The real secrets to professional success
Professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants and consultants soon discover that the secret to their professional success lies not just in mastering the technical details of their profession but also in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues. Key principles for mastering professional relationships are described by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas in their book Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships.
This is an entertaining and engaging book, with a personal story illustrating each of the 26 principles, which include:
- Know the other person’s agenda and help them accomplish it
- Treat a prospect like a client and there’s a good chance they’ll become one
- It’s better to know the right questions than to have all the answers
- A selfless motive creates powerful bonds
- Become part of your clients’ growth and profits and they’ll never get enough of you
After describing the 26 principles, the authors describe a number of relationship challenges and how they can be addressed by the application of some of the 26 principles. The relationship challenges include:
- How do I build a relationship with a client who doesn’t seem to want one?
- How can I get more meetings with potential clients and customers?
- How do I more from a casual conversation with a business contact to a discussion about how my products and services could help them?
- How do I build a strong relationship with my boss?
- How can I improve my relationships with my children and foster more communication?
While most clients are not looking for a “relationship” with a professional service provider, they are looking for someone who respects them, understands their business, adds value, and is pleasant to deal with. In my opinion this book provides plenty of wisdom showing how a service provider can become a sought-after trusted adviser.