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Triggers: 30 Sales Tools you can use to Control the Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade.
Triggers: 30 Sales Tools you can use to Control the Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade.
by Joseph Sugarman
Edition: Hardcover
70 used & new from $4.45

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic Premise: Emotion and not logic clinches a sale., January 6, 2004
Most experienced sales people and books will tell you that the sales process is an emotional one and logic plays only a secondary role. The author of this book (Joseph Sugarman) takes this concept to the next level and introduces 30 psychological triggers. These triggers (or sales tools) if used correctly by the seller will influence the buyer's state of mind and dramatically increase the chances of a sale.
The author takes these 30 important triggers and devotes a chapter to each and every one of them with clear explanations and examples of why and how these triggers work. Here are just a few sample triggers - Greed, Consistency, Product Name, Prospect Nature, Integrity, Storytelling, Objection Raising and Objection Resolution.
There are a few triggers that are very hard to dispute. The best example is the Exclusivity trigger. Almost every one of us falls for this technique if we are in the market for the product and can afford it. Sometimes, even when we are not in the market and can't afford it, we still seem to fall for this one.
There are a few triggers where I found it difficult to agree with the author on some of the premises. For example, in the chapter on the Sense of Urgency trigger, he states in so many words that it is okay to use some very bold tactics to create a sense of urgency if it looks like you are going to lose the prospect. The author even hints that you really don't have much to lose so it's okay to use certain tactics that I thought were inflammatory. The problem with this approach is that some individuals will never go back to the salesman or the company that hired the salesman. I think one has to consider the possibility that this could turn into a public relations and marketing problem.
But if you take some of the triggers and their explanations with a grain of salt, I think this is a great book overall.
After reading this book, I wondered why logic fails so miserably where emotion succeeds so easily in the sales process. I think the answer lies in the fact that the buyer has to be an expert in order to correctly apply logic and compare any two products. In most cases though, the buyer is not an expert and hence abandons logic and succumbs to emotional triggers in making a decision. Apparently, even in cases where the buyer is an expert, the chances of abandoning logic in the face of very strong emotional triggers are very high.
If you are new to sales, there is a lot you can learn from this book (as I did). If you have a decent amount of experience in sales, this could still be an interesting read.
Two things that struck me about the techniques in this book is that it can work beautifully in situations where you are selling products and in situations where there isn't a long term relationship involved. I am really not sure of the effectiveness of the techniques in this book in the services market and plan on experimenting slowly over time. I am also not sure if the techniques work as well in situations where the sales cycles are very long like in high dollar contract (whether it is a product or a service).
On a final note, I must say that the book is focussed on helping you close a sale but little attention is paid to the important aspect of negotiation. Anytime you are dealing with a high dollar item and the services market, negotiation becomes an integral part of the sales process. This is a very complex topic that is dependent on various factors including the cultural backgrounds of the individuals and companies involved. Overall, a worthwhile book to read to get an invaluable insight into the 30 psychological triggers. Good luck and enjoy learning from this book!


The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Find Your Most Promotable Competitive Edge, Turn It Into a Powerful Marketing Message, and Deliver It to the Right Pro
The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Find Your Most Promotable Competitive Edge, Turn It Into a Powerful Marketing Message, and Deliver It to the Right Pro
by Dan S. Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
69 used & new from $0.01

