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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book claims to be about dealing with competition but in fact is focused on one concept: the Unique Value Promise (UVP) which is "the power of why" plain and simple. The book delivered none of these for me.

It was not unique and rehashed the basics most kids selling magazines door to door. Differentiate to stand out. Does anyone need to be told that? That's really the entire focus of the book.

The book provided little value. By the time I reached the end of the book I was still waiting for practical advice instead of self-aggrandizing by the author and constant references to proprietary and undisclosed tools such as surveys and interviews. The book set the stage to go to the author's website to buy additional products or services. Paying for a book that only gives you the tip of the iceberg is of no value to me.

Most important is that the book doesn't deliver on it's promise. This doesn't cover dealing with your competition, but rather deals with finding out why your customers buy your product suggesting taking at least 100 clients out to dinner or coffee for extensive interviews. If you have a large work force and have clients and staff that have time for it, great. The concept is unrealistic for small business owners. No research the competition, no learning how to zig when they zag and fails to recognize the fact that if your competition can commoditize your UVP rendering it moot.

Instead of a progressive forward thinking strategy of the marketplace, this felt more like a time-share seminar from the 1950s and I didn't get a free TV after putting up with it for several hours.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 3, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was prepared to hate this book. Reading the Foreword I made a judgment...here was another thinly disguised extended sales pitch written by a consultant. Shameless self-promotion.

Instead, C. Richard Weylman has delivered a must have how-to to transform your business. Written by a practitioner who more than rolls up his sleeves and gets his hands dirty, THE POWER OF WHY is the type of playbook that offers a profound distinction in how to change your company and reinforce a culture of promise. And Weylman won't waste your time; this is a 150-page book that delivers the equivalent of volumes of sound and practical business advice.

Most business people are familiar with the Unique Selling Proposition, USP. Some of us have spent hours, days, maybe weeks around the conference table creating and refining our USP and then crafting the delivery of that message to clients who may, at the end, respond with a yawn. Weylman offers a customer-centric viewpoint, the UVP, or Unique Value Promise. "It's the customer perspective that matters."

And then Weylman hands you the complete playbook on not only how to build your UVP, but also then how to integrate it into the culture of promise and finally, how to blend it all into your sales and marketing. He brooks no deviation from the plan. He suggests that client-facing members of the business meet with the best clients and go through an eighteen-question interview. No technology, just a good old-fashioned discussion. No emails, no voice recorders, no paper interviews. Face-to-face. It is only through this type of interaction that a business can discover functional advantages and emotional results.

Once the interviews are complete, Weylman suggests that the company assemble a team of creative, independent thinkers who go off and begin to write two to three versions of the UVP. This team comes together to hammer out the final three, which are then delivered back to the self-same clients who made the original suggestions for a final vote.

And that's the easy part. Be prepared for additional no-nonsense tough love as Weylman continues preaching from his particularly effective bully pulpit. Transforming your company into that culture of promise is no easy chore. And for those who don't change their ways, he tears a page from Zappo's CEO Tony Hsieh's book: Are you willing to hire and fire based on your culture? The answer should be a resounding and definitive yes.

THE POWER OF WHY puts me in mind of another must-read and should-own business book, Verne Harnish's MASTERING THE ROCKEFELLER HABITS. I have purchased more than 50 copies of Harnish's book for clients and friends since I first read it. I already have an order in for a dozen of Weylman's book.

For additional tools related to THE POWER OF WHY, Weylman directs you a dedicated website, [...] that offers tools and additional, supporting information.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
In his book Begin with Why, Simon Sinek asserts -- and I agree -- that individuals as well as organizations must have a crystal clear sense of purpose or it will be very difficult (if not impossible) for them to decide what to do and how to do it. If they have the right purpose, it will guide and inform their decisions and, meanwhile, inspire and then sustain their efforts. Sinek suggests that the Golden Circle [i.e. beginning with WHY at the center, then proceeding to determine HOW to produce WHAT] "helps us to understand why we do what we do. [It] provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we remind ourselves to start everything we do by asking why."

Richard Weylman fully agrees. In fact, he wrote this book to help business leaders to answer the most important "why" questions and solve the most serious problems so that they and their companies can break out in a competitive marketplace. "That's our goal here: to elevate your business performance and presence so that you are the best and only choice for your product and services -- regardless of your geographic footprint or your vertical or target markets."

Early on, Weylman poses three important questions for his reader to consider:

1. "Why are your customers buying from you right now?"
2. "Are your customers staying with you or shopping around, and if the latter, why?"
3. "What is it about your competition's relationship to their customers that you haven't figured out yet? Why are they so successful?"

