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Creativity & Problem Solving (The Brian Tracy Success Library)
Creativity & Problem Solving (The Brian Tracy Success Library)
Price: $3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A great bargain for priceless ideas, October 27, 2014
Creativity and Problem Solving

We are all geniuses according to Brian Tracy, with the proper training we can all come up with new and exciting ideas to improve our companies and our lives. In his new small but very powerful and thought provoking book Tracy shows how we can put our minds to work thinking and coming up with new ideas.
In one chapter he writes about the seven sources of innovation and how these sources promote creative thinking: Here are a few examples to whet your appetite:
The Unexpected Event: When something happens a problem or an opportunity that makes us think that much harder, focusing on this new issue to overcome the challenge or take advantage of the opportunity. He demonstrates this by showing us how Peter Omidyar wanting to sell his large Pez candy dispenser collection realized that there was not good auction site he could go to son he created E-Bay.
Process Need: When you need to improve process or technology to overcome an industry challenge, like when Tom Monaghan wanted to know why pizzas could not be delivered in less than thirty minutes and found a unique process change to make it happen.
Demographic Changes: Think of all the news products that are being developed as the baby boomers enter retirement age. This is a perfect example of demographic changes.
Tracy encourages us via 21 short but pertinent chapters to use our minds to solve our problems.
What I like about this book is that you cannot but spend four or five minutes reading it and your mind starts to whir with new insights and ideas. The book is just crammed full of what I would call mind triggers designed to make you think and create. He spends time talking about “Mindstorming Method” how they should be run, how many people should participate and how long is long enough for these to be effective.
There are other chapters on
• The roots of creativity
• Developing the qualities of genius
• Mind developing exercises
And many more. This a great bargain when you think of converting a mere ten bucks into priceless ideas.


A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive
A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The one social media book you need to read, October 25, 2014
Its Official Social Media is here to Stay
This is the best book I’ve read to date on the subject of social media. In fact reading this makes me realize as the authors say that social media is not a fad, it is not something that is going away but rather it is not only here to stay but becoming one of the most important and game changing factors in business today.
When a YouTube video can go viral so that millions of people are seeing it in a matter of days. When a group of disgruntled airline customers can bring a major airline to thei9r knees, when a group of Bank of America customers can make that austere granite institution change its policies in a matter of days, when an old NBA team owner gives his girlf…excuse me archivist advice on who she should be friends with leads to him having to sell them team and leave the NBA in disgrace that’s when you know that social media is not only here to stay but is also making a huge dent in the world as we know it. Then you know that it is time for a book like A World Gone Social.
This book not only lists example and example of how social media is rocking our world but more importantly it shows us how to deal with it. It teaches us how to successfully incorporate social media into our business as well. It shows us how to use it to our advantage and even how to determine, get this the return on investment of our social media. No one has done that before. No one has helped us to figure out how we make money from social media… until now.
If you are and old…well let’s just say seasoned and experienced business person like I am this is the book that explains it all, from Cloud Computing to Big Data this is the book to bring you us up to date on what exactly is going on in the world around us, this new social media universe.
If you want to not only keep up but thrive in this new universe this is the one book you need to buy, read and keep by your side. Get it, read it and catch up to the millennials in your office. It’s a great investment.


The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change
The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change
by Deborah Bright
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
39 used & new from $8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant surprise, October 23, 2014
A very pleasant surprise
I have to admit that I approached this book with some trepidation. I mean the book is about criticism for crying out loud! Who wants to read about criticism? But no what it is really about is communication and not plain or communicating but the hard stuff, the stuff you have to go through when you’re telling someone they’re not doing a good job. The stuff you have to deal with like back talk, or arguments or even crying by the person you are criticizing. This book is about the difficult conversations we all have to have as managers. Heck as people because the things you can learn from this book apply to all facets of our lives as well.
This book is all about delivering that though message in the best way at the best time. It is about effective talking something we can all learn more about. The book is about the right way to do things. I particularly liked the last chapter that dealt with handling difficult situations. We have all had them if you’re like me things have not always gone that well.
Here are a couple of pieces of advice from that chapter on handling difficult situations:
• The receiver has low vocabulary skills: Ask the receiver to repeat back to you want corrective action she is expected to take.
• The heat of the conversation is escalating: Stop talking and politely ask if it’s possible to “hit reset button” or postpone the discussion.
Good stuff right?
Now that I’ve read it I realize that this is in fact one of the most important books I have ever read. Now that I think about my initial reaction I guess what I was thinking was “why do I need a book about this?” I already know what I’m doing, what’s next a book on walking?”

