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

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

by Jerry Acuff


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Get a practical, actionable, three-step process to build and leverage important relationships

Most people know instinctively how to build positive, long-lasting relationships with spouses, friends, and even co-workers–but few of us know how to consciously and systematically build and maintain positive business relationships. For years, The Relationship Edge has successfully shown people how to build personal relationships and repair damaged ones with a proven three-step process.

This completely updated third edition offers a fresh perspective on that process and includes more contemporary case studies, as well as how to build and nurture relationships online.

  • Develop the right mindset–understand that personal relationships are vital to business success, both offline and online
  • Ask the right questions–discover the common ground you share with others
  • Do the right thing–be truthful and straightforward or you'll undermine the goodwill you've worked so hard to build
  • Jerry Acuff, the author, has a proven record of success with previous editions of The Relationship Edge

With real case studies and step-by-step guidance, The Relationship Edge, Third Edition offers the tools and advice you need to develop strong, rewarding relationships with customers, co-workers, and managers. Jerry Acuff's latest version is packed full of practical, concrete information on the mechanics of interpersonal relationships in the business world, all designed to have you doing business better and more productively than ever.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470915479
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/15/2011
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,086,799
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jerry Acuff is CEO of Delta Point, Inc., a Scottsdale, Arizona–based consultancy that helps market-leading companies find new and innovative ways to market products. Over the last fifteen years, he has spoken and consulted extensively on the issues of sales excellence, change leadership, and customer-focused organizations. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he has also served as Executive in Residence at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Wally Wood is a professional writer and the former editor of two business magazines and an international marketing newsletter.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Relationships Are Everything 1

Breathe AIR into Relationships 2

Learn to Build Relationships 5

Payback Time in Memphis 7

Relationships Can Trump Price 8

Four Fundamental Selling Truths 10

Meaningful Dialogue Comes with Trust 12

Chapter 2 Climb the Relationship Pyramid 15

The Relationship Pyramid Levels 17

You Need Knowledge, Integrity, Actions 25

Key Points about the Pyramid 27

Chapter 3 How to Build a Relationship 29

What You Think Is Step 1 30

Learn Strategies, Not Tactics 40

Chapter 4 Ask the Twenty Questions 53

Start with a Self-Check 55

Sharing Creates the Relationship 56

Learn What Someone Treasures 59

Thirteen Facts about Human Beings 61

Let the Other Person Talk 63

Sell by Not Selling 65

Start with These 20 Questions 66

Memorize the Questions, but Think FORM 69

Tell Me Something That Will Surprise Me 70

Respect Their Time and Opinions 72

Plan What You Will Ask 73

Chapter 5 Ask the Questions Properly 77

Motives Matter 78

Setting Up a Good Question 79

Analyze the Bridge to the Question 80

What Do You Need to Achieve Today? 82

Ask Personal Questions First 84

Hold Up a Book 87

Don’t Suggest an Answer 88

Find Common Ground 89

Make Them Think 93

Stimulate Real Thinking 95

Ways to Gain Respect 96

Chapter 6 Probe for Small World Connections 99

Connect for Yourself 100

Use the Small World Phenomenon 102

Connect for the Other Person 106

Connect with Difficult People 108

Probe for Connections 109

Chapter 7 Build Relationships on Actions 112

Show You Genuinely Care about Other People 114

Business Gifts Are Not Unselfish Acts 115

Be Alert to Opportunities 117

Chapter 8 Map Your Key Relationships 136

Map Relationships with Four Groups 138

People Inside the Organization 139

People Outside the Organization 141

People Important to Your Career 144

People Who Are Upset with You 146

Build Relationships Strategically 152

Chapter 9 Hop from One Pyramid to Another 156

Pyramid Hopping Is Not Networking 156

Friendly Is Not the Same as Friendship 159

Pyramid Hopping in Practice 160

Pyramid Hopping Requires Questions 161

Pyramid Hopping Usually Requires Specifics 164

Chapter 10 Gain Respect Thirteen Ways 169

Identify Qualities You Respect 170

Thirteen Ways to Gain Respect 173

Examples of Building Respect 174

Be Genuinely Interested in the Other Person 175

Do What You Say You Will Do 176

Be Knowledgeable, Be Inquisitive, or Be Quiet 176

Control Your Emotions; Anger Manages Everything Poorly 177

Be Honest and Straightforward 177

Be Objective and Avoid Appearing Biased 178

Be Persistent, but Never Be Aggressive 179

Be a Learned Person with Some Expertise 180

Be Courteous to Everyone 180

Always Listen Intently to the Other Person 181

Seek to Understand Other People 181

Do Things That Demonstrate Your Unselfish Nature 182

Find Out What People Want, and Help Them Get It 182

Chapter 11 Write Clear, Specific Goals 186

Understand Your Goal-Seeking Mechanism 187

Goals Have Five Characteristics 188

Be Clear about What You Want 189

Write Down Your Goals 191

Set Goals in Line with Your Gifts 191

Don’t Let Others Discourage You 194

Take the Pressure Off Yourself 195

Chapter 12 Maintain Your Meaningful Relationships 199

Create Time for Relationships 202

Help Others to Succeed 205

Keep the Dialogue Continual 206

Make Contact When You Don’t Need Help 211

Chapter 13 Use Social Media to Build Relationships 215

The Goal Is to Offer Value 216

Form a Network of Relationships 218

Don’t Friend or Link to Everyone 220

Six Tips for Better Social Media Relationships 222

Chapter 14 And What If You’re the Boss? 226

The Six Drivers of Business Success 227

Problems with Command and Control 236

Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction 238

Problems with Sales Training 239

Selling Is Learning and Teaching 241

What Managers Should Be Doing 243

A Coaching Process for Relationship Development 244

Build Relationships Routinely, Consciously, Deliberately 248

Notes 249

Index 252

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