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 Steps to the Ultimate Marketing Plan., January 5, 2004
There are hundreds of books devoted to explaining the secrets and techniques of Marketing to the novice. What is unique about this book is the common sense explanation to everything that is recommended in the book. If you are new to the world of Marketing, this becomes very important since you can judge for yourself how to implement your Ultimate Marketing Plan.
The message that will stay in my mind for a long time is the one on the cover of this book "Find your most promotable competitive edge, turn it into a powerful marketing message, and deliver it to the right prospects". I wish the book had been split into those sections - finding the strengths in you that you can market, coming up with the right message, and how to find and deliver to the right people. But the 13 step approach the book takes is still great.
Just for the record, the 13 steps in this book and their chapter headings are - Putting Together the Right Message, Presenting Your Message, Picking the Right Targets, Proving Your Case, Putting Your Best Foot Forward, Getting Free Advertising, Malibuism - Becoming Hot, "Poor Boy" Marketing Strategies, Maximizing Total Customer Value, Fueling Word-of-Mouth Advertising, Creating Short-Term Sales Surges, New Marketing Technologies, Hiring and Firing the Experts.
The first step (chapter) 'Putting Together the Right Message' really got my attention as I started reading about the concept of USP (Unique Selling Proposition) which is nothing but the edge you have over your competition and the reason your clients would buy from you. The author starts out by explaining the power of a great USP and an example USP - "Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed" (Domino's). He follows it up with different ways to boost the USP power - with an irrestible offer, "Marketing by Values", etc.
Throughout the book, the author throws in 17 Ultimate Secret Weapons and 5 Ultimate Marketing Sins. I plan on memorizing these and refer to the book when I am working on any type of marketing effort. The book is worth buying just for these 22 tips.
I found two sections in the book the most memorable - one on testimonials and the other on hiring experts. I have always recognized the importance of getting testimonials but never really done it due to one good reason or another. After reading the author's comments, I will never make this mistake again and not let any reason come in my way of seeking testimonials from all my clients. Regarding the author's commentary on hiring experts, it really impressed me because I have seen several people make this mistake time and again. It brought relief to see someone explain this concept of how to work with experts much better than I have ever been able to explain to my friends and colleagues.
Overall, this is a great book on the practice and creation of your Ultimate Marketing Plan. The few bucks you spend on this book pale in comparison to the hours you save by avoiding the obvious mistakes. Do get this book if you own a small business as it is essential for the success of your business. Don't trust this critical aspect of your business to someone else, take control! I wish you the best of luck and I hope you benefit from this book.


The Ultimate Sales Letter: Boost Your Sales with Powerful Sales Letters, Based on Madison Avenue Techniques
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Boost Your Sales with Powerful Sales Letters, Based on Madison Avenue Techniques
by Dan S. Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
84 used & new from $0.01

76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't send junk mail. Write letters that get read., December 27, 2003
This book is most useful to small business owners who want to generate qualified leads and not waste time, money, and energy in sending out useless junk mail.
The techniques described by the author in this simple but effective book are easy to learn. The author explains a systematic process in writing the ultimate sales letter that gets read and achieves results. Overall, he describes 28 steps involved in designing, creating, and getting your sales letter to the right prospects. The book is less than 200 pages long and doesn't take more than a couple of hours to read. It does take a lot longer to implement the ideas presented though.
Here are a few things I learned in the book that really surprised me -
1. That some mail delivery personnel hate junk mail and hence do not deliver it (this is against the law but a small percentage still seemd to indulge in this criminal behavior). There are some good tips on how to minimize the chance of your sales letters being perceived as junk mail.
2. The concept of 'comparing apples to oranges' in presenting price to your customer. I have always had reservations about doing this but after reading the explanation in the book, I am no longer opposed to adopting this highly effective practice. The author has a very compelling argument on why this is the right thing to do.
3. Mailing a mockup of the sales letter to yourself to see your own gut reaction to your marketing material arriving at your mailbox. This seems the most logical thing to do but I have never done it. From now on, I am always going to mail myself a mockup package before placing an order with my printer.
The book is full of these kinds of surprises and hence the reason for the 5 stars in this review. This book is probably one of my top 10 high value purchases of 2003.
The most important lesson I learned after reading this book - never underestimate the difficulty of writing a great sales letter and be wary of letting someone else write your letter. If it is your business, there is no one more qualified to write this letter than you. Spend the time and read this book. You won't regret it. After a couple of negative experiences, I now design most of my marketing material myself.
Good luck!


Words That Sell
Words That Sell
by Richard Bayan
Edition: Paperback
106 used & new from $0.01

