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on December 20, 2009
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. Although some lessons seem tangential--for example, "be authentic" seems like a superfluous reminder--the overall techniques in the book are helpful.

The author crafts each chapter in a way that convinces you the techniques work. Each chapter starts with a story, covering movies, sports stars, companies, politicians, Magnacca's own experience, and other scenarios. The stories illustrate why the lesson in the chapter is effective. Magnacca also infuses chapters with additional examples of how So What techniques have made real-life business communications more effective. The end of each chapter summarizes a list of key points, and how you can apply them to your situation.

The book is written to teach. It's simple and useful. You can breeze through it, but if you want to let Magnacca's sales techniques gain traction, you need to put some time and practice into his lessons. If you need a sales boost, a new perspective, or just new ideas, grab a copy.

(Review by Drea Knufken)
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on December 7, 2010
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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on July 1, 2009
"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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on December 17, 2013
I totally get what Magnacca means and have been doing my best to put it in practice. Maybe I need to take a course or attend a few seminars, because no matter how I bring it, nobody seems to be paying any attention. Being genuine and delivering a message with care and real attention for the audience might still be the best way to go. I'll certainly continue incorporating Magnacca's advice into my pitch, at least until I have made it completely mine but for the time being, his advice isn't really paying off yet in terms of increased sales.
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on July 12, 2012
One of the first lessons I learned in marketing was to answer the "What's In It For Me?" question in all my marketing (Some people say your audience is listening to the radio station "WII-FM"). I still believe that's the best way to start any marketing effort. Magnacca calls this the "So What?" question rather than "What's In It For Me?", but it comes to the same thing. Your audience, reader, listener, client or prospect doesn't care about your product or service unless you answer this question.

That's fine in theory, but how do you actually make it happen? This book is the answer. Part of it is convincing you to take this approach, but it also provides a lot of practical advice on how to use it. For example, it includes advice on how to write a compelling biography (for yourself), plan for a meeting, write a positioning statement, and more.

An excellent book for all communicators who need to engage and persuade (and that's all of us)!
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on February 2, 2013
If you find yourself writing or talking past the attention span of your audience or if you really just can't get people to listen, it's because they don't see what's in it for them.

READ THIS BOOK and learn why everyone is thinking SO WHAT? while you're talking until you get to the points that matter to them. If you take to long, you're hopes are probably lost. Get to the point up front and grab their attention!
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on September 18, 2011
Generally most of us in business are much better at helping others craft their message than we are at crafting our own. We are too close to the topic and have too much to say. SO WHAT is a wonderful little book that makes it crystal clear that what we have to say doesn't matter. The only thing worth saying is what gets to the listener's "So what?" question. And then repeating it and repeating it.

This book was recommended to me by a friend, Bob. Thank you Bob for walking around with So What in your hand.
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on June 23, 2009
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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on September 19, 2010
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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on May 19, 2015
This book reminds us of the imperative of helping a buyer start their journey with the destination clearly in mind, what important benefits lie at the end of the value stream. Getting to "So What?" should have been given more thorough treatment in "Start with 'Why!".
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