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4.8 out of 5 stars18
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2001
As the owner of an e-business consultancy & development agency, I have a technical background as opposed to a sales & marketing one. Therefore, I need books that will help me improve my business skills without having a detrimental effect on my time.
With an amusing, no-nonsense writing style, the author has created a book that is a pleasure to read and is full of sensible, real-world advice.
The best thing about this book, however, is the fact that the advice is given out in a series of small, anecdotal tales, each ending in a succinct statement of the point! This allowed me to read the book in 5-minute bursts, with the points hitting home and being remembered.
I've been integrating many of these ideas into my approach to running and marketing my business, and I'm already experiencing positive results. Highly recommended!
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Actually, this book is less about "selling" than it is about establishing and then nourishing relationships, not only with clients and prospective clients but also with almost everyone else within a given marketplace. For example, vendors, service providers, and strategic allies. Moreover, it is one of the few books I have read which focuses almost entirely on the marketing and sales of services which are, paradoxically, both "invisible" and experiential. (Schmitt has much of great value to say about this in Experiential Marketing as do Pine and Gilmore in The Experience Economy and Wolf in The Entertainment Economy.) Beckwick shares an abundance of information and advice, duly acknowledging various sources from which he has obtained some of the material. I do not damn him with faint praise. His own contributions are first-rate. In "Summing Up", he provides a brief but precise discussion of various sources which he commends to his reader. This has much greater value than does the standard bibliography. And there is a value-added benefit, his sense of humor, which is indicated by some of the section titles such as "Anchors, Warts, and American Express", "Ugly Cats, Boat Shoes, and Overpriced Jewelry: Pricing", and "Monogram Your Shirts, Not Your Company." Throughout the book, he includes more than 100 of what I characterize as "business nuggets" which are directly relevant (indeed illuminating) within the context in which he inserts them.

For whom will this book be of greatest interest and value? Obviously, those now involved in marketing, sales, and other areas in which there is direct and frequent contact with customers. Beckwick reveals himself to be an astute observer of human nature. What he suggests can be of substantial value to any organization in which business relationships, including those which are internal, are less than desirable. Everything he suggests combines common sense with a sensitivity to others' needs and interests. Indeed, almost everyone in almost any organization (regardless of size or nature) must constantly be "selling" various services to others within and beyond that organization. First, they must establish credibility, then trust, and finally obtain agreement to cooperate, if not collaborate. Almost all relationships succeed or fail because of intangibles. Beckwick examines them within a business context but, in process, suggests wide and deep implications relevant to all other areas of human experience. This is an immensely practical as well as thoughtful book.
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on 8 February 2001
Didn't want to fork out the big dosh on the hardback of this "service" industry masterpiece? Here's the paperback version, but be forewarned: you might as well order a copy for everyone in your office, and your clients, now, before it too sells out.
And don't let that "service" perspective put you off: who's not selling intangibles? You compete--and win--on intangibles. This book (despite its US origins--or perhaps because of them) quickly and easily cuts to the chase in small snippets of insight. Great tube/train/bog reading and a fantastic, invigorating call to action.
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on 26 June 2008
Hello. My name is Gary Shane McGill and I have a Master of Business Administration degree from Wilmington University (formerly Wilmington College back in Delaware, USA). I have since relocated back to Europe to handle the sales and marketing for patented ice cream and milkshake dispensers (pretty neat actually).

I was recommended this book by an overseas colleague and I ordered this book based upon advice. The size of the hardback is small enough to fit in my coat pocket from when I travel, but more importantly the anecdotal tales puts things into a unique perspective, which I think is quite refreshing.

The anecdotal tales flow extremely well (with a very comfortable font and font size) to make this very reader friendly. I believe that you do not have to have a background in sales and marketing to understand the basic points that the author is getting to. A great buy if I say so myself.
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on 20 July 2010
"Absolutely brilliant! This book is a very easy read that you can dip in and out of. If you sell a product rather than a service, "the invisible" hold on just a minute... we all sell the invisible. Think about your before sales and after sales process and systems - these are what the customer can't see but adds great value to your service and product. The book challanges what we percieve the customer neds or wants and sugests we should give the customer what they would love!

The book covers a huge range of topics including pricing, advertising, PR, Branding and Surveys. With a focus throughout on marketing it suggests marketing is not a department but it is your business and every member of your staff should have a marketing role! This is very much in line with the mesage in The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and one I strongly agree with.

With great real life examples from companies like Federal Express, Timberland and Wal Mart it brings to life how you can apply some of the principles in your business and get big results.

One area it goes in to some detail on is pricing; where do you sit; low cost, in the middle or high cost? What great low cost companies do you know that have survived, they all eventually die like Woolworths. In the middle it is a fight for business with competitors at every turn. So how can some companies charge such high prices, read the book to find out, you will love it!
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on 5 September 2003
Bought this book on the back of "The Invisible Touch" (the sequel) which I had picked up on a whim in an airport! This is not only possibly THE definitive book on marketing, but essential reading for anyone in business! Not the same old spin and tired ideas, this book makes you stop and think how you can apply things to your own situation. Written in short chunks and simple language there's pretty much something for everyone here.
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on 28 September 2013
You really need to read this if you're selling a service - it's a great intro to marketing, psychology, running a business and delivering a recurring service that people want and are willing to pay for. It's not like a degree in marketing but it'll get you where you need to be as an intro or to help you get your first startup business of the ground. Loads of great tips, dos and don't, and general guidelines for what next, now you have a service you want to sell. Highly recommended.
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on 15 June 2015
Fantastic book and a must read for anyone working in their own business who need simple "to-dos" to get their marketing on track.
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on 9 February 2012
This book was recommended to me and totally lives up to the recommendation. It is a brilliant reminder of what you probably already knew, mixed in with some new observations on marketing. I had known for a long time that people only buy people - not the product - but it had never occurred to me, that what they are really buying is a service.
This book should be read by anyone who wants to make a career in this country, in any capacity. Absolutely first class.
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on 21 May 2004
This is an excellent book for the any level - perfect for the service industry, whether you are a one-man band or running a larger department. Advice and amusing anecdotes make it easy to read and things stick in your mind. I particularly liked the Picasso quote, after being asked to sketch someone ad-hoc and charging a fortune, noting that the knowledge and skill required for the sketch didn't just take a few minutes, but all his life.
Not at all a boring business book. Highly recommended, even if you just take on tip away from it - it will be worth the read.
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