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You'll wonder how you ever got along without it"., November 7, 2003
This review is from: Words That Sell (Paperback)
When I was looking for a title for this review, the word that came to mind was 'Indispensable' but I felt it was too cliche to use for this purpose. So I opened up the index of this book, looked up 'indispensable', went to page 38 and looked down the list of expressions till I found the title I felt comfortable with!
That's how this book is meant to be used. If you are writing copy for any type of advertising or promotional purposes, you will find this 'Thesaurus' style book very handy. This isn't strictly a thesaurus since the words in each section aren't necessarily synonyms but more like related words. If you are new to the world of copy writing, 'copy' generally refers to any type of writing associated with sales material. For example, when you read an advertisement for a soft drink, the art of writing the ad is called 'copy writing'.
You can find other uses for the content in this book as I did above with the title for this review. But in general, most people use this book to come up with writing that is compelling enough for the reader to perform the intended action whatever that action happens to be.
The book is split into 6 sections - Grabbers, Descriptions and Benefits, Clinchers, Terms & Offers, Special Strategies, and an Appendix containing miscellaneous sections. There is a 2 page copywriting primer included that has 8 tips to learn before you start writing copy. The Appendix has several miscellaneous topics like 'Categories of Copy', 'Puffspeak - And Its Alternative', 'Wordy Expressions', 'Commonly Misspelled Words', 'Commonly Confused Words', 'Selling Yourself', 'Sample Order Forms', and 'Further Reading'.
The book is filled with pages and pages of words and in some cases expressions that are categorized into different headings under each chapter. The largest chapter is Part 2: Descriptions and Benefits, taking up more than half the book. You can go through the table of contents and find the section with the relevant words. You could also go through the index and find a word that seems to fit approximately and then go to that page to read through the related words and expressions till you find the perfect fit.
Recently, a follow on book by the same author 'More Words That Sell' has been released. The fundamental difference between the two books is that this book is intended to be used for general purpose copy writing like your basic services and the new book is intended to be used for more specific and detailed copy writing. That's the best way I can describe the differences and this is also corroborated by the author at the beginning of the second book.
Overall, I believe this is a valuable resource to have if you are even remotely involved in coming up with 'sales copy' for your company. The low price of the book is well worth the value you get by using this book. Before buying this and other books on copy writing, I used to do a decent job in coming up with the sales copy for my company's services. After reading this book and others like it, I have decided to completely revise the sales copy of my services! I do believe that good copy writing takes practice and these kinds of books are helpful guides in that process. I wish you the best of luck!


Harvard Business Review on Marketing
Harvard Business Review on Marketing
by Harvard Business School Press
Edition: Paperback
54 used & new from $0.01

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of the best articles from the HBR magazine., October 22, 2003
There are now over 20 books in this Harvard Business Review series. All the books are compilations of the best articles from the Harvard Business Review magazine. This book is one of the best books in the series for the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the articles selected for inclusion.
The eight articles selected for this book are 'The Brand Report Card', 'Bringing a Dying Brand Back to Life', 'How to Fight a Price War', 'Contextual Marketing: The Real Business of the Internet', 'The Lure of Global Marketing', 'Are the Strategic Stars Aligned for Your Corporate Brand', 'Torment Your Customers (They'll Love It), and 'Boost Your Marketing ROI with Experimental Design'.
My favorite article was the first one 'The Brand Report Card'. This article in just a few pages cuts to the core of how to evaluate the strength of your brand using a very logical approach.
The article on Contextual Marketing about the Internet is very interesting since it was written in late 2000 and makes predictions about how the Internet will change by the end of 2003 to 2005. But even the basic predictions haven't come true regarding how ubiquitous the authors predict the Internet will become. Yes, we have access to the Internet through wireless devices but they are not very profitable for businesses right now. Of course, the current economic conditions are influencing the predictions quite significantly.
Overall, this is indeed an excellent collection of articles relating to Marketing and the book is priced well since it is far more expensive to buy the same collection of articles directly from Harvard Business Review online (almost 5 times more expensive).
I have been reading several books on marketing over the last few years to apply in my small business and this book is one of the best I have read. It is less than 200 pages long and makes for a very quick yet powerful read. Enjoy reading and benefiting from the book!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2011 3:32 AM PST


MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit - Windows Server 2003 Environment (Pro-Certification)
MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit - Windows Server 2003 Environment (Pro-Certification)
by Craig Zacker
Edition: Hardcover
38 used & new from $2.03

