71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's Buying What You're Selling (aka: Reinventing Your Elevator Speech)
Michael Port begins his book practically: "[T]here may be two simple reasons why you don't serve as many clients as you'd to today. You either don't know what to do to attract and secure more clients or you know what to do but you're not actually doing it" (p. xxvii).
In the pages that follow, he unpacks his "Booked Solid System" to which he ascribes the power...
Published on February 21, 2010 by T. Hamaker
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slick and vapid ... maybe I read a different book?
I've just finished Book Yourself Solid, and then checked out the reviews on Amazon. My jaw dropped. I can't believe people gave this book 4-5 stars. I started to wonder if I was reading the same book as these folks. A slick sales job promoting many of his products and websites under the guise of offering information, the only person this book helps is Michael Port...
Published on November 16, 2007 by Tim Warneka
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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's Buying What You're Selling (aka: Reinventing Your Elevator Speech),
This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Paperback)Michael Port begins his book practically: "[T]here may be two simple reasons why you don't serve as many clients as you'd to today. You either don't know what to do to attract and secure more clients or you know what to do but you're not actually doing it" (p. xxvii).
In the pages that follow, he unpacks his "Booked Solid System" to which he ascribes the power to solve both of those stated problems.
Contrasting "old school" and "new school" marketing methods, he writes, "[Many] have come to believe that marketing and selling is pushy and self-centered and borders on sleazy ... You must never fall into the typical client-snagging mentality. If you do, you'll operate in a mentality of scarcity and shame as opposed to one of abundance and integrity" (p. xxix).
Questions to ask yourself:
How can I be fully self-expressed in my work to create meaning for me and those whom I serve?
How can I work only in the areas of my greatest strengths and talents so that I can shine?
How many relationships with people of purpose did I make and deepen?
How can I better listen to and serve my ideal clients?
How can I wow people with substance?
How can I overdeliver on my promises to my clients?
How can I cooperate with other professionals to create more abundance?
Port's claim is a large one: "If you keep asking yourself these questions, if you set a solid foundation for your business, build trust and credibility within your marketplace, and use the seven core self-promotion strategies [offered later in the book], you'll be booked solid in no time" (p. xxx).
His layout of information consists of 3 modules: Your Foundation, Building Trust and Credibility, and The Seven Core Self-Promotion Strategies.
Each of the modules has something worthy to note, but I found module 1 to be the most informative and helpful - especially chapter 2: "Why People Buy What You're Selling."
He counsels, "Marketing and sales isn't about trying to convince, coerce, or manipulate people into buying your services. It's about putting yourself out in front of, and offering your services to, those whom you are meant to serve - people already looking for your services" (p. 17).
Those who are already looking for your services are those who should make up your target market. It's in this section where Port shines. He says, "Your target market's urgent needs [the things they would like to move away from] and compelling desires [the things that they would like to move toward] prompt them to go in search of you and your services ... You must offer what your potential clients want to buy, not you want to sell or think they should want to buy" (p. 22).
What will cause someone to purchase the service that you are selling?
" [I]f your potential clients are going to purchase your service and products, they must see them as investable opportunities; they must feel that the return they receive is greater than the investment they made.
... This return will come in different forms, depending on what you offer, but the return is almost always financial or  emotional.
... Rather than talking about what you do, focus instead on clear, specific, and detailed solutions that solve your clients' problems" (pp. 23-24).
The next biggest issue that Port addresses is how we talk about what we do - commonly referred to as "The Elevator Speech." This is important because, in Port's words, "A primary reason that many service professionals fail to build thriving businesses is that they struggle to articulate - in a clear and compelling way - exactly what solutions and benefits they offer" (p. 47). Port offers guidance and examples for a long version, a mid-length version, and a short version by mixing and matching your answers to some exercises that you've already worked through. Those exercises include: Summarizing your target market in one sentence, identifying the three most critical problems faced by that market, telling how you solve these problems (the more unique the better), mentioning the most dramatic ("Wow!") results that your clients have experienced, and including the benefits your clients receive" (see p. 51).
This wisdom alone is worth the price of the book. The rest is just bonus as far as I'm concerned!
