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Don Saracen, president and founder of Saracen Sales & Communications, was recently named chapter member of the year by the New England chapter of the National Speakers Association. Saracen is president-elect of the association, and works as a sales and ctommunications expert, speaking, training and consulting with businesses and organizations looking to improve their sales, communication and business-development efforts. He is a Providence Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, and holds the Advanced Communicator Gold designation from Toastmasters International. Saracen majored in communication studies at Emerson College.
PBN: Tell us a little bit about how interpersonal communications skills can improve sales, business development and customer-service functions.
SARACEN: Customers have high expectations and yet low attention spans. Sales and customer-service people need to connect at a human level. Be it in person, by phone or using technology, we must remember that there is a human being on the receiving end of your message.
PBN: You currently collaborate with a variety of organizations to help them build better business relationships by using stories and real-life examples. Were you always a whiz in this area?
SARACEN: Building stronger business relationships is a learned skill. I just started early. … During the summers when I was 12 and 13 years old, I’d go to work with my dad, and sit in on my father’s customer meetings. Dad would always say that no matter what your product or service may be or who you may deal with, it always comes down to people making decisions.
PBN: You’re currently finishing up an e-book, “Selling: It’s Personal, 49 Tips to Out Sell the Competition in the New Economy.” What motivated you to write it, and what can readers expect?
SARACEN: I write a monthly newsletter and I’m constantly monitoring how professionals look at the sales and communications disciplines in today’s economy. It’s interesting that there are two schools of thought: old-school, tried and true selling methods or the use of social media and technology. While both have their merits, I see a third option – an intelligent blend based on the type of customers and industries you are selling to. [My book] is a straightforward guide of proven tips, techniques and how-to solutions. •