Having obtained preliminary answers, the reader can then take full advantage of the wealth of information, insights, and counsel that Weylman provides to help her or his organization become much more customer-centric. Only then, with a much better understanding of customer perceptions and expectations, can the organization complete the difficult process of breaking out in its marketplace, differentiating itself with a competitive advantage whose nature and extent will be determined by the nature and extent of its customer centricity.

Breakthrough initiatives require results-driven leadership. "Now let's plunge into nitty-gritty, the best practices I've developed from years of consultation and experience in the field, what I call the rules of engagement for having your customers define your Unique Value Promise. There are eight "rules" and Weylman discusses each in an extended passage, Pages 42-53. They are best revealed within the narrative, in context. I also presume to suggest that you consider what Fred Reichheld characterizes as "the ultimate question," one that can be asked of all customers to determine your organization's Net Promoter Score (NPS). Customers who give the highest ratings would be those you ask to evaluate your organization `s Unique Value Promise. Of equal importance, their responses will suggest which modifications of it (if any) need to be made.

These are among the dozens of other passages that caught my eye, also listed to suggest the range of Weylman's coverage:

o The Value of Our Preliminary Answers (Pages 5-8)
o The Obvious Answer Is Not the Answer (15-17)
o How Customers React to a Unique Value Promise (30-32)
o Forward Thinking Firms That Use Unique Value Promises (33-38)
o Developing a Promise-Driven Team (63-65)
o The Importance of Well-Planned Promotion Is Obvious (77-79)
o Personalizing Your Unique Value Promise (80-82)
o Little Things That Make a Big Difference (84-92)
o Finding Out What People Really Want (105-106)
o Moving from Discovery to Disclosure (110-114)
o The Keys to Brilliant Advantage-Based Selling (116-117)
o Revisiting Fundamentals (124-132)

Also noteworthy are the four mini-case studies that Weylman includes: "The Upscale Financial Firm" that requested to remain anonymous, Kelron Logistics, The Mount Paran Church, and The Conklin Company (Pages 136-150). The "do's and don'ts" lessons to be learned from these real-world situations -- as well as those described in Chapter 3 (Pages 33-38) -- are relevant to almost all other organizations, whatever their size and nature may be. Readers will also appreciate Weylman's skillful use of various "Action Points" in Chapters 2-9 that serve as a self-diagnostic while suggesting how to apply whichever insights and recommendations are most relevant to the reader's own needs, interests, concerns, resources, and strategic goals.

Before concluding his book, Richard Weylan reiterates that the #1 objective is "never again blend in. To sustain your breaking away from the pack in a competitive marketplace, it's essential that you elevate your service and customer interactions so that you no longer just have satisfied clients. but delighted advocates instead," what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba characterize as "customer evangelists." I'll take them one step further and suggest that most of the companies annually ranked among the most highly regarded and best to work for are also among those annually ranked the most profitable with the greatest cap value in their respective industries. Why? Because they hire, develop, and retain "employee evangelists" who are purpose-driven.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To be honest, I misread the title of The Power of Why, thinking it was the book Start with Why. Both books are valuable in that they are focused on getting to what customers and businesses want. The Power of Why is frankly a bit limited to an idea that feels a bit rehashed - the Unique Value Promise, which seems a lot like a sales tool many of us learned called the USP - Unique Sales Promise or proposal. Weylman's book provides a new perspective on this topic, but I felt didn't go far enough to describe the "power" of why, unlike Start with Why, a book that describes how to motivate an organization or a team using core principles. Both books suffer from what I call the Gladwell effect. That is, they could easily be 30 page white papers and still provide all the insight necessary, but book publishers demand a 150 page book. If you want to understand the true power of why, read Start with Why. If you want to improve your selling proposition, The Power of Why is a fine place to start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 26, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is one of the books that is so good I wish I wrote it. 'The Power of Why' really does have the secret sauce on how businesses can successfully compete in a hyper-competitive oversupplied marketplace. This isn't theory. It is written by a salesperson and business owner who clearly has been there and done it. One of the best reads on how to improve sales for a small business, perhaps all businesses, that I've read in a very long time.

'The Power of Why' can't be read - it has to be worked! That process starts with asking the opening three questions:

1. Why are your customers buying from you right now?
2. Are your customers staying with you or shopping around, and if so, why?
3. What is it about your competition's relationship to their customers that you haven't' figured out yet? Why are they so successful?