157 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1500 practice questions and 15% off exam fee discounts!, October 21, 2003
Just the sheer number of practice questions alone makes it worthwhile to buy this set from Microsoft but adding the 15% off exam fee discount voucher makes it really hard to resist buying this set. If you actually take all 4 exams and buy this set from Amazon, your cost is 60% off the list price! But after comparing the number of practice questions from other vendors, I found that it is definitely worth buying this set.
Even though these books are intended to train you in the Windows Server 2003 Operating System, I found that it is better to have either 'Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion' from Microsoft or 'Mastering Windows Server 2003' from Sybex as a reference guide and use this set mostly for review and exam preparation. After comparing the two reference books, I found the book from Sybex to be better as its coverage is more extensive than the book from Microsoft.
The four exams covered in this set are 'Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment', 'Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure', 'Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure', and 'Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure'. They are exams 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, and 70-294 respectively.
The books are made of very thin paper and are all paperback editions. This makes it easy to carry the individual books around. This is especially important considering that there are 4000 pages in the whole set and imagine what the hardcover editions with heavy paper would feel like! There are 2 CDs that come with the set. One has a 180 day trial version of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and the other has the 1500 practice exam questions and several good ebooks. All four books are in searchable and printable electronic formats that are supposed to be Pocket PC-ready. The extra ebooks are 'Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security', 'Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking, Second Edition', and 'Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Sampler'. This last ebook contains excerpts from other Microsoft reference books. But the first two are worth quite a few dollars if you purchase them separately! There are several white papers and miscellaneous software on the second CD-ROM on top of what I already described above.
This training kit assumes that the readers have a minimum of 12 to 18 months of administering Windows technologies in a networked environment and an understanding of Active Directory. I am still looking for a good book on Active Directory Infrastructure.
Each book has its own unique and specific hardware requirements but to illustrate, they recommend that you have two computers to learn from the 70-290 book. One computer needs to have the server installed with a specific name (Server01) and the domain controller in a specific domain. This may make it difficult to use a work computer for training purposes unless your boss lets you have a dedicated computer or these requirements don't affect what's already on the server. The other computer should ideally have a Windows XP client for the optional hands-on exercises.
Each book follows a lesson style format with each chapter having several lessons. Every lesson has an estimated time at the beginning that may not be that accurate depending on your level of experience. Each lesson has several tasks with the concepts and the step by step instructions explained in a easy to understand manner.
Beginners may be able to do okay with the 70-290 book but intermediate to advanced users will definitely be more comfortable with the other three books. I am finding the 70-291 and 70-293 the hardest probably due to my background.
Overall, I think this set is definitely worth purchasing as I haven't run into any good competing books yet. But the price and the number of questions included make it extremely WORTHWHILE to purchase this set. Not to mention the additional free ebooks that you would have to pay for otherwise! If you are planning on taking the MCSA/MCSE exams, definitely get this set. If you are just trying to learn Windows Server 2003 from this set, I believe that there are better books out there. Good luck with your training and exams!


MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Microsoft (2nd Edition) .NET Core Requirements, Exams 70-305, 70-315, 70-306, 70-316, 70-310, 70-320, and 70-300 box vol. set
MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Microsoft (2nd Edition) .NET Core Requirements, Exams 70-305, 70-315, 70-306, 70-316, 70-310, 70-320, and 70-300 box vol. set
by Microsoft Corporation
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $3.00

225 of 230 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for training and certification. Discount vouchers., October 21, 2003
Three things struck me about this set as soon as I received it and started working through the material. First, these books can be used for both learning and preparing for the certification exams. Second, if you buy the set from Amazon and you intend to take the exams, your cost will be a fraction of the published cost. This is because of the four 15% off exam fee vouchers that are included in the set. In the end, you will get almost 75% off the published price! Be careful when you buy this set as a used set from someone as the vouchers have discount codes that can only be utilized once. Third, these same books can be used whether you are interested in the VB.NET track or VC#.NET track.

This set is best suited for basic and intermediate level users of the .NET technologies. The four books in the set are focused on helping you learn - windows based programming, web based programming, XML web services and server components, and solution architectures. Each book takes a lesson style approach by splitting each chapter into multiple lessons. Each lesson focuses on teaching a unique skill and can be worked through individually. But I found that you need to stay with the sequence of lessons in order to get the maximum benefit.

I am new to taking Microsoft certifications so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the way the material is presented. Each lesson has an estimated time of completion which I found to be a bit too optimistic but not too far off. The relevant concepts are explained first and these are followed by step by step instructions on how to perform a specific task. Example code related to the task being described is included. At the end of each chapter (not lesson), there is a lab section that contains several exercises for the reader to perform to ensure proper learning. The completed labs are on the CD-ROM that comes with the set. This is very helpful in identifying by comparison anything wrong that you might have done on these exercises.

