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Selling the Invisible a Field Guide to Modern Marketing Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
Also the author never really backs up his thoughts. The examples provided come across like stories where a friend of a friend did something awesome that you saw on the Internet.
In short they feel right but not like they hold up to intense scrutiny.
Finally there are a few items that seem to be contradictory. The author says write a mission statement then says keep it secret so the competition doesn't f ind out but also tell employees so they know.
It can't be secret if you tell employees and really that's what you should be doing. Fearing what the competitors will do because of your mission means you're not looking at your mission for direction anymore you're looking at your competition which means you're following them.
I don't think this book is really worth your time unless you just like quotes with no action to back them up.
Below are some excerpts that I found particularly insightful:
a) "Your opportunities for growth often lie outside the confines of your current industry description." - This can be reworded to apply to one's personal career
b) "In most professional services, you are not selling expertise - because your expertise is assumed, and because your prospect cannot intelligently evaluate your expertise anyway. Instead, you are selling a relationship. And in most cases, that is where you need the most work."
c) "First, accept the limitations of planning...Second, don't value planning for its result: the plan...Third, don't plan your future. Plan your people."
d) "Positioning (Al Ries and Jack Trout) says: 1) You must position yourself in your prospect's mind. 2) Your position should be singular: one simple message. 3) Your position must set you apart from your competitors. 4) You must sacrifice. You cannot be all things to all people; you must focus on one thing."
e) "To succeed spectacularly in a service business, you must get all your ducks in a row. Marketing is just one duck. But it is one very big duck."
f) "...And for marketing purposes - for the purpose of attracting and keeping business - a service is only what prospects and clients perceive it to be. So "get better reality": Improve your service quality. But never forget that the prospect and client must perceive that quality."
g) "Services are human. Their successes depend on the relationships of people...But you can spot some patterns in people. The more you can see the patterns and understand people, the more you will succeed - and this book as written with the hope that it will help you do just that."
h) "Nothing beats experience, of course, but reading books about others' experiences comes in a competent second. The risk in learning only from personal experience is that too often, we draw conclusions from too little data - we learn too much from too little. We also tend to credit our company's successes to everything that went into them...And so we keep repeating things that hurt our business."
One of the best features of the book is the way its written and structured. Each area is covered through small stories featuring numerous real-life examples. This makes the book very practical and enjoyable to read. All in all, a great book on Marketing and one that is recommended for anyone. We are all in some aspect a marketer of services.
As a final remark, you can follow the author Harry Beckwith's latest thoughts here: [...]
Learn to leverage the less obvious points of selling by finding your customers' true needs and closing the gaps providing effective solutions to their issues.
Easy read and widely-applicable.
It is actually a huge collection of essays on marketing. They are short, well written and very insightful. It would be difficult not to pick up 10 to 15 things that you could do immediately to improve your marketing.
The book was written in 1997, so some specific companies he talks about have changed dramatically. However the principles have not changed. These principles will still be valid 50 years from now.
One thing that most service providers have trouble with is pricing their services. They are afraid to charge too much. Beckwith does a great job of explaining why you cannot compete on price.
He tells a little story about Picasso. He was sketching at a sidewalk cafe in Paris when a woman strolling along the street saw him and asked if he would do a sketch of her. He obliged and when finished, she asked how much she owed him. Five thousand francs was the reply. She protested that it had only taken three minutes. Picasso corrected her by saying, "No. It took me all my life." When you are selling services you are not selling your time but your experience. A lesson most in the service business really do not understand.
The book is a pleasure to read.