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Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships Hardcover – January 13, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Relationship Laws That Drive Success

There are powerful Laws that determine whether your relationships—with your clients, colleagues, family, and friends—thrive or wither. These relationship Laws are ever-present. When you align with them, the results are dramatic. Your network will grow rapidly. You'll be seen by clients as a trusted partner rather than an expense to be managed. Your personal relationships will flourish. And you will find people around you eager to help you succeed.

When you ignore the Laws, however, it's like going against the grain. Your efforts will falter. Relationship building will seem like very hard work—even fruitless.

Power Relationships gives readers a unique, entertaining guide to relationship success at work and in life. Each of the 26 Laws is illustrated and explained using a compelling, real-life story that shows how to implement it. The second section of the book presents sixteen common relationship challenges with specific solutions.

You'll read about:

  • The top Citigroup executive whose relationship with a CEO was changed forever on a business trip that exploded into chaos, and how you can use the resulting Law to deepen your own relationships.
  • The philanthropist who, on the verge of being mugged in a dark parking lot, learns how his actions have had an unimaginable ripple effect across several generations.
  • How one of the authors flew halfway around the world and used Law 18—Make them curious—to turn a make-or-break, five-minute meeting with a top executive into a long-term relationship.
  • The chance encounter with a famous actor that revealed a simple but profound truth. It's Law 25: Build your network before you need it.

In Power Relationships, you'll meet famous entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, philanthropists, and an array of everyday people. Each of them teaches you something extraordinary about how to build the enduring, fulfilling relationships that help you succeed.

Download your free Power Relationships Planning Guide at andrewsobel.com or panaslinzy.com

From the Back Cover

Praise for Power Relationships

"Relationships come about in different ways: adversity, kindness, luck, planning, and humility can all play their part. Andrew and Jerry—in their inimitable style and with the credibility of experts in the field—illustrate practically and amusingly how relationships are created that are lasting and mutually beneficial."

—Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman, Lloyds Banking Group

"Power Relationships provides the perfect advice and examples on how to build relationships that truly work. It's an enjoyable read that will produce real results. I hope every person in Grant Thornton throughout the world reads the book, and that our competitors do not."

—Ed Nusbaum, Global CEO, Grant Thornton International

"Jerry and Andrew have written a book that unlocks the secret of relationship building. Relationships govern our personal world and everything we do. It is the zest in our life—with our family, colleagues, and clients. Power Relationships is the best-written book on the subject. I want all of our staff and employees to have a copy."

—Mark Cummings, President and CEO, ScotiaLife Financial

"I wish everyone could read Power Relationships. It would be a better world. This book leads the way. It proves to me that if business is based only on monetary gain, you will not solve an issue without a fight. Read Power Relationships for the answer."

—Alan Hassenfeld, Former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Hasbro, Inc.

"Sobel and Panas have added real substance to the basic truth that success in life depends on relationships between people. One cannot hope to excel in sales, supervision, service, or personal growth without sensitivity to the twenty-six tenets that the authors identify and explain persuasively. The many short stories that illustrate the main points in this volume are a delight to read."

—Richard Ekman, PhD, President, Council of Independent Colleges

"If you believe your business should be all about the client, you'll find Power Relationships a truly powerful book. It clearly shows how to create win-wins with your most important clients and prospects."

