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Book Summary: “Mr. Shmooze. The Art and Science of Selling Through Relationships”, by Richard Abraham

This book has been on my reading list for awhile. Then, its recent endorsement by commercial real estate broker-extraordinaire Peter Pessetto prompted me to act. "Mr. Shmooze" is the story of a man who lives his life and performs as a salesperson with the conviction that selling is not about "taking" or "persuading," but about "giving." Sometimes shmoozing (or schmoozing) has a negative connotation, as when a person acts kindly toward someone else in order to take advantage of them in some way.

However, in "Mr. Shmooze," it is the act of asking questions and listening in order to understand what people really need (not just in business, but in life) and then giving of yourself to help them. Energizing others, making them feel special, and adding value to people’s day-to-day lives is what Mr. Shmooze is all about. He is constantly giving people special gifts and otherwise letting people know that he is thinking of them and cares about them. He gives more than he takes and has come to learn that, when he does this, he gets plenty back in return, both personally and professionally.

Since Mr. Shmooze is a very successful salesperson, there are numerous ideas and suggestions in the book of how to apply these concepts in sales. It shouldn’t be surprising that Mr. Shmooze says "Most successful service providers succeed because of their ability to build relationships" and also that "it’s all about adding value through your relationships." Mr. Shmooze contends that the only way to win in sales is to establish an intimate, personal relationship with the buyer and to be able to clearly explain how your product and service will benefit her. These are not new ideas. However, there is benefit in reading about these concepts in the context of how Mr. Shmooze applies them.

Mr. Shmooze believes strongly in the benefits of a positive attitude; imploring us to elicit positive emotion from others and to always end each "encounter" on a high note. Mr. Shmooze also believes that people base most of their decisions on two basic sensations: pleasure and pain. If others associate you with pleasure, you win! If they associate you with pain…"

As a sales manager, Mr. Shmooze states that "I want passion, guts, drive and enthusiasm. And I want someone who is in love with life, who loves people and who laughs hard and often." Someone who is truly optimistic and who really lives. Living is comprised of actions and behaviors, which are driven by feelings and emotions. So, ask yourself: since feelings and emotions are contagious, are mine worth catching? Mr. Shmooze pushes us all to do better in this regard.

His mission statement is that "the happier I can make myself, the happier I can make other people." An enviable perspective to have there, Mr. Shmooze.