On the Bookshelf: Real Relationships

UPDATED: July 7, 2011
PUBLISHED: July 7, 2011

In an über-connected world, it’s easy to forget that your friends, fans and followers are only tied to you by an easy-to-unclick choice. Don’t make the mistake of believing it’s love when, in truth, your relationship could be based on fickle infatuation.

Real relationships aren’t based on pixels; they develop over time. And real relationships are the foundation of good business. In the books featured this month, you’ll learn strategies for connecting and creating long-lasting, profitable bonds with your customer base.

Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary

by Frank I. Luntz

In Win, master communicator Frank Luntz demonstrates the how-to behind winning strategies, using examples from some of the world’s most successful businessmen, politicians and sports figures.

But more than a “how-to” book, Win focuses the “Nine Principles of Winning,” common philosophies shared by all winners. Chapter by chapter, Luntz outlines the character traits you must cultivate in order to achieve not just financial success but the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. Luntz’s lessons can be applied by any leader because his basic message is that winning doesn’t come from focusing on the bottom line or even on success. Instead, he says, winning is the result of building one’s business around something people actually need—something that makes the human condition better.

In addition to his coverage of successful people, from Abraham Lincoln to Steve Jobs to Rupert Murdoch, Luntz breaks up his narrative with lists of questions designed to help readers analyze their own skills, like “Are You People-Centered?” He also includes easy-to-scan “Luntz Lessons” on everything from how to read people through body language to learning to break rules and take greater risks. Use this best-seller as a tool to develop your own plan for winning.


Noteworthy Quote:

 “Winners know what makes people tick, and they connect either to our fears or our aspirations—or both.”

From this book you’ll learn how to:

 Identify your target audience.

 Connect with your customers and employees on a human level.

 Stay one step ahead of the competition.

Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones

by Joseph Jaffe

Whether you earned your MBA at a top-rated business college or at the school of hard knocks, you’ve probably been taught to use the marketing funnel: Attract the masses in hopes that a few will purchase. Customer acquisition requires the bulk of your budget, while customer retention suffers. In Flip the Funnel, Jaffe debunks that business model and explains how investing your time, money and energy into keeping your existing customers satisfied is a more profitable way to acquire new ones.


Noteworthy Quote:

 “Investing in your customers pays tremendous dividends.”

From this book you’ll learn how to:

 Build rapport using a customer-service blog.

 Jump-start powerful customer referrals.

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

by Harvey Mackay

Packed with anecdotes of American icons, ranging from Billy Graham to Muhammad Ali, this quick, entertaining book is a classic that should be on every businessperson’s bookshelf. Beginning and veteran networkers will learn creative ways to connect with others and build solid, mutually beneficial relationships.


Noteworthy Quote:

 “The idea is not to see how many people you can meet; the idea is to compile a list of people you can count on.”

From this book you’ll learn how to:

 Create a favorable impression after the initial connection.

 Be on the “A” lists of those you network with.