Authors: Atlee Valentine Pope and George F. Brown Jr.

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press.316 pages

Book Review by Ramu Nakliba

I know someone who would identify a potential customer, clearly assess possible annual revenue, then go ahead and first develop a personal, not a business relationship with that prospect.

He owned an export business (he has since retired) which involved supplying name-brand US goods to customers around the world.

He would meet that person socially for lunch, drinks or dinner. Very little business details were discussed. But he knew that his prospect had clearly decided that doing business with him was essential to getting import supply of the name-brand product line and building his sales volume.

The personal relationship deepened and the business relationship blossomed for mutual financial benefit. It was a true win-win partnership. I use the word partnership to differentiate the usual relationship between company and customer which is simply a seller-buyer relationship.

The authors of CoDestiny – Atlee Valentine Pope and George F. Brown Jr. – make the important point throughout the book that unless you help your customers by understanding their obstacles to business growth and are able to help them successfully overcome those hurdles and achieve more sales volume and or greater profits to them, your own business will not grow as large as you want it to be.

Atlee and George suggest that once business owners have identified their best customers as well as their largest potential customers based on their company’s strengths, that they develop a Relationship Advantage over their competitors.

Suppose your company is successfully serving one of your best customers by being able to supply a hard-to-get product at the lowest price available in the market. Getting the lowest was that customer’s No.1 need and you have been able to deliver large volumes at his desired price for a long time. The sales volume has grown with that customer, and both you and he are happy. The relationship is close.

Along comes your competitor and he suddenly offers your customer the same product

At a price 20 percent lowers than yours. Because you have a good relationship with that customer, he shows you the product his competitor has offered. You find out through analysis that that product is actually of lower quality and your customer may pose problems from returns by his end-users or consumers. Your customer is happy that you pointed out the potential problems he may face. Your relationship with that customer has now become even closer and has more value than before. You have become a trusted confidant.

We give this example of the importance of Relationship Building from experience to demonstrate what CoDestiny is all about. There are many other useful points this book makes. Buy this very useful book and benefit from those important points.