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The Relationship Edge: The Key to Strategic Influence and Selling Success

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Jerry Acuff

Get the relationship edge The Relationship Edge shows you exactly how to build valuable business relationships with people you don't naturally connect with. It presents a straightforward, three-step process that is easy to apply to your work and business. … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Jerry Acuff
Publisher: Wiley
1 review about The Relationship Edge: The Key to Strategic...

Going beyond "will you buy?"

  • Feb 26, 2007
It's often been said that successful selling depends on the relationships you have. I never really thought much about what that meant until I read The Relationship Edge: The Key to Strategic Influence and Selling Success by Jerry Acuff with Wally Wood. Building relationships because you truly like and care about others can have some far-reaching ramifications in your personal and professional life.

Contents: Climbing the Relationship Pyramid; What Strong Relationships Require; Twenty Questions; Good Questions Promote Meaningful Dialogue; It's a Small World After All; It's Not What You Know - It's What You Do; Why You Ought to Map Your Relationships; Pyramid Hopping for Fun and Profit; Build Respect, Set Goals; and Maintain Relationships; And What If You're the Boss?; Notes; Index

It was tempting to go into this book with a somewhat cynical attitude. "If I pretend I have lots in common with this person, I can sell them anything!" But that's not what we're talking about here. It's a conscious effort to learn about the person on the other side of the table... What interests them? What makes them tick? It's these type of questions and concerns that make up the core "20 questions" that the authors recommend you focus on. It's not a matter of walking in with a checklist, asking them each question in rapid-fire order just to record the answers. Rather, it's a way to move beyond the "will you buy" position to one of understanding, respect, and potentially friendship. As a seller, you rank somewhere on the relationship pyramid with your customer: people who don't know me by name, people who know me by name, people who like me, people who are friendly with me, people who respect me, and people who value a relationship with me. The higher you are on that pyramid, the less selling that goes on because you already have established a foundation of trust with that person.

They also introduce the concept of "pyramid hopping". This is a way to leverage your relationship with one person to immediately move higher on someone else's pyramid. For instance, you may know someone who I'm interested in meeting for some reason. If you have a good relationship with that person and introduce me, then I immediately move higher up on that new person's relationship pyramid. So instead of being just one nameless face trying to get attention, you've moved up the pyramid based on the relationship that your friend has with that person. It's different than networking, which is just a matter of trying to get your name out there. It's more a case of specifically asking for introduction and contacts based on the relationships you have. A very powerful concept...

If you're serious about building your professional contacts, this is an excellent book to get you headed in the right direction for the right reasons...

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