In What Clients Love
, marketing maven Harry Beckwith offers valuable lessons about capturing and keeping clients. (As Beckwith puts it, "Competence gets firms into the game that relationships win.") Using snappy examples from Absolut Vodka, Kinkos, Starbucks, and Ian Schragers boutique hotels, he organizes his advice by describing four significant social trends that shape client needs and loyalty. Beckwiths strategies for coping with information overload focus on getting to the point--using a shorter sell and fewer superlatives. He makes a clever and convincing case for giving both testimonials and blurbs the death penalty. He details the decline of client trust with a plan to eliminate cold calls, dress for success, and a spot-on critique of PowerPoint ("Lincoln had no slides at Gettysburg.") Other chapters explore the limits of the Internet and offer nongimmicky ideas about creating a brand, including 20 questions for choosing a name for your business.
Beckwiths advice is fresh, funny, and strategic. He is a master of anecdote and metaphor whose examples range from televisions Sex and the City to nihilistic philosopher Nietzsche. Yet the books clarity is sometimes undermined by its too clever formatting. It's best to enjoy its wisdom one chapter at a time, over coffee. Consider it the caffeine in your cup. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
The author of Selling the Invisible tries to top that book's bestselling success with this breezy collection of one- to two-page friendly lecturettes on how to keep your business profitable. He might just do so, as it's difficult to imagine a book better suited in format to harried executives: they could gulp down the entire volume over the course of a single flight. Beckwith has somehow also managed to take a format where so many authors have tried and failed, and written a useful, direct and even at times inspiring book. In this age of information overload, Beckwith pulls some valuable lessons out of the bygone days of the 1970s, when, he says, consumers had infinitely fewer products and services to choose from, but seemed generally happier. Other valuable lessons for today's hard-charging businessperson include: "Hard sales lose business," "No superlatives" and, in order to understand how to run a successful business, "Study Starbucks." Beckwith is even able to take a simple thing like a name-e.g., Kinko's-and show how that chain was able, through its name (although the ubiquity of its open all-day-and-night locations didn't hurt), to crush the competition, whose names all sounded alike (e.g., InstyPrint, SpeedyPrint, etc.). Pocket-sized and packed with nuggets of wisdom, this is a rare winner in a glutted field.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.