Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

“What do I need to know?” you ask.

Here are Gitomer’s 40.5 Info-Bits that build a relationship:

NOTE: To start, you must develop an information form or screen for your contact management program (Info-Bytes) to gather the following data.


1. Favorite sports teams

2. Favorite participant sport

3. Type of car owned and liked most (may be different)

4. Type of pet

5. Hobbies (special interests that are done with passion)

6. Favorite magazine

7. Favorite movie

8. Last books read (both enjoyment and personal development)

9. Leisure activities (weekend things)

10. Last vacation – where? why? Next vacation – where? why?

11. Courses taking now – personal development

12. Favorite Restaurant

13. Favorite Food

14. Last seminar attended

15. Office status symbols – note and discuss awards or unique items.


16. Prime 1994 goal – personal

17. Awards won

18. Hometown

19. Birthday

20. Present place of residence

21. Marital status (name of significant other)

22. Prejudices

23. Key views on important issues

24. Type of humor (if any)

25. How he or she got started in business

26. How he or she got started in their career

27. College(s) attended

28. Country Club member of

29. Other places lived

30. Other places worked

31. Belief or faith


32. Number of kids (in school? which one? studying what?)

33. Children’s achievements

34. Children’s activities


35. Prime 1994 goal – business (biggest issues)

36. Biggest competitor

37. Trade publications read

38. Trade association involvement

39. Civic/community organization involvement

40. Previous personal experiences and dealings with your type of product

End Game

40.5 Hot Buttons – The first 40 pieces will give you the longest list of hot buttons you’ve ever had.

This may seem like a lot of stuff to know about someone. You’re right. It is. How do you get all this information? You have to gather it subtly, slowly. A little at a time as the relationship grows. You can get this information from lots of places. Secretaries, brochures, annual reports, and employees of the company (especially other salespeople). Take notes constantly.

The more information you have, the better (and easier) it is to establish rapport, follow up and have something to say, build the relationship, and gain enough comfort to make the sale.

If given a choice, people will buy from those they like and can relate to. If you have the information, and use it to be memorable, you have a decided advantage. Or you can decide, “It’s too much work, I can make the sale without it.” This philosophy gives the advantage to someone else – your competitor.