Personal Information Leads to a Relationship and Lots of Sales.

Personal Information Leads to a Relationship and Lots of Sales.

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

To establish the ultimate long term relationship, to be memorable in the actions and service you perform, you need personal information about your prospect or customer. Information that provides insight. (And, oh yes, lots of sales.)

How much do you know about what impacts your best customers and prospects? Ask any great salesperson their secret for success, and part of their answer will be “personal relationships” and a computer full of personal information.

The famous “Mackay 66” brought attention to the importance of gathering personal information in the selling process. It’s a form that author Harvey Mackay asks the answers to 66 personal and business questions for the customers of his envelope business. But a closer look at this strategy reveals that information is only good if it’s the right information. And that you use it to your advantage once you obtain it.

The difference between making a sale and building a relationship lies in your ability to get and use this information.

“What do I need to know,” you ask? Here are Gitomer’s 40.5 Info-Bits that build the knowledge to build a relationship. To start, you must develop an information form or screen for your contact management program to gather the following data…

1. Favorite sports teams
2. Favorite participant sport
3. Type of car
4. Type of pet
5. Hobbies
6. Favorite magazine
7. Favorite movie
8. Last book read
9. Leisure activities (weekend things)
10. Last vacation – where
11. Courses taking now
12. Favorite Restaurant
13. Favorite Food
14. Last seminar attended
15. Office status symbols

16. Prime 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 goal – business
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.

The key is not just gather the information – it’s to find what you have in common, and use that as the basis of the relationship.

If given a choice, people will buy from those they 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.

Free GitBit

Want to learn the formula for using personal information to make a sale? A 10.5 step method for landing more sales than your company can handle. Go to, click Access GitBits, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word FORMULA in the search box.