The CD-ROM that comes with the set has the entire set in electronic form, completed labs, practice files, and exam questions. The set also comes with a DVD that has a 60 day trial version of Visual Studio.NET 2003 Professional. The paper is very thin and these are paperbacks and not hardcover editions. I personally like the thinner paper as it is easier to carry the individual books around.

The prerequisites for using this set are a knowledge of controls & events, SQL, and other basic programming concepts. I think this set is aimed at users that are at a beginner or intermediate level. One advanced user I talked to wasn't as impressed with this set as I was.

The only downside to the set that I found was the intermingling of VB.NET and VC#.NET code throughout the books. I found this very annoying as I am interested in only the VB.NET portions. But I guess this could be a positive if you haven't decided which path to take or are planning on mixing the exams that you take.

The best part about these books is that there are so many practice questions for each exam! After researching other preparatory material online, I found that most vendors are not including that many practice questions. So getting these many questions (550 total in the set) for such a low price made it really worthwhile for me.

I would recommend getting the training guides by Mike Gunderloy (Que Certification series) that I am finding to be the best tools for exam preparation. But it doesn't hurt to get this Microsoft set considering the exam fee discount reduces the price of the set and the number of questions included is great!

Overall, don't hesitate to get this set if you are sure that you are going to take the exams. But use the set as a secondary and not a primary preparation tool. Good luck learning .NET and passing the exams!

Update on 5/5/2005: This review is old so please check with Amazon if the kit still comes with the vouchers before purchasing. I remember seeing an expiration date on those vouchers so it's quite possible they don't include the vouchers with the kit anymore.


Guerrilla Marketing Excellence: The 50 Golden Rules for Small-Business Success
Guerrilla Marketing Excellence: The 50 Golden Rules for Small-Business Success
by Jay Conrad Levinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.95
165 used & new from $0.01

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After reading 'Guerrilla Marketing', follow up with this one, October 15, 2003
Once you understand what Guerrilla Marketing is all about by reading the bestseller by the same author, this is one of many other books in the series that will benefit you tremendously! To summarize what Guerrilla Marketing is all about - it is for business owners who want to use their time, energy and imagination rather than dollars to achieve their marketing goals.
This short 200 page book has 50 rules that small businesses need to follow to succeed. It feels like they are all based on common sense as you read through the rules. The book backs up the rules with good data and solid explanations. That's what sold me on a lot of the rules. I am still not so sure about a few rules but maybe as I start implementing the others, I will realize the value of the others.
As an example, here's rule # 17: 'Be sure your timing is on; the right marketing to the right people is only right when the timing is right'. It sounds like common sense and it is but the 10 tips that follow in this chapter on how to implement this rule are very valuable. This is what got me hooked on the rules in this book.
The 50 rules are divided into 4 parts - Golden Rules to Guide your Thinking, to Guide your Effectiveness, to Guide your Marketing Materials, and to Guide your Actions. My favorite rule is part 4, it is rule # 41: 'It is wise to aim to be first in line when your prospect buys, but it is more profitable to be second in line'. When I thought of the number of times that my primary choice of product or service was not able to provide good enough quality that I ended up becoming a loyal customer of my second choice is what made me take notice of this rule. In this chapter, 20 tips are shared that help take advantage of this long term strategy that is difficult for most Guerrillas that are strapped for cash.
Bottom line - if you have enjoyed some of the other books in this series, you won't be disappointed with this one. Good luck!


