Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

Selling the Invisible Book Cover Selling the Invisible
Harry Beckwith
Business & Economics
Business Plus
Tue Mar 20 2012
272

Review:This practical guide walks you through the process of marketing services that the customer cannot see and experience before buying. However, you don’t need any marketing knowledge to benefit from this book. Regardless of your job title you can easily apply these learnings to marketing yourself to influencers as well as prospective—and current—employers. For instance:

  • "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." You are judged on how you are perceived. We’ve all seen people get ahead based on their relationships, not their expertise. Work on how you interact with others and build trust with all stakeholders.
  • "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." Sound advice for any manager.
  • "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." I would add that if you don’t position yourself, others will do it for you. Choose what you want to be known for and make sure all of your communications—visual, verbal, physical, etc.—tell that story.

This book is easy to pick up when you just have a few moments. It is written anecdotally which makes it a quick and entertaining read as well as a good reference down the road.

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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