But now this is not the case at all. From how to correctly deliver a message to how to make sure that there is nothing personal in the message to making sure that the message is heard the author takes you through a complete and comprehensive plan for doing it right.
• Think before you speak
• Consider levels of mutual respect
• Know how to approach the receiver
• Clarify what actions the receiver needs to take
• Show empathy when giving criticism
• Show value when giving criticism
• Keep your purpose front and center
• Be timely in delivering your criticism
• Make the level of criticism match the occasion
• Provide specifics
These are the top ten ideas to come out of this book. I would advise you to print them and put them up on your wall because we all need to be reminded of these clear and simple guidelines.
Look one thing I can guarantee is that there are still plenty of difficult discussions in your future, whether it be firing one of your sales people, or having to talk to your son about the way he is handling money, you are going to be facing tough talks with the people you work with and the people you love. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have this little helper to rely on before having those talks, it will make that difficult talk so much easier, I promise you.


The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders
The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders
by M. A. Soupios
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.96
29 used & new from $7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning from the world's greatest leaders, October 21, 2014
Learning from the world’s greatest thinkers
This is a little book that packs a big wallop. Where else can you get leadership tips from Plato and Aristotle and Antisthenes? This is not the kind of book that you read for entertainment although it is pretty entertaining but rather a book you keep on your desk as a kind of business sampler made up of the most important guidelines for not only business but for life itself. A book you can refer to every so often to remind yourself of what is truly important. Personally I plan to keep it around for just that.
Despite the fancy names of the thought leaders quoted in this book the advice is simple, clear, precise and very down to earth.
From the chapter titled, Character is Destiny for example you get these gems:
• Personal values, priorities, and life code determine the quality and substance of life.
• Personal and professional relations reflect the character of those involved.
Now that to me spells out what character is really made of. Too often in business we let these things, the important things slip by. We often substitute the rewards of the end game for what really matters.
I chose this section as an example because it illustrates what character means; what character is made up of and the importance of what it is to have good character.
From the same chapter:
What shapes the character of a true leader?
• Acknowledgement and respect for the rights of others.
• Courage to accept responsibility for one’s own shortcomings.
• Deep self-understanding-knowing thyself.
All of the other chapters other guidelines pertinent to being a great leader from “Know Thyself”, to “Always embrace the Truth”, to “Live By a Higher Code”, to Never Understate the Power of Personal Integrity” are based on the teachings of one of the world’s great teachers, thinkers and philosophers.
One final thought for great leadership from the book, “The character of an organization’s leadership determines a company’s destiny.”
I think that about says it all.
If you are serious about being a great leader then take the advice of some of the world’s greatest leaders. Buy this book and keep it around for those times when you’re not really sure where to go next because like a true north compass it will always help you to find your way.


By Jeffrey A. Krames Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis
By Jeffrey A. Krames Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis
by Jeffrey A. Krames
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from $14.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lessons from a Great Leader, September 29, 2014
12 great lessons from a great leader
Now here is a guy who knows what he’s talking about. No I don’t mean Mr. Krames, although I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about too, I mean Pope Frances the man who has already come a long way in bringing his church into the 21st century.
Drawing on the very practical common sense wisdom and philosophy of the Catholic big guy Krames has put together a book that is both extremely vital as well as pertinent to today’s business and life’s challenges.
Listen to this, and I love this lesson, “Smell like your flock” which of course is a very graphic way of saying be like them, be one of them. We now know enough about Pope Francis who has eschewed all of the pomp and glitter of Papal extravagance to live in a modest apartment and drive in a common everyday call as he practices what he preaches and smells like his flock. This is a great lesson for business managers as well as popes.

Then how about when he says, “don’t change, reinvent.” Yes of course that is the right thing to do. How many times have business managers abandoned a great strategy and started anew? I know people who do this every single year because they do not have the stick-to-it-ness to carry a plan all the way through to success. These are the same ones who embrace anything new, any new theory because they love starting over with a clean slate rather than building on what they have already started thus wasting all of the time and energy they put into last year’s plan. This is an incredibly important lesson.