Your Miracle Brain: Maximize Your Brainpower, Boost Your Memory, Lift Your Mood, Improve Your IQ and Creativity, Prevent and Reverse Mental Aging
Your Miracle Brain: Maximize Your Brainpower, Boost Your Memory, Lift Your Mood, Improve Your IQ and Creativity, Prevent and Reverse Mental Aging
by Jean Carper
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
159 used & new from $0.01

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to take care of your brain with the right foods., October 12, 2003
As medical science is discovering the correlation between certain foods on the functioning of various body parts, the effect of food and supplements on the brain is one of the more recent research areas (at least to the general public). This book does an excellent job of explaining the research and the practical implications, especially what to eat to help your brain function the right way.
The book is divided into 4 parts - a welcome section, what to eat, brain supplements, and how to stop the destruction of the brain. The first part introduces the reader to the basics of the brain - how free radicals are the prime enemy, how the brain cells can actually regenerate (till recently everyone thought this wasn't possible), how stress can damage your brain, use it or lose it theory, etc.
The second part focuses on how fat, fish oil, sugar, antioxidants, and caffeine impact your brain. This is a very detailed section with practical tips on how you can benefit from the latest research in this field. For example - a cup of coffee in the morning and midday is all we need to get the most out of caffeine. Of course, you have to read the whole section to know more about caffeine like the three different sources, etc.
The third part is all vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that can boost your brain power. There is excellent information on how Vitamin B6, B12, E, C, and other supplements like Ginkgo and Choline can all help your brain perform better!
The last part is about the connection between the heart and the brain. What happens to the heart affects the brain also and there are 30 pages dedicated to this part talking about exactly that! Example - did you know that high triglycerides can disturb your mood? Do you know what triglycerides are? Did you know that high blood pressure harms memory and shrinks the brain? By reading this last part of the book, you can get the latest on these topics!
Overall, this book is a worthwhile purchase considering how much you can gain by carefully testing and implementing some of the advice. As with all medical research, I try to test things first and see how these theories apply to my body and then implement on a larger scale. I hope you benefit from this book the way my family has and remember to take it slow before jumping in with a lot of changes at the same time and definitely consult your doctor! Good luck!


Requirements Engineering: Processes and Techniques
Requirements Engineering: Processes and Techniques
by Gerald Kotonya
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $115.25
69 used & new from $0.21

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Text book approach. Time for another edition., October 12, 2003
Since the publication of this book, newer software development methodologies have either hit the marketplace or become more popular including the Rational Unified Process (1999), eXtreme Programming, Scrum, etc. This book needs to be updated to incorporate these newer approaches to software development. The principal drawback of this book is a lack of treatment on how to manage the requirements change during the iterations that are the mainstay of these iterative development methodologies.
Even though this book is not aimed at detailing any particular methodology, I believe a newer edition should address this last concern from a general perspective. To prove this point, there are only a few pages that briefly talk about a couple of aspects of the Use Case approach to requirements which is now here to stay.
Other than that, this is an excellent book that takes a text book approach to requirements engineering and explains everything you ever wanted to know about this topic from an abstract and general perspective. It also has a lot of practical techniques.
For a book dedicated to best practices, you should look at Software Requirements by Karl E. Wiegers. Managing Software Requirements Leffingwell and Widrig is part of the Object Technology Series and does a better job of addressing the Use Case approach and is more recent. Effective Requirements Practices by Ralph R. Young takes a more step by step approach to the whole requirements gathering process and is worthwhile looking into.
Now that I have outlined what's missing and what the competitor books on this topic address, back to the book being reviewed. The book is divided into two parts - The Requirements Engineering Process and The Requirements Engineering Techniques.
The chapters in the process section are very useful. The first chapter starts off with an FAQ approach to explaining requirements and outlines the basic requirements document and how to write it. The other chapters in the first part are Requirements Engineering Processes, Requirements Elicitation and Analysis, Requirements Validation, and Requirements Management. All are very well written and quite thorough.
The chapters in the Techniques section are a mixture of excellent and okay topics. I found Chapter 6: Methods for Requirements Engineering to be very interesting as it addresses data-flow modeling, semantic data models, object-oriented approaches, and formal methods (I am directly stating the different sub-sections of this chapter). Chapter 8: Non-functional Requirements is a must-read! Other books haven't done such a good job of addressing this critical topic that seems to get neglected in many a project. The last chapter is a case study.
Overall, this is a good book on requirements engineering but in my opinion, you are better off reading this book as part of a classroom course and not as recommended if you are taking a self-taught approach. The other books I mention are better suited for that purpose. Do read Linda Zarate's review on this book as I did not address some things that she does a better job of explaining.
It is absolutely critical that requirements engineering be mastered in order to have successful software project and product. Overall, this book is pricey for the value added but worth looking into if it is part of your company's project management library. Good luck!


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