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So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience Paperback – May 24, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0137158263 ISBN-10: 0137158262 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (May 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137158262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137158263
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Magnacca has invested the past 15 years on a search for what sets great communicators apart. So What? is the result of five years of work simplifying this powerful idea to book form. Each idea has been tested in his own life and business, as well as with a wide range of clients. Mark's unique ability to bring these ideas to life will enable you to easily understand them and apply them in your own life.
 
As founder and president of Insight Development Group, Inc., his seminar and training programs have been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and on CNN's MoneyLine. Mark has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, salespeople, and executives adopt a So What Mindset that makes them indispensable in any economic cycle.
 
Mark lives in the Boston area with his family. A graduate of Babson College, Mark is the author of The Product Is You and is a participant in the Strategic Coach Master's Program.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

So What?

So What?

Praise for So What?

“This book shows you how to make an instant connection based on trust and respect with each person you meet, faster and easier than you ever thought possible.”

—Brian Tracy, Author of The Power of Charm

“Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most powerful. I wish I had read So What? earlier in my sales career.”

—Ed Cosgrove, EMC New Hire Program Manager

“Everything you want exists just beyond your comfort zone. The So What Mindset will help you get there and make this new way of thinking a part of your daily experience.”

—Robert Kiltz M.D., Founder and Director, CNY Fertility Center

“Whether talking with one person or addressing 1000, everyone can benefit from learning how to more effectively deliver our messages. So What? offers a simple, profound process that leads to quickly developing rapport and connecting with one’s listeners—every time!”  

—Barbara A. Culver, CFP, ChFC, CLU, AEP,
Resonate, Inc., Purposeful Planning

“Mark Magnacca’s message is important for everyone, but especially for those of us in the financial services industry. In today’s environment, knowing how to communicate effectively with clients is essential for their benefit and for ours. For example, ask yourself whether you’ve adequately explained to your clients the concept of risk...then go out and buy this book.”

—Geoff Davey, President, FinaMetrica

“In today’s ever-competitive world, it is not enough to offer a superior service. You need superior communications skills so your message gets out. Mark Magnacca helps you be heard with the advice in his effective new book So What?

—Richard Ferri, CEO Portfolios Solutions, LLC

“So What? delivers! It’s about time we have a book that shows us step-by-step how to act on the wisdom that ‘It’s all about the customer (or audience or prospect), not us.’ In clear, concrete, and compelling language, Mark Magnacca guides us in crafting the message that authentically links our offerings to the audience’s real needs and leads them to say ‘Tell me more.’ Read this book, cut through the complexity of client courtship, gain more of your ideal customers, and enjoy your work. That’s the So What Benefit!”

—Ed Jacobson, Ph.D., Author of Appreciative Moments:
Stories and Practices for Living and Working Appreciatively

Foreword

You are holding in your hands a book that offers you a new way of thinking, which will make you indispensable in any economic environment. It is also a book where the concepts and principles have already been proven and tested.

Mark called me some ten years ago after reading my book, Inspire Any Audience, and said, “I want you to be my coach.” I love, as he does, coaching those who want to win, who want to experience more, and who want to expand their value. Year after year, I’ve seen him study the subject of presenting and become one of the best presentation coaches I know.

Mark has a unique ability to coach and present in a way that makes the application of tools and techniques intuitive. In fact, of all the people I’ve coached over the last 25 years—more than 1,000 people, who include presidents of Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Samsung, Ford, EDS, and Shell—there has been no one quite like Mark. One of the great joys of being a coach is seeing your “players” win. This has been part of the joy for me: watching Mark grow and leverage his expertise to help so many others.

Although there have been countless communication/presentation/“think differently” books, there has never been one that focuses as clearly and as simply on the two questions that are most important to any audience. Many of these other books say to focus on the needs of the person doing the talking. This book says the only thing that matters is what is important to the person doing the listening.

The most effective leaders, politicians, and executives know how to do this. They always answer the implicit So What Question every time they communicate.

Let me encourage you to get out your highlighter and put on your thinking cap so that you can learn from and enjoy this book. Highlight the key points, study each page, and share the tools and ideas with your team and colleagues. Sign up for the 21-day challenge in Chapter 10, “Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” and help make these ideas a part of who you are.

Treasure this book, put it into practice, and watch for many great results to come your way.

—Tony Jeary—Mr. Presentation™
Coach to the World’s Top CEOs


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


More About the Author

Mark Magnacca, President of Insight Development Group, is a recognized industry expert who specializes in helping business professionals create a personal brand and effectively articulate their value proposition. As a presenter, Mark's mission is to bring a unique combination of dynamic content, relevant industry experience and an interactive presentation style that brings ideas to life.

