How Sales Reps Can Improve Customer Rapport by 50 Percent in Just 41 Days 

It seems an impossible claim, but author and performance expert Tom Connellan insists that sales reps can improve their sales skills by 50% in only 41 days. His new book, "The 1% Solution for Work and Life" gives readers the structure to make it happen.

by Straight Line Saturday, April 30, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI, April 25, 2011 (Straight Line PR) -- Can sales reps really improve their rapport with customers by 50 percent or more? Author and speaker Tom Connellan says yes, in his new book, The 1% Solution for Work and Life. The book explains in detail how small, incremental changes can add up to big improvements in customer rapport.

"Or any other sales skill of your choosing," claims peak performance expert Connellan. "It's so simple."

Most everyone wants to do better, knows they can do better, and intends to do better - though they rarely pull it off, because they don't have a structure. But because of the behavioral equivalent of compounding interest, all a rep has to do is improve their ability to build rapport by 1% each day, and on the 41st day, they'll be 50% better.

On the 68th day, they'll be twice as good at closing.

And all it takes is to give reps the missing structure.

"Success at anything is never the result of a happy accident," says Connellan. "It's the result of discipline. It's the result of a structured approach to reaching your goals 1% at a time."

What does the structure look like for improving a particular sales skill - say building rapport?

It consists of seven easy steps, according to Connellan's latest book, The 1% Solution for Work and Life. ( )

First, pick the skill to improve and list the critical components of the skill set you want to improve. In this example, it would be creating rapport. On a sheet of paper, write down each component of building rapport - both those you're good at and those to improve.

Second, go out and make a sales call.

Third, immediately after the call, seclude yourself for five to ten minutes and grade yourself on each component. Give yourself a score of 1-10 where 1 is terrible and 10 is outstanding.

Fourth, look at your high scores. Mentally review what activities made each of those components rank high and make sure they are locked into place. Too often, says Connellan, reps focus only on the few components they're not doing so well on and forget to make sure that those they are doing well on stay locked in place. When that happens, they never get anything locked in place are always scrambling and trying to restart something they just lost.

Fifth, look at three or four of your lower-ranked components of rapport building. Make notes on how you could improve each of them.

Sixth, on the next call, focus on improving those particular elements by just 1%. That's all - 1%.

Seven, repeat steps 1-6.

Doing these things is easy. The problem we all face is that not doing them is even easier.

By improving 1% every day, anyone can be 50% better on the 41st day and twice as good on the 68th. Connellan expands on the techniques in a YouTube video which can be seen at

Who else uses this process? "Olympians for one," says Connellan. "I was involved in an executive develop program that involved visits to the Olympic Training Center. Walking down a hallway between sessions, I noticed an gymnast practicing a floor routine. Each time he finished, he'd stand up with his hands in the finish position we're used to seeing on television."

"Then he would turn and look up at the wall. Suddenly, I realized he was using Eye On Performance, a multi-camera video system the OTC uses to give athletes immediate feedback on how they're doing. Calling out to him, I asked him how he liked 'Eye On' - the shorthand term they use. 'I love it,' he said. I can immediately see how I'm doing, keep doing what's working, and tweak what's not there yet the next time."

Connellan says that sales reps can do the same and that sales managers who travel with reps to observe them can use that same process to sharpen rep performance.

About The 1% Solution:
The 1% Solution for Work and Life gives readers a structure that works because it's based not upon opinion but upon research, testing, and application. The 1% Solution for Work and Life delivers page after page of tools to use right now. By establishing the habit of incremental change and improvement, readers can take stock of where they are right now in life, and put in place a plan that gently but firmly forces them, day by day, to take the actions that will lead them where they want to go. Priced at $19.95, The 1% Solution for Work and Life is available from ( ) and other online book retailers, or can be ordered through any local bookstore.

About Tom Connellan:
In demand as a keynote speaker by firms such as FedEx, Acura, BMW, Neiman Marcus, Canadian Tire, Marriott, Home Depot, Sobeys, and TD Canada Trust, Tom Connellan ( ) has gained a reputation as a "tough talking and truth telling" speaker because he delivers actionable ideas. In his previous books, Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney's Success and Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers: How the Very Best Boost Sales Connellan shared his insights into building a successful business. With The 1% Solution for Work and Life, he makes his success principles accessible to everyone.

For information on Connellan's schedule and availability, call 734-428-1580, visit or write to: Karen Revill, Program Manager, 1163 South Main Street Suite 306, Chelsea, MI 48118

Please contact for corrections or updates.

Karen Revill
Program Manager
The Connellan Group Inc.
1163 South Main Street
Suite 306
Chelsea, MI 48118

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