Billed as “a field guide to modern marketing”, I found this book a highly interesting read, especially the second half. It is a guide to marketing services (“the invisible”). Some of the stand outs points for me were:
- “Forget looking like the superior choice. Make yourself an excellent choice. Then eliminate anything that might make you a bad choice.” Ie, address any risks in peoples’ minds, rather than trying to show you are better than all other options. It is very hard to tell if a service was the best, but it is easy to tell if it was bad. Eliminate the fear.
- “Setting your price is like setting a screw. A little resistance is a good sign.” Beckwith argues that 10% of people will always complain about the price. Resistance in about 10% more (total 20%) is about right. “When it [resistance] starts exceeding 25%, scale back.”
- Often you are competing against apathy (doing nothing) or the person themselves doing the work.. not another firm.
- “Don’t assume that logical pricing is smart pricing. Maybe your price, which makes you like like a good value, actually makes you look second-rate”.
- “The premium service and the low-cost provider occupy nice niches all by themselves. If you are priced in between, however, you are competing with almost everyone”.
- “Don’t start by positioning your service. Instead leverage the position you have.” eg, Avis ads repeated for years “We’re Number Two. We try harder.”
- “In positioning, don’t try to hide your small size. Make it work by stressing its advantages, such as responsiveness and individual attention.”
- “If you’re selling a service, you’re selling a relationship.. before you try to satisfy ‘the client’, understand and satisfy the person.. In large part, service marketing is a popularity content.. be personable.”
- “A brand is more than a symbol. In the public’s eye, a brand is a warranty. It is a promise that the service carrying that brand will live up to its name, and perform.. a service is a promise, and building a brand builds your promise.. Invest in and religiously preach integrity. It is the heart of your brand… Brands are decision-making shortcuts [for busy people].. Make selling easier, faster and cheaper. Build a brand… A brand is money.”
- “Selling a service involved personal risks [rejection etc].. risk yourself.”
- “Saying many things usually communicates nothing.. Meet your market’s very first need: Give it one good reason… After you say one thing, repeat it again and again. Watch and perfect the visual clues you send.. repeat yourself visually, too.. Give your marketing a human face.”
- Be genuine and honest, show your passion.
- “Take advantage of the Recency Effect. Follow up brilliantly.”
- “Execute passionately. Marginal tactics executed passionately almost always will outperform brilliant tactics executed marginally.”
- “Above all, sell hope.”
- “Your parents were right. Say thank you. Often.”
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