Over a 10-year period, he was responsible for creating innovative, practice-development and business-building strategies and these strategies have become the foundation for his books, "The Product is You" and "So What? How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience, " as well as his training program for Financial Advisors, "The Results Accelerator Series."

Mark has worked with a wide range of financial services companies including: Merrill Lynch, Pacific Life, Blackrock, Transamerica, New York Life and Smith Barney.

His programs have been featured in both print and television media including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Planning, USA Today, Registered Rep and CNN's Moneyline.

Mark is a participant in The Strategic Coach Master's Program. He is a graduate of Babson College where he majored in finance, investments and communication. He lives in the Boston area with his family.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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And it's easy and fun to read.
Noah Fleming
I highly recommend the book to anyone who has a message to communicate or a product or service to sell.
John Gibbs
It will help you communicate better.
Carlos Orozco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Drea Knufken on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
How do you sell something? Do you start with "I want to tell you about _____?" Do you introduce yourself by your job description, then try your best to keep eye contact as your audience's attention wanders?

If you do, stop. The people you're addressing don't care about you or your offerings. Until you revamp your way of thinking, planning, and communicating, they'll continue to ignore you. In "So What," Mark Magnacca shows you how to communicate with your audience in an efficient, effective way.

The key, as the book's title suggests, is addressing the so what? factor. According to Magnacca, a sales expert and business building coach, your audience--whether they're prospects, existing clients, colleagues, or acquaintances-need to know how your product or service benefits them. Without knowing what's in it for them, your audience won't truly listen to you. You waste time and energy on sales tactics that don't work.

In his brief, useful book, Magnacca coaches readers through the process of solidifying a So What? mentality. You finish the book knowing how to make a pitch resonate, regardless of audience. The end result? Better returns, a bigger customer base, and improved communication skills.

Magnacca outlines 3-4 simple lessons in each chapter. Chapter 1 tells you to adapt a new (So What?) way of thinking. Chapter 2 describes how you need to put the needs of your audience first. Subsequent chapters cover how to find out what's most important to your audience, how to structure a presentation around that, how to properly prepare for a presentation, how to position yourself, how to present yourself, and how to keep yourself relevant.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chicago Scientist on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book's main concept is a good one--ask yourself why anyone cares about the point you are about to make, and you may decide to present your case differently. I had higher expectations based on all the five-star reviews...now I'm wondering if the reviewers may be colleagues of the author?

Suspicions aside, this book is short, to the point, and a worthwhile read. I recommend this text if you are not making the sales you hope to make or if your audience is not giving you the response you were hoping for. I did learn something from this book, but it could have offered more real world examples of how asking "So What?" resulted in significant change.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Parisse on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
"So What?" is profound in its simplicity and effectiveness. It has me reviewing and rethinking my approach to my business and my work. In these economic times, it was a boast I needed."

And here is the tangible 'so what' about that: One idea has already resulted in a new client.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Ryan on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Years ago I learned that everyone was tuned to the same radio station, WIIFM, "What's In It For Me". Mark Magnacca provides wonderful examples of how true this is and practical strategies to make certain it becomes your focus helping you connect with your audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn M. Swift on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a quick and easy read - you can blitz through it in a couple hours and take away several good ideas for being a better communicator. Given the recessionary pressures and realities of the times, it is more important than ever to be able to connect in a meaningful way with our clients, bosses, staff members, prospects, etc.

And no matter how good we think we are, we can all get better at connecting with people and making sure we provide interaction that really matters. When we communicate what really matters, we engage people in "possibility thinking" and reinforce the value we provide in a way that resonates with them. That means a more enriching life and business experience - all the way around.

In addition to being a book author and coach to professionals nationwide, Mark Magnacca is an incredible motivational speaker. If you ever get a chance to hear him "live" or via webinar, don't miss him. The next best thing would be to read his books (there are 2 now) and sign up for his 21 Day Challenge at [...]

- Marie Swift, Communications Consultant
Columnist for Morningstar Advisor and Research magazine
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By X. Zhou on October 23, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is inspirational and, more importantly, it actually has something you can use in real life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randall Weber on October 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If not for the focus on professional services (ie selling financial services), I would have given this book 5 stars. With that said, I still found the vast majority of the book to be applicable to me (I'm a product manager). The book was really meaty, very little fluff. I really enjoyed working through it. I finished it over a weekend picking it up off and on while working through the advice presented. I have no doubt that I will benefit from what I have learned from this book. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noah Fleming on September 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why should someone read your book, or buy your product, or listen to your speech? Every marketer should know the difference between features and benefits, and now the benefits you're selling are under scrutiny. In a world filled with more and more noise everything you're saying is quickly being put through the "so what" filter. This book will show you how to get through.

And it's easy and fun to read. I read it in just a few hours, and will read it again.

It's a no-brainer.
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