The Hidden Laws That Determine Relationship Success

Andrew Sobel

Andrew Sobel

The guest post below by Andrew Sobel is adapted from his book (with co-author Jerry Panas), Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships.

Andrew Sobel helps companies and individuals build clients for life.

He has written eight acclaimed books on business relationships, including the international bestsellers Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others and Clients for Life: How Great Professionals Develop Breakthrough Relationships, which have been translated into ten languages.

We live in the most connected age in history.

And yet, we have fewer real relationships than ever. For many, the acquisition of hundreds of social media contacts has replaced the cultivation of deep, meaningful relationships with clients, colleagues, and even with friends and family. But the problem is deeper than that. It is genuinely tougher to build the trusted relationships you need to thrive in your career.

There are three major challenges that all client-facing professionals now have to confront.

There are three major challenges that all client-facing professionals now have to confront. First, how do you access and connect with senior executives who are time-starved and have put up walls to protect their time?

Second, how do you become relevant to prospects and clients who won’t give you a second chance if the first conversation doesn’t light a spark? And third, how do you build a trusted, personal relationship over time so that you have a seat at the table when issues in your area of expertise are discussed?

To overcome these challenges you need to leverage what we call the Relationship Laws. Just as an airplane must respect the laws of physics in order to fly, your behaviors must align with these Laws if you want to sell effectively and build clients for life.

Here are some of the Relationship Laws that will help you connect, become relevant, and build deep, personal relationships with clients.

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Meet the MasterMinds Podcast: John Jantsch on Duct Tape Selling

duct tape selling

John Jantsch

No one should be surprised to hear that the world of sales has undergone a fundamental transformation over the past few years.

In spite of this reality, you can still find sales “experts” who are preaching the same old sales tactics.

So I was excited to see that John Jantsch, adviser to entrepreneurs and small businesses, took a modern-day approach to selling in his new book, Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer—Sell Like a Superstar.

If you’re not familiar with his work, though I’m guessing that most of you are, Jantsch is also the author of three other books, including Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.

His web site and blog at was chosen by Forbes as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs.

Here’s what caught my eye when I read Jantsch’s new book. He makes a profound point that today’s sellers must think more like marketers if they want to thrive.

He’s telling us that today’s sellers know that they’ve got to attract, teach, convert, and serve clients, while building a personal brand that stands for trust and expertise.

That’s a formula that will work for consultants.

Here are the questions Jantsch and I discussed:

  1. You introduce a concept in the book called inbound selling. Can you explain the idea and how it fits into your overall view of selling in today’s environment?
  2. Many sellers and firms focus on defining their target markets based on who will buy from them. You make an interesting point about broadening a seller’s target market to include customers/clients that a seller deserves (and really wants) to work for. How do you use that idea in the sales and business development process?
  3. You make a strong case for the importance of content in a sales strategy, especially the need for sellers to bring useful content to their clients. Do you have any tips for how people can make time for content development while serving the on-going needs of their clients?
  4. You mention that the old sales saying, “Always be closing” needs to be discarded and replaced with “Always be connecting.” How can sellers use that advice?
  5. If you could give sellers one piece of advice about selling in today’s world, what would be?
  6. How can people learn more about your work and the book?
ducttape coverIf you want to learn more about Jantsch’s book, go to the Duct Tape Selling website or his blog, Duct Tape Marketing. He created a resource page on his site that shows you all of the tools he references throughout the book. This highly practical collection of tools is organized by book chapter. Be sure to check it out.

Becoming an Insight Seller

In the world of business books, those on sales and selling are as popular as any you’ll find., for example, has more than 3,000 books just on Kindle in their “sales and selling” category. You’d think the market for sales books would be saturated by now. But there’s always room for a well-researched, well-written […]

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Are You Playing the Long Game?

When a telemarketer calls with an offer you didn’t ask for and don’t want, you’re immediately suspicious. Telemarketers play a risky game. The usual assumption is that they are more interested in closing sales than in the needs of the person on the phone. After all, the only time you hear from them is when […]

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