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The Eight Competencies of Relationship Selling: How to Reach the Top 1% in Just 15 Extra Minutes a Day – Reviewer Professor M.S.Rao






“When two people want to do business together, the details won’t keep them apart. But if two people do not want to do business together, the details will not confirm the deal.” - Dr. Tony Alessandra


What are the Details of the Book?

If you want to acquire knowledge on presentation skills and negotiations skills, read this book. If you want to acquire selling tools and techniques to excel as a successful sales professional, read this book. If you want to grow as a great speaker and presenter, read this book. Jim Cathcart’s authored book The Eight Competencies of Relationship Selling: How to Reach the Top 1% in Just 15 Extra Minutes a Day gives you the simple essential skills for your self-directed performance improvement.


What is Inside?

The book outlines ten keys to active listening as follows: resist distractions; take notes; let people tell their story; offer verbal feedback; listen selectively; relax; listen with your entire body; be aware of personal space; ask questions; and show that you care about what they’re saying.

The book outlines fifteen ways to stay close to customers as follows: show them that you think about them; drop by to show them what’s new; follow up a sale with a free gift to enhance the purchase; offer valued customer discounts; let customers know they should contact you when they hire employees; compensate your customers whenever they lose time or money; be personal; always be honest; accept returns unconditionally; honor your customer’s privacy; keep your promises; give feedback whenever you get referrals; make your customers famous; arrange periodic performance reviews; and keep the lines of communication open.  It outlines some tips that will make you more effective and make your speech more powerful.
1.    Know your audience.
2.    Know your stuff. In other words, get your material together. Know what it is you’re going to talk about. Know what key points you’re going to make. Make no more than three to five key points. Illustrate each one with a good story or state some facts. Provide a demonstration or a visual to drive that point home and then summarize it.
3.    Create a catchy title for your own presentation.
4.    Do your homework. Research company records, the library, magazines, telephone interviews, websites, whatever is necessary to bring interesting and vital current information to your speech.
5.    Stick with your outline.
6.    Introduce the subject you’re going to talk about.
7.    Concentrate mainly on your introduction and conclusion.
8.    Plan a question-and-answer period at the end.  
9.    Rehearse regularly for your speech.
10. Stay on time.
11. Show up early. Make sure all the systems are a go. Be extra sure there is plenty of light on you the speaker.
12. Vary your eye contact during your speech. While you’re presenting, don’t just speak to one group of people; speak to the entire audience. Move around during your speech. But make sure you don’t move so much that you’re distracting the audience. Have a purpose to the movement.
13. Finally, hang in there.
Here is what the author has discovered, in his twenty-five years of professional speaking to over 2,400 organizations around the world, about “one percenters” and the characteristics they possess. One percenters:
·         Think differently about what they do. (They are building, not just doing.)
·         Build relationships in advance of needing them.
·         Take personal responsibility for making things happen.
·         Intelligently work the odds.
·         Intentionally form habits and cultivate patterns that work.
·         Know the payoffs of each of their activities.
·         Are impatient with those who don’t take charge of their own lives and careers.
·         Are generous with their time and resources toward worthy recipients.
Here is a quick formula for generating abundant sales right away without compromising your reputation, profitability, or long-term goals: notice more; cover the gaps; increase human contact; begin a series of chain reactions; keep the ball in your court; maximize your leverage; and think beyond today.
The author shares an anecdote with Bill Clinton as follows: In 1994 he had the opportunity to visit the White House with a small group of professional speakers. At the end of the tour while their group was standing in the foyer, Jim’s wife, Paula, suddenly said, “Oh my gosh, here he come.”
They looked across the room and sure enough, there came the President of the United States. At that time it was Bill Clinton. He walked over and he spent about ten minutes with our group, one-on-one, chatting with each of us. Someone in the group mentioned that they were professional speakers and commented that President Clinton, too, was in many ways a professional speaker. Clinton looked directly at Jim and said, “Half of my job is keeping people in the right frame of mind.”

Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of The Platinum Rule and Four Personality Types
Author’s friend, Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of The Platinum Rule, says that we should practice the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would like to be done unto.”  It’s a play on the Golden Rule, treat other people the way they would like to be treated. Many years ago, Tony and I worked together as partners in the creation of a program called “Relationship Strategies.” Relationship Strategies” was based on understanding different types of people, and relating to them using different strategies, based on what kind of person they were.
There are two dimensions to this. One is openness. With any person you meet, it’s pretty easy to determine whether they’re being open or not. Someone who is not open we call “guarded.” They tend to keep things close to the vest, not show their feelings. There are more thinking-oriented. They tend to be a little bit more fact-focused, more formal and proper. People who are guarded tend not to share information readily.
Someone who’s open and direct is called the socializer. The socializer is the outgoing individual who will tell you what they’re thinking at any given moment. You can read them like a book.
The open person who’s indirect, slower paced, we call the relater. The relater is someone who’s a people person, a team player, more soft and easygoing about things.
The indirect person who is guarded is what, I call the thinker. The thinker is someone who is more task-oriented. They’re someone who will analyze and take time to study the details before making a decision.
The guarded person who is direct is a fast-paced person that we call the director. The director is a person who gets right to the point. They want something done, they want it done right and they want it done now. They are very assertive people.
So there are four modes – the director, the socializer, the relater, and the thinker – four types of people. When you learn to recognize these four types – you’ll be more effective in selling, because each type requires a different approach to reduce the tension with them and increase the cooperation to generate more sales.
Notice the kind of person you’re dealing with so you can practice Tony’s Platinum Rule: “Do unto them the way they would want to ne done unto.”
The relaters strengths are listening, teamwork, and follow through. Their weaknesses are that they are a little overly sensitive; sometimes slow to start, they tend not to set very big goals.
The thinkers are guarded and indirect. They are slow and systematic, their priority is on the task, their focus is on the process, and their appearance is a little more formal or a little more reserved. Their strengths are planning and organization. Their weaknesses tend to perfectionism, a bit hypercritical, slow to make decision.
The director is someone who is guarded but direct. They’re fast and decisive, they focus on the task, and they want to get results. They are businesslike and powerful. Their workplace is busy, efficient, and structured. Their internal motivation is winning, being in charge. Strengths are delegating, leadership, inspiring others. Weaknesses are impatient, insensitive, they dislike details. They are irritated by inefficiency and indecision. It drives them nuts. Under stress they get highly critical and become dictatorial. Their decisions are decisive and quick and they seek from you bottom-line results.
Finally, there is the socializer. What they fear is loss of prestige or boredom. They measure their personal worth by recognition they’ve achieved, status, the number of friends, the kind of attention they’re drawing to themselves.

High, Medium and Low Velocity: The modern society tends to reward the people with higher velocity. High velocity-those who are genuinely self-motivated, who love to work toward goals. They prefer long hours, they like those hours filled with a variety of activity. They use even, their leisure time to advance toward their goals. In moderate velocity, people prefer a standard work day with a moderate mix of activities.  In low velocity, people are motivated primarily by others, or by needs, rather than inner desires. They even enjoy occasional inactivity, they like quiet time, and they don’t expect a great deal from themselves.

Operational, Strategic and Conceptual Bandwidth: People have bandwidth. Some people have operational bandwidth. Their intellectual capacity may be potentially able to handle all the information in the world, but not all at once. Someone with operational bandwidth can handle a few ideas at a time, efficiently. However, if you start presenting several different ideas at once, they get confused and frustrated. The next level is strategic bandwidth who can handle more information, but still there’s an upper limit to how much they can handle. Next, the highest level, for our purposes is conceptual bandwidth. Conceptual bandwidth would be about two percent of the population. These are people who have an enormous capacity for processing different ideas at the same time and doing so efficiently. These are people who can juggle a lot of different tasks at once, keep all the plates spinning on the poles, as they say, and keep these ideas, really, clearly in mind. They can shift from one to the other without any real confusion.
Strategic represents about eighteen percent of the population. When they look at something, they look at it not in terms of the overall concepts, they look at it strategically and they think. “How can this be used, what are some other options or alternatives?” Typically these are the people who are drawn towards sales, management or leadership positions. Not always but typically. Just learn to recognize whether the person you’re talking with is more conceptual, more strategic, or more operational.

Presentation Skills: Whether you speak well, or not, you still must give a logical flow to your ideas. In your presentation, be sure to cover five general areas - the calm, the need gap; the solution; documentation and a call to action. To be more effective in making presentations, here a few key tips. Be entertaining or interesting. Play off needs. Customize your presentation, follow a structure, only discuss the features of your product or service. Build perceived value. Differentiate yourself form your competition; create carefully worded phrases. Present simple, broad concepts first, complex detailed concepts later in the presentation. Lay the groundwork, and then get specific. Finally, don’t make it a lecture, make it a dialogue, and involve your prospect.
To find out the real reason behind resistance use the following four-step process for handling resistance:  listen carefully, don’t interrupt them, hear them out; check your understanding by giving feedback, such as “Let me see if I understood you properly, here’s what I hear you saying, is that accurate?”; addresses the issue effectively, use logic and emotion. In other words, talk about the feelings, but also talk about the logic; and confirm the acceptance of your solution. If you handled it well, it shouldn’t be an issue any longer. So ask, “Does that put your concerns to rest?”

