From the very first page of The Rival: Play the Game, Own the Hustle, Power in Competition, Longevity in Collaboration, author Benjamin Von Seeger sums up business success with a single word: relationships. “Relationships matter more now than they ever did,” writes the senior sales executive with Miami-based BVS Consulting. “What people think of you today will impact the work they are willing to pursue with you tomorrow.” In the corporate world, he says, emotional intelligence—the ability to help others relate to you—trumps everything else.
In this well-written, easy-to-read book, Von Seeger uses a straightforward style and his 18 years of experience building global telecommunications sales teams to advise entrepreneurs and business executives on a range of topics, from branding and competing in an ever-changing marketplace to scheduling face-to-face meetings and understanding your “PC” (product and competition).
And his personal stories serve as memorable illustrations for what to do and what to avoid. In one, he recalls his first big break and a wise boss who pointed out that truly knowing your clients is more important than training and experience. In another, he reveals how his take-charge style as a brash, young executive worked against him. And his account of accidentally impressing a tough, would-be client by quickly solving a Rubik’s cube puzzle confirms that there’s always a way to win someone over.
Much of Von Seeger’s advice seems more suited for budding entrepreneurs and salespeople than those who’ve been at it a while. And The Rival might be too basic for readers who easily pick up on non-verbal clues, maintain conversations and turn clients into friends. But even the most experienced corporate leaders will benefit from Von Seeger’s reminders that character counts and that making human connections, even in business—especially in business—matters more than anything else.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.