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Indispensable: How To Become The Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without Hardcover – April 29, 2005

ISBN-13: 072-3812727889 ISBN-10: 0471703087 Edition: 1st

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Indispensable: How To Become The Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without + Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison + Be the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471703087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471703082
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Intense business competition has made many products and services interchangeable, and made price the ultimate determinant for consumers. When customers know they can get the same product at a lower price from someone else, they will. That is, unless you give them something they can't get anywhere else. Indispensable shows businesses how to break out of the commodity trap and create customer loyalty that overcomes the power of pricing.

The Holy Grail of business is the customer so loyal that they'll do business with you and only you when it comes time to buy. The company that can build that relationship with its customers becomes truly indispensable to them—and destined for market dominance. In Indispensable, renowned business consultant Joe Calloway looks at how real companies have made their products and services indispensable to their customers, and how you can do the same in your business.

Using case studies, interviews, and real-world scenarios, Calloway reveals the Five Drivers of success that virtually all indispensable companies share:

  • They create and sustain momentum, overcoming organizational inertia and moving forward constantly
  • They develop habitual dependability and consistent performance for their customers
  • They maintain a continuous connection by persistently communicating with their customers
  • They adopt a big-picture perspective by understanding their own, and their customers', long-term goals
  • They engage, enchant, and enthrall, giving their customers more than they need—and more than they expect

These Five Drivers are what take businesses to the next level of customer service performance. Calloway offers dozens of examples of how to develop these characteristics in your organization, and presents detailed case studies that help you put them into practice immediately. The book also includes dozens of real-world, effective ideas and tactics that you can borrow and use to design your own customer service initiative. Indispensable shows business leaders how to use customer service to build companies and brands that customers won't want to live without.

From the Back Cover

Praise for 1ndispensable

"I loved this book. Joe continues to teach a practical and powerful road map for a company's success through personal connecting and service. Read this book and become truly indispensable to your customers."
—Fred Wilson Chairman and CEO, Saks Fifth Avenue

"If your key customers don't think of you as indispensable, they should. In his latest straight-talking book, Joe Calloway tells you why that is true and teaches you what you need to know to make it happen."
—Larry Morse President, Quill Corporation

"I hate business books. . . too many graphs, studies, and analysis. They make me work. They make me have to figure out how the information will help me. Not this book. Joe has already done the work so I don't have to. Joe tells me great stories of real companies full of real people that entertain me while I learn the lesson. He gives me understandable, easy-to-implement lessons that I know I can do. I hate business books, but I LOVE this one."
—Larry Winget Author of Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life

"If you want to run a truly superior business, this book is practical, sensible, down- to-earth advice on providing customer service that will simply separate you from the competition."
—Joe Scarlett Chairman of the Board, Tractor Supply Company

"Joe Calloway has provided us with another gift—Indispensable. In his book, he takes us on the journey of companies that every day maintain their focus on an ever-ascending, ever-improving path. The journey never ends, but far from discouraging, Joe's book only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. This is a gift that should be opened and shared and provides a lifetime of opportunities for us all."
—Marti Eulberg Executive Vice President, Sales Operations Volvo Cars of North America, LLC


More About the Author

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. He helps organizations and top-performing individuals focus on what is truly important, inspires constant improvement, and motivates people to immediate action. A business author, advisor, and speaker, Joe's corporate client list reads like a Who's Who in business, ranging from companies like Coca Cola and IBM to Cadillac and American Express.

Joe is the author of five ground-breaking business books including Becoming A Category of One, which received rave reviews from the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Retailing Today and many others. Joe's newest book is Be The Best At What Matters Most, is published by John Wiley And Sons.

Joe is a popular speaker for business meetings and events, and he also works with clients to help them achieve specific results and improvements in exclusive 90 day advisory programs. Although Joe has been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, he doesn't do traditional "speeches." Instead, Joe actively engages people in highly interactive keynote presentations and workshops that challenge assumptions and create new ways of thinking.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Business Book Skeptic on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I saw the raving testimonials on the back cover by executives from Saks Fifth Avenue, Volvo, Tractor Supply, and Quill Corporation, I was dubious. What could be so great about this book? I'm a believer. From understanding how to compete against the "lowest price" provider to unique case studies ranging from a revolutionary bank and W Hotels to a pancake restaurant and selling guru Geoffrey Gitomer (Little Red Book of Selling), Calloway has written a compelling business book that will force you to examine your own business in a way that inspires performance improvement. Those who haven't spent time "in the trenches" of business or management probably won't get it, but for those who have to constantly find ways to improve productivity - this is the book to read this year. You won't find a book with more practical or engaging case studies anywhere.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John B. Spence on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read dozens of business books each year, and have more than 40 "customer service / customer focus" books sitting on the shelf next to my desk -- but I would easily put this book in my top 3! Very well written, great ideas, real-life examples -- all delivered in a lively, honest - even fun format. I have read Joe's other book too (How to become a category of one) -- also a book full of super ideas. This book is absolutely worth buying and reading.

I highly recommend "Indispensable" -- I liked it so much I gave copies to all my staff and a few of my top clients!

John Spence --- [...]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roger E. Herman on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Meet Joe Calloway, a consultant on branding and competitive positioning. He's delightfully candid, direct, instructive, and stimulating. As you read this book, you will get to know Calloway as a human and consumer with feelings...that certainly come out in this text. I thoroughly enjoyed page after page of stories of how companies become indispensable...or not. The conversational tone is captivating and motivating.

You'll read about the Five Drivers: create and drive momentum, develop habitual dependability, continuous connection, big picture outcome, and engage, enchant, and enthrall. The chapters illuminate these drivers and deliver even more. I found myself looking at my business relationships much differently-both as a consumer and as a deliverer of goods and services. Between Calloway's lessons, countless examples, and case studies is an intricate fabric of a clear message. Be indispensable or lose to the competition. I won't tell you more details-there's too much to try to convey the depth of this book in a review. Read it.

Expect to be thoroughly engaged by this book, eager to return to it every time you put it down. And, expect to send it to someone who really needs it when you're finished!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CoraMarie Clark on June 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Joe Calloway is a brilliant thinker, author and speaker! His thoughts on how to become 1ndispensable are practical, stimulating truths that few take the time to either think through or consistently act on. Joe's writing style is engaging and energizing, inspiring the reader to build on the Five Drivers in our businesses so that we can become the company our customers can't live without.
My mind is racing, considering the multitude of opportunities that when acted upon will create profound results...
I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matt McDonald on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read many management books in my time and Indispensable: How To Become The Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without really hits home on creating a great company. A very easy read, with great examples that prove the points he makes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kare Anderson on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
From the first page, Joe pulls you into his *story* on how to become indispensible as a business - and the lessons can be adapted to apply to non-profits and budget-crunched government agencies. No excuses now. Even the format, filled with apt examples, offers, in effect, a roadmap for owners to move up the ladder to the top of a customer's mind.

- Kare Anderson, author of SmartPartnering
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