'The Power of Why' explains that product centered sales, or even company centered selling (we're number one, our product is the best), isn't working. Today you MUST "transform your company into a customer-centric organization". 'The Power of Why' tells you how. "Being in the marketplace today is easy, but being found and selected is not."

"Buyers today are cautious, skeptical, and solution-driven as never before. They have been burned by the market, misled by politicians, and pushed into tough financial corner. When customers are deciding to buy, they have one focus: they want to know ho doing business with you will be good for them."

This is a very short book. Easy to read. Every page is distilled into action points with the singular goal of transforming a business into one that is centered on the customer. Great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
C. Richard Weylman cover a LOT of ground in his readable and engaging new book, "The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace", which might influence your buying decision. He's a very good writer, with a spare style that is well suited to this kind of book (it weighs in around 150 pages or so). But the subject matter--everything from social media marketing to customer service--is covered in far greater depth in other books by experts in those particular focus areas. What Weylman is offering is his take on a connect the dots, all things to all people survey of the marketing landscape, circa 2013. Is there value in "The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace"? Absolutely--it's an excellent book and a top-notch primer for those looking to better understand how to market and sell. But it's too light to be of much value to somebody who's putting together a full-scale marketing blitz, or social marketing or trade show strategy. I'm okay with that, and given what Weylman sets out to accomplish, I think he'll provide you with an excellent ROI.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Power of Why: Breaking out in a Competitive Marketplace was a good read, a good refresher, which is sometimes what business owners and/or sales people need. I don't think that this book provided a ton of new material, or anything earth shattering, but the Unique Value Proposition can be a useful tool to add to your marketing efforts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book illuminates the reader's awareness of what customers truly desire. For years marketers were encouraged to develop and to tout their unique value proposition. Weylman shares how buyers would greatly prefer a promise rather than a proposition.

His step-by-step approach delineates the comprehensive analysis necessary to offer this Unique Value Proposition. In that many customers buy not because they understand, but because they feel understood, The Power of Why outlines the questions to ask to achieve this level of understanding.

Richard's customer-focused differentiation provides unique value and prevents blending-in. By the end of the book the reader realizes that selling at this level demands a great effort, but is completely convinced as to Why it works. The rewards are great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The premise of this book is doing a deep dig into discovering exactly why your customers purchase from you, and then orientating your marketing, sales, and organization around that reason. Discover what problems your customers are solving from your company, and express in terms of solving that problem. So, this isn't exactly ground breaking, but it's a good reminder. Business people get caught up in talking about how great their product or company is, and neglect to communicate their message in terms of their buyer's benefit. The book does provide a good formula on how to move forward to discover this, and then integrate it into your organization.

Given this premise, it comes up short on two counts. First, the UVP (unique value promise) is most relevant for prospects at the beginning of their buying consideration, instead of deeper into it. For instance, say a roofing company is "We protect your investment". Well, that's great for someone who's starting to considering fixing the roof. Now, if that person is going to purchase a new roof and is now considering which roofing company to purchase from, company specific attributes do need to be marketed, like, "A+ rating at BBB", "20 years in business in your community" and "We guarantee our work longer."

Generally, when people go through a purchasing decision, they go through two phases, "Is this the right product/service to solve my need?" If so, then "Which company is best able to provide this product/service?" The UVP hits it on the first question, but not the second question, so you're missing prospects close to their buy-decision.

Second, the UVP is more oriented towards logical, left-brain purchases. This can be the majority of items, since we purchase products and services to help solve problems and provide functionality we need. However, for items that we purchase because of the way they make us feel (such as perfume, a sports car, lingerie), the UVP isn't a strong hook.

So, the advice in this book is good and implementing it will move your company forward. Just be aware of its limitations.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's not really clear who's the intended audience of this book. It's got lots of big-company examples. The ideas the author suggests could be implemented only from the "C" level, yet I can't believe those executives haven't already heard the ideas presented in this book.

The importance of knowing your customers has been around ever since I can remember. The author recommends conducting "deep" research and goes into detail of how this research should be conducted. Mainly, companies need to understand not just what people buy, but why they make the decisions they do.

Secondly, Weylman suggests that companies create a "Unique Value Proposition" instead of a "Unique Selling Proposition." Again, that's valuable but not new .

Early in the book, he gives an example of the car salesman who couldn't get a commitment till he agreed to gift-box the car. That's more about selling than marketing, but it's a good story to make a point. But once you've made this point, the rest is implementation that has to be customized for each company.
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