So then just one more (there are 12 after all) “live on the frontier” which of course means get out there on the front lines, go out where the action is and find out firsthand what is going with your church, or with your company in your case.
There is something neat about being on the same page as the Pope, particularly when he is spot on.
This book also provides some pretty good insight into the Pope himself, who he is, where he comes from and what he is all about.
This book is a good one. Pick it up and read it and oh yes make sure you pass it around as well.


Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World
Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I’ll tell and prepare yourselves because it’s not going to be pretty. To buyers we are nothing more than “product ..., August 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book that changes everything
Sales people: do you know what you are to your customers? Do you know what you represent to them? I’ll tell and prepare yourselves because it’s not going to be pretty. To buyers we are nothing more than “product pushing peddlers who don’t bring any value to the decision process. They claim that all we do is ask stupid questions, offer minimal insights and give boring presentations. The last thing they want to do is waste their precious time caught in a meeting with another self-serving sales person. They’re simply too busy for that. You may think that you’re different. Buyers don’t”
I am quoting from a great new book called Agile Selling: Get up to Speed in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World by Jill Konrath. I’m going to be talking a lot about this book this week because I think it is one of the most important books on the subject of sales in this brave new world that I’ve read in a very long time. Ms. Konrath does not only tell it the way it is… and it’s not very nice by the way, but she goes on to tell us what to do about it…and that’s the good part.
She spends a lot of time showing the sales person who is smart enough to buy and read this book how to create value, how to create interest enough in the sales conversation that the customer is going to be not only interested in what you have to say but also what you have to sell.
This is all about the sales effort from prospecting to the actual sales call. Yes, that sales call and how to get the most out of that call.
Here is something I got from the book and something that I also really believe. Your customers want you to know their business. They don’t really care about your business. All they care about is what you can do for this business. This means that you have to study their business. You have to do know what they do. You have to know their place in the market. You have to know how their product works; what it takes for them to be successful and how you with your product can help them be successful.
“Buyers expect you to understand their business, direction, challenges, processes and relationship history. The expect you to provide value. Every single interaction is evaluated to determine if it is worth the time or effort. Buyers want ideas, insights, leadership and guidance to assess whether changing (to your product or service) makes sense and how to do it best… Meeting them where they’re at. You’re expected to provide what the buyers need, when they want it and how they want it, quickly.” Konrath goes on to say.
Does this sound like a big challenge? Maybe, maybe at first but like we all should know by now but progress only starts once we leave our comfort zone.
The long and short of it is that you have to engage your customers. You have to learn about your prospects and the best way to learn from them is to interview them.
Here again from the book is a list of questions that you should always ask your prospects:
• What piques your curiosity and gets you to even consider a change?
• Who are the people who need to be involved in decision like this?
• How to you determine if a product or service makes good business sense for your company?
• How do you decide which resource is best for you?
• What are the most challenging parts of this decision process? Why?
• What does it take to get a contract for something like this approved?
In short know your prospect’s journey so you can align with it.
Let’s switch gears and talk about your sales collateral for a minute. Do you have the right tools to successfully sell your products to the right customers? Ms. Konrath suggests reverse engineering your sales material making sure that this material truly reflects your value proposition. In order to do this correctly you need to understand exactly what it is you need to provide to your customers. The first thing you have to do is go to their web site. Look at their material, look at what they are selling, look at their white papers and other information they are providing to their customers and learn what is important to them.
These are just a few of the examples of what you can learn by reading this book, but you get the idea. This is not sales 101 as it used to be, this is a whole new way of selling, of approaching the customer and of being successful. If you’re truly serious about growing your business and expanding your customer base, you’ll buy and read Jill Konrath’s, Agile Selling: Get up to Speed in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World


Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year
Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year
by Colleen Francis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.71
47 used & new from $10.55

