So sayeth Business Week magazine, who just reviewed my new book Great Customer Connections in this week's issue, alongside another great book The Art of Connecting by Claire Raines and Lara Ewing.
In her article "Connections that Close Deals," Business Week's sales columnist Michelle Nichols (www.savvyselling.com) makes the very accurate point that sales skills aren't enough nowadays - to stand out in today's multi-channel world, you need to make personal connections with people. Between the first book's focus on finding ways to build bridges with other people's wants, needs, and interests, and my book's techniques for speaking to a customer's agenda in even difficult situations, she makes it clear that personal relationships help you close a lot more sales. It's a great article, and you can read it here.
There are a couple of truly master salespeople in my own family, and connecting with people is their mantra - one constantly reads magazines ranging from the far left to the far right, so he can empathize with everyone's views, while another even donated blood when his client's wife needed surgery. Neither looks at their connection skills cynically as sales techniques - they genuinely like and respect everyone who crosses their paths, and the result has been extraordinarily successful careers.
So, the secret to sales success is really simple: (1) build connections with other people, and (2) buy my book!
P.S. A special note to my friends on the other side of "the pond" - Great Customer Connections is being published in the United Kingdom next month, with a release date of July 1, through AMACOM and McGraw Hill. It will be available in all major outlets including Tesco, W.H. Smith, and Amazon UK. Enjoy!