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Being friendly is good, but being too chummy to make the sale is not.

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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every entrepreneur knows that the only way to build a business is to build relationships. In fact, many entrepreneurs are relationship masters. They know how to dive into a prospect's world and not only understand where the person is coming from, but also what he or she is trying to accomplish. Because they can see the other person's perspective, they're better able to recommend the right product or service.

Over the past few years, this idea about "relationships" has spawned a variety of sales buzzwords-such as consultative selling, customer-based selling, customer-oriented selling and partnership selling. Whatever you call it, it's all about building rapport, connecting, networking and serving-all worthy, important goals.

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