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sales book of the year!, August 5, 2014
This one has it all!
Yes I’ll use the cliché, if you are going to buy and read and study and teach from and hand out one book this year, then it has to be Nonstop Sales Boom: Power Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year because this book has everything you need to be a successful sales manager, successful sales person, successful sales team and yes a successful company.
Here are some of the facts of the business world we live in today:
• It is nearly impossible to get appointments
• Only 3% of sales occur due to cold calling
• The sales pipeline is never full enough leading to sporadic sales
• Sales people seldom meet their quotas
• There is very little customer loyalty
• Sales people are not as engaged as they once were
• Advertising the old way is brining fewer results than ever
Now okay does anyone want to stand up and argue with me about these facts?
No? I didn’t think so.
And that is exactly why I feel that Ms. Francis has written this year’s go to book about sales. Throughout the book she examines each one of these problems and more and shows us how to overcome them.
As an example in the very first chapter she list 14 reasons for sporadic sales. Here are just a few:
• Delayed buying decisions
• Emotional decision making
• Sales rep stress
• Missed opportunities
And the she addresses the issue and tells us what to do about it by developing your sales pipeline by doing the following:
• Identify the prospect
• Prequalification
• Qualification
• Solution design
• Evaluation
• Decision
• Negotiation
• Closed
The thing I like most about this book is that it provides the readers with all the modern day solutions they need to solve today’s problems. There are a couple of chapters on social media, a chapter on how to conduct a one on one meeting with a potential customer and a chapter on closing an order.
The author reveals that she is a close friend and protégé of sales guru Alan Weiss and uses his 4M approach to handling those one on one meetings.
• Maximum: what is the plan A for the meeting?
• Minimum: What is the least you want to get from the meeting?
• Move forward: taking the process to the next step
• Motivation: find a good way to motivate the buyer to make the sale.
The chapter on negotiations is worth the price of the book. In very clear and simple terms Ms. Francis shows the reader who to stand firm during negotiations. Always be ready to discuss price; never be apologetic, look the buyer in the eye and never move on the price without getting something in return and most of the time never move on price at all. Always hold firm.
One tip about your proposal that is especially valuable: “To increase your win rate on proposals, you need to present each one as a draft to every customer first.” This way you can get the customers feedback and in fact have the customer act as your advisor and help you develop the final version of your proposal. It is a great way to pre-negotiate… without negotiating, yet.
Okay I’ve given away enough already; it’s now up to you to get out there and pick this book up. It will be the best money you have spent on your career this year.


Conversations That Sell: Collaborate with Buyers and Make Every Conversation Count
Conversations That Sell: Collaborate with Buyers and Make Every Conversation Count
Price: $9.39

5.0 out of 5 stars changing the conversation, August 4, 2014
Changing the game of sales
Yes customers are people too. They are not merely targets, or prospects, or leads to be pitched to be poked and prodded at until they are convinced to buy something from you. No not at all we have to remember as author Nancy Beeke reminds us in her book Conversations That Sell that they are people, people who need to be treated as such. You have to talk to them in a way that is constructive, interesting, valuable to them and yes bi-lateral in short you have to engage them in the4 give and take of a conversation.
Lest you think this is too obvious take a minute and think about how you prepare for a sales call today. Think of all of the prep work you do in advance, think of how you are actually thinking about the person you are going to visit. It’s kind of like a hunt isn’t it? The person has become the prey, the target hasn’t she? Well this is the point of the book after all.
The book is written very logically with step by step instructions on how to succeed from the chapter on defining the types of buyers you are dealing with to creating collaborative solutions to a discussion of the very tools you want to have and finally with the last chapter which deals with the actual implementation of what you have read and learned really enjoyed the summary tips at the end of the book which can serve as such a reminder of what you need to do that I made a copy of them for future use.
This book is filled with what Bleeke calls Tiny Tips. Here is one that struck me as particularly relevant since so much of sales is about money. Sooner or later it all gets down to the price doesn’t it? So check this out:
Your personal beliefs about costs significantly impact the cost discussion. If you don’t believe your solution is worth the cost, neither will the buyer. To build you belief, in the “Whats and Wiifs” (the possible answers to objections) before having the buyer conversation. List the ‘What’s” on a piece of paper and ask yourself multiple “So What’s?” to identify the value associated with each “What”. This preparation will boost your confidence and lead to less discounting and fewer objections.”
I like this book so much that I am sending copies to the sales clients I coach. You should too.


