimes the best way to do that is simply by having a genuine, honest, engaged conversation with another human being.