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for salespeople but for consultants and other business people who need to get "projects" booked,
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This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Hardcover)This book isn't as bad as some reviewers have written or as good as others have raved about. This book isn't for salespeople and because of that I was disappointed. This book is for professionals that have to "book themselves," such as public speakers, lawyers, accountants and the like. In some ways if you don't already know what this book teaches you better get a job. However, as the E-Myth points out there are plenty of people that are good at what they do but are clueless about how to get themselves business. If you fall into this category this is a good book to read and implement.
Port's book is long and at times wordy but a fun and easy read. There are diamonds here but you have to mine through a lot of ore to get at them. The book is well written and conversational. I can see why Mr. Port has a successful career. This book is perhaps a good first read if you're considering starting your own business or want to get more clients. For a solid and measurable program I recommend "Get Clients Now" by C. J. Hayden or "Get Business to Come to You" by Sarah and Paul Edwards.
176 of 190 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that's a solid beginning,
This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Hardcover)I met Michael Port live at a conference and have heard him on several teleseminars. I've seen him on Sex and the City (he got to give a somewhat brotherly kiss to Sarah Jessica Parker after they lounge around the cushions of Bed Bath and Beyond.
Therefore I read BYS knowing that Michael Port is good-looking, charismatic and smart, with a warm, well-trained voice. He could read the phone book and sound convincing. And he's a brilliant marketer. Who wouldn't kill for package names like Book Yourself Solid and Think Big Revolution.
So readers approaching Book Yourself Solid may well be wondering, "Will hanging out with the Beautiful People make me beautiful too? If we take Michael's courses and buy his books, will we also become charismatic and wildly successful?"
BYS works best as an overview: what's involved if you're thinking of starting a client-driven website-based business. For a true newbie, or even someone in the started-but-struggling phase, BYS will give glimpses of what might be, not a stand-alone how-to.
I recommend starting Book Yourself Solid (BYS) on page 31. Chapters 3 and 4 are the best in the book and I would recommend the book to my own clients just to get those chapters.
Chapter 2, Branding, takes readers through a set of self-awareness exercises that (while a bit touchy-feeling) can help newbies differentiate themselves from the pack. Chapter 4, how to talk about what you do, showcases Port's strongest point: relate your business to the client's needs not your own processes.
Skip the pages of testimonials, which don't seem to come from people who actually used the BYS program as clients. I believe pages like these actually detract from a book's credibility (although the decision to include them may be the publisher's, not the author's).
Chapter 1, Red Velvet Rope Policy (now there's a brilliant phrase), will be helpful for those who have already started growing their businesses. Newbies take awhile to learn how to differentiate the duds.
Chapter 2, Finding a Target Market, offers good advice, but I would have liked to see stronger warnings against targeting a market that might have a need but not a willingess to buy. In my experience, choosing the wrong market is the number one mistake most newbies make.
For most of the rest of the book, Port presents a selection of mostly excellent tips and ideas. Apparently he (or his editor) had trouble choosing what to include and what to omit, so reading through the chapters can feel like seeing the world through a telescope that quickly becomes a microscope, and vice versa. For example, on the one hand, we're given great detail about the level of handshake to offer at networking events; on the other, we get a general list of networking groups with no how-tos for choosing among them. We're given detailed advice on choosing an article topic but a short paragraph on submitting queries to magazines -- a topic that has filled many books.
"Choosing a web designer" gets a short paragraph and a reference to the listing on the BYS resource site. I would recommend starting a website project with a copywriter (sure - I'm biased!)and making sure the design doesn't overwhelm the copy.
The BYS section on ezines includes a number of useful micro-tips, but I'm surprised Port didn't refer readers to Alexandria Brown, the Ezine Queen, the way he refers bloggers to Andy Wibbels. Some exercises seem a little forced: "What format would you use for your ezine."
And likeability -- a topic on which Port should be the quintessential expert -- actually gets only one example: a contrast between an outgoing on-time person and a careless person who arrives late. An author who ends teleclasses with, "I love all of you, and not in a weird way, I promise" can do better than that.
Finally, I would like to discover more about Michael Port himself. When a book's cover art is the author's full-length photo, readers expect biography. We do learn his father is a psychiatrist, he started working as an actor and he quickly became a business person with a Midas touch. But where did he go to college? What made him consider acting? And what obstacles did he encounter along the way?
