OK, if I were to, you know, ever meet Harry Beckwith, I think I’d check to see how tall he was…if he had pointy little ears and talked funny because after reading his “Selling the Invisible“, I am CONVINCED the man is Yoda!
Of all the creative/business books I’ve read so far this year, I think this one is up there at No. 1 (alongside “Creating Customer Evangelists“) for the sheer amount of wisdom Beckwith provides his readers as it relates to being in the service industry and marketing yourself (and being in the “service industry” is just like it sounds — meaning you sell a service (ie, hair cuts, photo sessions, lawn cuttings) over a product (coffee, furniture, automobiles)).
The structure of “Selling” makes it a fast read and one that’s easy to pick up and put back down as you can get to it, because each lesson is a short story (and I mean, tiny at a half-page or page long) in and of itself. I literally covered the first three blank pages of the book with notes because there were just so many kernels of truth that I didn’t want to forget any of them when I picked the book back up again!
Here were just a FEW of my favorites!
• Service businesses are about relationships and relationships are about feelings. Be professional but be PERSONABLE.
• You never know. So don’t assume you should. Plan for several possible futures for yourself.
• EXECUTE PASSIONATELY. Marginal tactics executed passionately almost always outperform brilliant tactics executed marginally.
• The path to PERFECTION leads to PROCRASTINATION. Don’t let perfect ruin good!!!! (I think this is SUCH a valuable lesson for us creative types!)
• The more similar the services, the more important the differences. ACCENTUATE THE TRIVIAL. (I personally translated this to mean it’s important to stand out and a good way to do that is make yourself unique to your prospective customers…offer them something different, make sure they know you’re good, at, say, getting back to them in 24 hours or less, and don’t be afraid to talk about the random and inane stuff you love — like your favorite TV shows or flavor of latte. It can make a difference!)
• Say one positive thing and you will be associated with many. :)
• Invest in and preach integrity — it should be the heart of your business.
•Building your brand doesn’t take millions; it takes imagination.
And my FAVORITE to end on (seriously, you need to read this book!)
• Prospects do not buy how good you are at what you do. They buy how good you are at who you are.