Chapter 5

Building Personal Relationships

Developing personal relationships with the affluent significantly improves the salesperson’s perceived performance among the affluent. Trust increases by 23 points, service by 22 points, communication by 19 points, and industry knowledge by 16 points.

—Factoid, 2013 APD Research

Can you imagine a world in which 44 percent of affluent buyers (36 percent of affluent women) trust salespeople, but your own ranking surpasses 90 percent because you’ve cultivated so many personal relationships with these prized customers? Imagine no more! The dream is not only plausible, but extremely possible. Our APD Research points to a path that follows two macro affluent shifts: gender and relationships.

A few months ago, I was in Seattle on business and, in keeping with my routine, was scheduled to have dinner with my cousin Marty. On this particular evening, we went for a seafood dinner at Chinooks, one of my cousin’s favorite restaurants. As we entered, we were instantly greeted with a shout of “Hey Marty!” and a big wave from one couple. Marty waved as we were seated by the hostess and then excused himself to visit the couple.

Cousin Marty is an affluent salesman who has sold BMWs for BMW of Seattle for 20 years. Returning to our table, he explained that the friendly diners were clients who’d purchased a number of cars from him. What I also discovered was that Marty had established a personal relationship with the couple. They regularly played golf together ...

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