—Francesco Vanni d'Archirafi, CEO, Citi Holdings, Citigroup


Personal Assessment
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118585682
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118585689
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Andrew Sobel (www.andrewsobel.com) helps companies and individuals build clients for life. He is the most widely published author in the world on the topic of business relationships, and his bestselling books have been translated into 18 languages including Chinese, Arabic, and Romanian. He is the author of Power Relationships, Power Questions, All for One, Making Rain, and Clients for life, which have collectively sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. Power Questions spent 52 weeks on the Nielsen Bookscan National Business Bestseller list, and All for One was voted one of the top 10 sales and marketing books of the decade by a major marketing publication. His clients include many of the world's leading companies such as Citigroup, Hess, Cognizant, Ernst & Young, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Experian, Lloyds Banking Group, and many others. Andrew's articles and work have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, strategy+business, and the Harvard Business Review. He spent 15 years at Gemini Consulting where he was a Senior Vice President and Country Chief Executive Officer, and for the last 18 years he has led his own consulting firm, Andrew Sobel Advisors. Andrew's training and coaching programs for building clients for life are now offered globally through certified, licensed partners. Andrew has been married for 33 years and has three children. He can be reached at www.andrewsobel.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
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 this book.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded Power Relationships and read it from start to finish in one sitting. Each of the 26 relationship laws in the book is illustrated by an engrossing story that brings the point home. This is the best book on business relationships I have come across. It’s practical, entertaining, easy to read, and full of excellent advice.

I am a big fan of Sobel and Panas’s last book, Power Questions. This follow up effort doesn’t disappoint and in some ways it’s deeper and better. The first and largest section of Power Relationships is devoted to the 26 “relationship laws” mentioned in the title. Each chapter ends with a series of suggestions for how to implement that particular law. Just a few of the ones I found very helpful:

Law one--“Power relationships are based on great conversations, not one person showing the other how much they know.” Rather than pitching prospects and clients or overwhelming them with PowerPoint presentations we should be having a real, thoughtful, two-way conversation with them.

Law nine--“Walk in the other person’s shoes.” This was a very entertaining chapter about some self-absorbed advisor who steals his client’s lunch. The point is that our empathy and understanding of others will naturally grow if we invest the time to really think about what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Law twenty-two--“Become part of your clients’ growth and profits and they’ll never get enough of you.” The authors illustrate that if you’re not clearly showing your client how your product or service is helping them grow their revenues and profits, you’ll be seen as an expense that can be and will be cut at any time.
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Format: Hardcover
What is so incredible about this book is that it's very simple to read, internalize the articulated wisdom, and then implement the sage advice. I don't know how Sobel and Panas did this so uniquely.

Probably the greatest value to me is the importance of meeting people where they are, ensuring that they are heard, and tell them about their strengths with examples you know that are truthful.

Thank you to the these two great authors.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of THE best business books I've read in the last 20 years. You can get lots of details about content in the other reviews, so I will address it from a somewhat different angle.

Here are four major ways you can benefit from Power Relationships

1. If you are in the professional services field, it's a must read. Period.

2. It's outstanding as a general "How to cultivate relationships, build a network in a sincere, 'how can I provide value to others?' way."

3. It's a great model for anyone interested in writing a book on how to write one that is extremely engaging and useful. It's not one of those dry tomes where your enthusiasm wanes about half-way through and you move on to the next book. It's compelling reading.

4. If you're interested in learning how to use stories to make your writing--and ideas in general--more fascinating and persuasive, this is also a great example of how to do that exceptionally well.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read and reviewed two of Andrew Sobel's previously published books, Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others (2012) and All For One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships (2009), the former co-authored with Jerold Panas. I think very highly of their erudition in combination with a practical approach when rigorously examining especially complicated business challenges and opportunities.

What we have in their latest book, Power Relationships, is greater development of several concepts introduced in Power Questions but also a wealth of new information, insights, and counsel . The power relationships to which this book's eponymous title refers include but are by no means limited to those in the business world. They can also be developed elsewhere, within and beyond one's home and community. Sobel and Panas are convinced -- as am I -- that, whatever their nature and extent may be, the most valuable relationships are empowered by commitment, intimacy, and dependability as well as by mutual affection, respect, and trust. They are also convinced -- but I am not -- that the 26 Relationship Laws are "irrefutable" and "apply without exception. They pass the tests of experience and common sense."

My own opinion is that the 26 are best viewed as guidelines rather than as "laws." However characterized, a combination of them really could help develop an extraordinarily sound relationship with almost anyone in any sector of one's life, including active participation in social media. With only minor modification, at least some of the 26 could offer excellent guidance to newlyweds and new parents as well as to those who begin a new job, especially if that involves relocation to another city or town.
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