Supercommunicator: Explaining the Complicated So Anyone Can Understand
Supercommunicator: Explaining the Complicated So Anyone Can Understand
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars aA gem of a book, July 30, 2014
One of the greatest gifts that anyone can have is the ability to communicate. This is especially true when it comes to subjects like technology. An Wang of Wang Computers said years ago that “A true genius is a person who can make difficult things seem easy.” The reason the late Carl Sagan of “Billion and Billions” fame was so successful because he was able to take difficult and seemingly boring subjects easy to understand and yes fascinating.
Now in this new book by Frank Pietrucha you can learn to do the same thing. You can learn how to explain anything in an easy to understand manner.
Think how important and effective this can be to your business. If you are in sales for example and are able to describe your products and all of their benefits in a way that your customers are going to understand you will be that much more successful. Think about it marketing is all about effective communications.
Through a number of very pertinent real life the author demonstrates how you can take complicated things and make them seem easy. The first example he uses is how to explain Higgs Boson. It doesn’t get more complicated than that right? The author shows how by what he calls, “delivering meaning” in other words making your explanation meaningful to your audience he was able to explain this complicated discovery so that everyone could understand not only what it was but more importantly why it was so meaningful to all of us. So for those of us who did not understand the importance of this discovery here is how he explained it so that we would all get it.
“The discovery of the elusive Higgs boson confirms the theory that scientists have been using to understand how the universe works. Physicists are celebrating this breakthrough because it can lead to other significant findings like the discovery of quantum mechanics did almost a century ago. Quantum mechanics lead to the invention of many of the twentieth century’s most notable technologies…like cell phones, computers and even the atomic bomb. The discovery of the Higgs boson could me equally important…if not more so. It can lead to innovations we can’t yet imagine.”
Okay now we get it…now we know what the fuss was all about.
The book is filled with tools we can use to also become “Super Communicators” the author shows us how to use his simple guidelines effectively. Here are a few of his basic guidelines:
• Lead with the conclusion
• Use Big words sparingly
• Combat jargon use
• Avoid acronyms
• Short sentences and short paragraphs
• Sync your message to your audience’s culture
• Make it error free
And the one guideline that is the most important, humanize your message. In other words make it relatable to your immediate audience.
I have yet to find a book on communications that addresses these very important issues in such an effective way. It provides all of us who have to communicate…which is all of us whatever field we are in with the tools we need to be better communicators.
Check this out and start your journey to becoming a super communicator; then start getting your point across


Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization
Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization
by Andrew Miller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.59
56 used & new from $16.54

5.0 out of 5 stars What Operational Excellece Really Is!, July 29, 2014
What’s the problem with Lean Manufacturing? What’s the problem with Six Sigma? Easy they do not include people. They take into consideration only processes rather than people they are only a small component of Operational Excellence rather than the entire solution.
According to Andrew Miller in his new book, Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits across the Organization, “Operational Excellence is about empowering employees to use judgment on the front lines. But often an organization uses methodologies that preclude having to use judgment. The methodology (Lean or Six Sigma) becomes a crutch.” And to me said methodology creates a “leave your brains at the door” mentally when it comes to people. And this is why I love this book.
Full disclosure I have always been vehemently against any process methodologies that attempt to “lobotomize and “robotize” people. I am a great believer in people and t her amazing things that they can accomplish. I have always believed that Six Sigma, Lean and every other theory of the month ideologies were bad for business so that is why I am in full agreement with Andrew Miller. And if you feel the same way I do then you will too.
When I saw this book come across my desk my first reaction was “Oh, oh here comes the next version the latest ideology of the month,” but once I opened the book I honestly could now put it down. This guy makes sense. This guy has brought the people to the table which is what has always been needed.
Miller had me from the very first paragraph when he writes, “Operational Excellence is the relentless pursuit of doing things better. It is not a destination or a methodology but a mindset that needs to exist across and organization. Operational excellence is not about perfection or performing activities. It is about dramatic improvements and financial growth.”
I believe that the author has it right when he says, “Fix the process then implement the technology.” So many times we want to implement new technology into a flawed process. It just does not work. If the basic structure is not sound then technology will only allow you to make “bad decisions faster” Why don’t people get that?
One of the biggest problems with programs like Lean is that they want to treat everything as though they are the same. They assume that the people are the same and even the customers are the same; which of course they are not.
“Instead of focusing on standardization, organizations need to focus on customization. Every customer is different and requires a different solution. Organizations need to focus on learning more about their customers and on collaborating with them to provide the best solutions.” And to that I say a big Amen and thank you to Andrew Miller.
If you agree with what the author is saying in his book then you need to read it to get the facts and strengthen your arguments against the “Leaners” in your organization. And if you find yourself not agreeing with his theories then you’d better get out there and get this book right now because it’s critical to you, your career and your organization that you see the light, and sooner rather than later.


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