Required Reading

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Harry Beckwith on customer centricity: "Modern business is based on relationships. Brand, price, packaging are all-important, but combined are still not as important as relationships. This may seem conventional, but I came across it unconventionally. "I'm a guy; a hunter-gatherer. I like to kick ass and take clients. So, I was seeking hard-core processes to create superior business; customer focus was just a nice idea. I discovered [its true value] by eliminating everything else. "Customers do business with you because they like you and trust you, because you have common ground, because they're comfortable with you. But you can't just do the relationships. Like life, business is hard and you still need to do the branding, the pricing, the packaging. "Cultivating relationships will get you a long way. Where do you begin? Begin anywhere, like remembering names. Take it one day at a time. There's no steroid here that will make you muscular overnight. But [customer focus] will become a habit; then it will become an attitude." In What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business (Warner Business Books) author Harry Beckwith offers insight into using customer-centricity as the primary tool for growth. The book, packed with advice and anecdotes, makes readers think and want to take action. One way it does this is by suggesting that readers pose tough questions to themselves like "If I ran a competing firm, how would I beat ours?" and "What would people love?" and "Never mind words--how do you act and look?" www.twbookmark.com
Based on an exhaustive study of 250,000 sales reps and 25,000 sales managers conducted by The Gallup Organization, Gallup's Benson Smith and Tony Rutigliano penned Discover Your Sales Strengths: How the World's Greatest Salespeople Develop Winning Careers (Warner Business Books). The book guides sellers to identify their top five talents and instructs them on how to use those talents to improve their sales careers. www.twbookmark.com For the more than 20 million customer-facing business professionals in the United States, building loyalty is often the linchpin for their companies' long-term success. In Making Rain: The Secrets of Building Lifelong Client Loyalty (John Wiley & Sons) author Andrew Sobel reveals the results of six years of research he conducted into "enduring client loyalty and the strategies that the most successful professionals employ to establish long-term, advisory relationships with their clients." The book offers insights into and strategies for creating value for the customer that translates into lasting relationships. www.wiley.com The shelves are overflowing this month with new books on niche areas within CRM. These market-specific books include Brilliance Marketing Management: Let Your Strengths Build Your Business (Facts on Demand Press), by Celia Rocks; Managing High-Tech Services Using a CRM Strategy (St. Lucie Press), by Donald F. Blumberg; The Art and Business of Speech Recognition: Creating the Nobel Voice (Addison-Wesley), by Blade Kotelly; Mobilize Your Enterprise: Achieving Competitive Advantage Through Wireless Technology (Prentice Hall PRT), by Patrick Brans; and Business Process Change: A Manager's Guide to Improving, Redesigning, and Automating Processes (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers), by Paul Harmon.
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