Bottom Line: Most likely anyone who's selling a service through the Internet will find something of value here. It's more of a Michael Port sampler than a how-to book, a potluck buffet rather than a sit-down dinner. Delicious surprises, but you have to put them together on your own. A few items that should be served only to small dinner parties and yes, just a few that should have remained in the kitchen.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells How to Become a Magnet for Clients,
This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Paperback)Even though I became an entrepreneur in 1996 by launching my company, and have read numerous books about marketing my services, Michael Port presented promotional ideas and strategies that helped me. Right away, I re-examined my niche and how I describe my services to prospective clients.
During one of my visits to a medical office as a patient, a nurse's assistant noticed that I was reading Book Yourself Solid. She asked me to describe what it was about. When I gave her a short summary, she asked next, "Why are you reading it? What is your line of work?" My answer flowed easily, using the pattern Michael proposed.
Too, I applaud the writing style--simple language, sprinkled occasionally with relevant, tasteful humor. Port illustrates his points skillfully.
An entrepreneurial friend had encouraged me to buy this book. I'm glad I followed his advice. I would welcome an opportunity to attend one of Michael Port's seminars, to hear additional marketing guidelines.
His sharpest suggestion about sales: Replace the ABC of "Always be closing" with the ABC of "Always be communicating."
The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication-change Your Life!
58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One idea is worth the cost of a year's income,
This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Hardcover)The idea Michael Port puts forth about integrity is eye opening. He teaches that, if you work for people whom you cannot serve with your full ability, you lack integrity. In other words, if you have clients who sap you of energy because they are not "your" kind of clients, you cannot do as good a job for them. This is enlightening - even if you don't fully agree with it, it makes you think about your clients and work in a different way.
Some of his ideas are available elsewhere, but I haven't seen a gathering of these ideas together into a system as well structured as this. I really believe this book is the best you can get if you're a service professional. I'm beginning to restructure some of my own marketing plans based on the lessons taught in the book.
As a final thought, the idea of attracting clients with a no-cost-of-entry offer that leads to a low-cost-of-entry offer that leads the client deeper into your solutions and offerings is worth the cost of the book times ten thousand. If you are a service professional selling your own services, you have to read this book this summer!
Tom Carpenter, Author: Wireless# Certification Official Study Guide and CWSP Certification Official Study Guide
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slick and vapid ... maybe I read a different book?,
Michael misses at a number of levels in this book by either going too deep into information ("have a firm handshake"; "have a website". Wow! Thanks, Mike), or by not going deep enough "have an affiliate program.")
Unless you're intested in lining Michael's pockets with more money, I would recommend avoiding this book. Or, if you use Michael's approach as a template for your own business, that'll work too ... if you can avoid the pitfalls.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motivates you to take action,
The author writes that he gathered the ideas from multiple resources to build his Book Yourself Solid system. Port shares first-rate advice like dropping clients that sap your energy leaving you with more stress than enthusiasm. Let go of clients? How can you afford that? Think of how much work you'd finish if you enjoy working with every client. Maybe you'd be able to add a few more by letting go of deadweight clients.
The book provides guidance to find your target audience. Anyone who has read books and researched the target market thing may be skeptical about discovering new information in this book. Port breaks down the process of selecting your target market into doable steps, something few resources do.
At times, the book starts reading like those "hyped up" sales materials you see online or in infomercials. In spite of this and a bit of off the mark advice, the book is a worthy and useful read. If you check out Port's web site, you'll encounter this hype. Don't let the web site influence your decision to read this book. The book and web site have little in common.
Small business owners and employees will find the book's ideas simple to understand and easy to put into action. In fact, they're most likely doing some of the activities, but the author takes the activities a step further with the goal of booking more clients.
The book benefits business people who want to make marketing and sales an everyday part of their job for a couple of hours a week. Some especially new businesses and service-based businesses will value the book as it saves time that's involved with trying to determine how to do marketing and sales.
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Yourself Solid WORKS,
This review is from: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (Paperback)I took just the FIRST idea from Book Yourself Solid (Always Have Something To Invite Them To) and used it to create free weekly computer skills webinars ( [...] ) that are building a loyal following, increasing my email list, helping me find a niche to fill, creating products people want, and making me money. Michael is the real thing, and his ideas WORK.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to "let" a client find you,
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Ready for Growing Your Business,
Michael's chapter on becoming "known for what you know" is some of the best advice I've received. The chapter reads like your sitting with your business coach.
Make an investment in yourself and your clients. Get on the Book Yourself Solid program.
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Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketi... by Michael Port (Hardcover - April 28, 2006)
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