Establishing relationships is an important part of life. In business, strong networks can be an important competitive advantage. The Relationship Edge in Business: Connecting with Customers and Colleagues When It Counts, by Jerry Acuff (with Wally Wood), may be just the tool you need to help forge business relationships that will propel your career forward.
In the first chapter, Acuff uses the example of a high school friend who unknowingly established a relationship, which eventually led to enormous business success. Acuff suggests that we all have the ability to knowingly do the same. He says, “While most of us instinctively know how to build and protect a positive, long-lasting relationship with another person and can prove it by pointing to a spouse and close friends, few of us know how to use our instincts to consciously, systematically, and routinely build, and maintain positive business relationships.” He goes on to offer three steps to help you with the relationship-building process. First, you must “have the right mind-set.” Second, try to “ask the right questions.” Finally, “when appropriate, do unexpected, inexpensive, and thoughtful acts based on what you’ve learned about the other person.”
Jerry Acuff is one of the founders of the Delta Point Sales Agency. Before founding Delta Point, he was vice president and general manager of a major pharmaceuticals company. He has frequently been featured by leading business and investing magazines, and is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. His contributor, Wally Wood, regularly helps executives publish business books. He has also edited several business magazines and newsletters. Their book, The Relationship Edge in Business: Connecting with Customers and Colleagues When It Counts, can help anyone turn simple business relationships into crucial business contacts.