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Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – January 18, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

First-time author Mackay has produced a "how-to" book that is different. Offering a series of lessons with titles like, "If You Don't Have a Destination, You'll Never Get There," or "Make Decisions with Your Heart and What You'll End Up with Is Heart Disease," he tells parables that make the point more by example than by just giving advice. How Mackay got Morrow to print 100,000 copies of his book and give himan unknown writera six-figure advance and a $150,000 promotion budget is as interesting as how he outflanked Calvin Griffith to keep the Twins in Minnesota. Highly recommended for most public and academic libraries. Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Collegeville, Minn.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“. . .extraordinary intelligence and profound wisdom.” (Governor Mario Cuomo)

“. . .I wouldn’t hesitate a minute in taking his advice.” (Charles R. Schwab)

“. . . easy reader ride to success in the business world” (Ted Koppel)

“His own story shows that his tips on salesmanship can work.” (Newsweek)

“It’s beautifully written, witty, riveting, and the best book about achieving your goals since Dale Carnegie wrote his masterpiece.” (Warren Bennis)

“It’s one of the best self-help books I’ve ever read.” (Larry King)

“A must for everyone and anyone entering the business world.” (Donald Trump)

“Super-Salesman’s Secrets.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Swim With The Sharks is an extraordinary treasure chest of information.” (Ken Blanchard)

“Harvey Mackay is a master of brief, biting, and brilliant business wit and wisdom.” (Tom Peters)

“It’s one of the best self-help books I have ever read.” (Larry King)

“His book gives to-the-point parables about making your business and personal life a success.” (USA Today)

“Harvey Mackay may be the most talented man I have met.” (Lou Holtz)
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Product Details

  • Series: Collins Business Essentials
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006074281X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060742812
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harvey Mackay is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, both books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. His books have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. His newest book Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You, was released on February 18, 2010. When Larry King interviewed Harvey in late February 2010, Larry said, "I really believe this is the most important book right now." The book is already in its 4th printing as of March 1, 2010. It immediately climbed the bestseller list at Amazon.com and hit #1 in four categories: Job Hunting, Counseling, Vocational Guidance and Education. It can also be found on the Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller list.

Harvey writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column and is one of America's most popular and entertaining business speakers. he is also the founder and chairman of MackayMitchell Envelope Company. He has been married to Carol Ann for forty-nine years. They have three children and nine grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in making sales (Any type of sales) their career, would benefit from reading this book. Much of the text borders on the obvious, however it's strange how often we neglect the obvious. I first read this book (9) years ago. I continue to pick it up to this date as a refresher. Harvey Mackey does an excellent job of making this a "I can't put it down book" Non-avid readers will breese through the pages. Must read!
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Format: Paperback
Some worthy information about particular business issues are raised and noted, and for the most part this is an off-the-cuff soliloquy talk about how Harvey views business, and the world. There is nothing more amusing than some wealthy person in business who thinks they have the answers and the remedies for the rest of us. Written in the late 1980s, some of the attitudes presented towards hiring potential employees will become evident. All in all, this is an easy and quick-read.
I read "Swim With The Sharks" front-to-back, however each chapter concerns a different topic, so one does not have to read this book straight through from page 1 to the end.
One thing I found a bit quirky were the consistent references to allegedly "successful" collegiate and professional sports coaches. I don't feel it's an appropriate analogy to commonly equate coaches with the situations outside of the sports world. The sports culture is often not applicable to making a business deal, dealing with corporate culture, and/or avoiding mistakes with people socially. The sports in itself is a microcosm of society, but a separate world within its own. Time and time again I would chuckle to myself as I would read a quote made by Vince Lambardi, some NBA coach, or read a personal anecdote from the now disgraced coach Lou Holtz. Having to read Yogi Berra's lobotomy-like quotes and philosophy was quite dull, and not very informative.
Some helpful and practical information is the "66 question customer profile," as well as the "12P Competitor profile." I liked his noting (book written 1988) of how people who usually don't have money go out and buy a brand new "prestigious" car that depreciates.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book, whether you're an MBA or just someone trying to get an advantage in everyday life. Harvey Mackay's lessons are to be treasured--he was way ahead of the curve in the mid-1980s. It may be hard to appreciate this today because some of the advice isn't fresh anymore: we all have phones in our cars and we all use answering machines to screen calls and we all take notes on the run on little portable recorders. --Well, many of us do, at any rate. Hardly revolutionary advice anymore, but that's only because we listened to Harvey in the first place.
Some of the chapters contain gold that will always be valuable, however. One of my favorites involves the phrase "Dusseldorf passes." I won't spoil it for the unread, but I will say the lesson from that chapter is one everyone should take with them through life. It will save you a lot of money and regret.
And the Mackay hiring process. So thorough it seems to border on the obsurd, but the more I work at various companies the more I wish all businesses were as picky about acquiring workers. Harvey shows you that even "lowly" positions such as the receptionist or secretary are among your company's most critical, for 99% of your customers will get their first impression of your company--and in some cases the *only* impression of your company--through this crucial individual. Yet many companies get some 18-year-old part-timer to answer the phones and file valuable company documents--*and they're proud of this cost-cutting maneuver!* They consider this smart management. Harvey explains why this is actually a very dumb move.
He also shows you how to get "impossible" tickets to the big game and how to get a reservation at virtually any hotel, even ones that are "completely booked.
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This book, for me, was a guide in how to conduct myself in this difficult environment in an ethical manner, yet still succeed. I'll never forget reading the maxim, "Don't get mad, DON'T get even". After observing the behavior of those around me, many from the nation's top B schools, I was stunned to read this. They don't teach these types of ethics in MBA school. Anyway, I was dumbfounded when I read this simple rule, but Mackay deftly explains how this will not only help you rationalize your situation, but actually excel in this environment.
This is just one example. The book lays out Mackay's extremely wise philosophy. It is important to read this book and learn how to work with the sharks, reduce your anxiety, create win-win situations, and not be eaten.
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Format: Paperback
Mackay's book is not listed in "The Best Business Books ever"; however it is listed in "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time". As part of a research project called "The World of Best Business Books" I studied this "#1 New York Times Bestseller". Mackay presents himself as very experienced, street smart and successful. My impression: he is right.

Key Mackay lessons:
- Most business problems can be solved if you can teach yourself to look beyond the dollar signs. Business revolved around human beings. We're not all in it for the buck.
- Knowing something about your customer is just as important as knowing everything about your product. I would add: know the most about your customer and respect him/her.
- Once you attach your personality to a proposition, people start reacting to the personality and stop reacting to the proposition. I would add: your personality is always attached,
make sure you present yourself attractively in harmony with your proposition.
- Be well prepared to the "Tough Prospect" (see the famous McGraw-Hill advertising)
- Keep your eye on your time, not on your watch.
- If you don't have a destination, you'll never get there.
- Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. I would add: research your JOHARI-Window.
- There is no such thing as a sold-out house.
- Little things don't mean a lot; they mean everything.
- It isn't practice that makes perfect; you have to add one word: its perfect practice that makes perfect.
- Knowing when not to work hard is as important as knowing when to.
- Dig your well before you're thirsty.
- Treat your own people the way you treat your customers. I would add: and understand the difference.
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