Selling Takeaways
·         If you were to spend merely fifteen minutes each day gaining one new sales idea or sharpening a skill, within just a few years you would become an industry leader.
·         A healthy and productive relationship requires three elements: a mutual commitment to making the relationship work; open and frequent communication between the participants; and knowing what you expect from each other.
·         Not all sales can be generated by today’s activity. Some of today’s actions need to be sent ahead to prepare us for tomorrow’s sales.
·         People do business with people they like.
·         Answer phone calls in no more than four rings. If your phone traffic is too heavy to allow this, hire someone else or get some way developed to get the call answered before the fourth ring. A good receptionist is not measured by how quickly he or she handles calls, but by the positive outcome of each call.
·         Time spent on hold is often referred to as being in “voice jail,” and that’s what it feels like when you’re waiting endlessly to get your message through.
·         Measurement helps you determine what you’re doing right and what you’re not. If you don’t keep records you don’t have a clue as to how to improve.
·         The five areas for any manager to measure are sales calls, expenses incurred, non-sales activities, new market opportunities, and the results you’re getting.
·         Lifelong learning is essential in today’s world, but there must also be some lifelong “earning.”
·         When there is no graduation, there is no commencement of one’s career.
·         Sales don’t come from what you know; they come from what you do. Knowing makes you more capable but action brings results.
·         Society advances based on two things: the solutions we produce, and the connections we sustain.
·         Technology has advanced so much that our biggest problem is choosing between good alternatives, not simply identifying the bad versus the good.
·         Today we recognize that we don’t live in a mechanical world. We live in a world that is biological. Therefore, we are entering what could be called the organic era.
·         When you don’t have an edge in product or price, then you must have an edge in the way you connect with people.
·         Relationship selling is about making sales while building relationships.
·         When someone asks you a question, you should have a series of micro presentations already thought through in your mind, so that you can instantly describe, in the way you’d like to, the benefit or value that you want to convey to the customer.
·         There’s quite a difference between merely being prepared and being prepared to excel. For one, all that is expected of you is competence. For the other, you are expected to achieve excellence.
·         Each of the assets that you build eliminates a liability that could inhibit your career growth. Together these assets constitute your professional equity.
·         An opportunity is only an opportunity if you are ready for it.
·         A market is a group of people who have enough in common with each other that you can establish a reputation among them.
·         The goal of marketing is to give you a large number of people who are wiling and eager to see you.
·         The quickest way to grow your business is to ask for referrals. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
·         We need different people in our life who do different things for us and for whom we can do different things-people who have a certain effect on us, who we are, and how we live our lives. Look at what your relationships do for you.
·         And listen better. Good listeners generate more openness than those who are just good talkers.
·         One very effective way to get your message out to the community, or your marketplace, is by giving presentations. That means speeches and public presentations, not just individual sales presentations. The reason this works so well is that you’re able to reach many more people. When you have a group of people gathered together and you’re able to present your message, you have their undivided attention. You’ve got the opportunity to dramatize your message.
·         Every person has seven natural values; sensuality, empathy, wealth, power, aesthetics, commitment and knowledge.
·         Marketing, selling and service are not the same thing. Marketing is generating a desire for your product or service. Selling is converting that desire into transactions. And service converts those transactions into satisfied clients.

The book concludes with a message from the following story: Several years ago Jim (author of this book) was walking on the beach in La Jolla, California with a colleague of him, Dr. Spencer Johnson, who wrote the book Who Moved My Cheese? and prior to that, many other books, including co-authoring The One Minute Manager with Dr. Ken Blanchard.
They sat down in front of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and watched the sunset. And Spencer said to Jim, “I’ve been studying people who do what you do.”
Jim said, “You mean professional speakers?”
Spencer said, “Yes, trainers, speakers. Most of them seem to be working really, really hard but not getting as much in return for their effort as they could get. Then there’s a small group of them who seem to be getting almost everything they want, seemingly without effort.”
Jim asked, “Why do you think that is?”
“What I’ve found is that the large group, the people working hard and getting minimal results, seem to be working primarily in their head. To them, it’s all about logic, systems, linear thinking, details, specific hard plans and doing exact behaviors in an exact way. That’s useful, but that’s not what gets big successes in the long run.”
“What about the smaller group that seems to be getting everything they want and not working nearly as hard to get it? Jim asked.
He said, “Jim, those people seem to be coming primarily from their heart. They’re doing the things they love to do and they’re doing things in a way that they deeply care about and feel committed to.


What is the Recommendation?

This book contains lots of examples, illustrations, stories, case studies and quotes.  It explains listening skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills and selling skills. It is useful for any type of industry to apply to reap rewards.  This book is useful for sales and marketing professionals and also for leaders who want to improve their presentation skills, negotiation skills, listening skills and selling skills. It is a great book worth investing your time. You can gift this book to others. Enjoy reading this book!


“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus

References
The Eight Competencies of Relationship Selling: How to Reach the Top 1% in Just 15 Extra Minutes a Day by Jim Cathcart (Leading Authorities Press; First edition, October 28, 2002)


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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI


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