Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing - By Harry Beckwith

Date Read: Mar 28, 2021

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๐Ÿš€ The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. Make your service as good as you possibly can.
  2. The perception of your service is as important as the service itself.
  3. Paying attention to the details in the book will put you ahead of your competition.

๐ŸŽจ Impressions

The not-so-common, common-sense details of selling services.

Everything in the book makes sense, but it's surprising how easy a lot of this is to overlook or never even consider in the first place. It gave me several paradigm shifts in how I think about selling my services.

Who Should Read It?

Anyone who runs a service based business. Online or off.

This is an older book so there's nothing in it about online marketing. But everything applies. Solid business practices are the same no matter where you do business.

I've heard almost everything in here mentioned in the online world. Surprisingly there was a lot I haven't heard in the online marketing world.

โœ๏ธ My Top 3 Quotes

  • The primary focus in service marketing should be the service itself; make it outstanding.
  • Assume your service is bad. It will force you to improve.
  • When clients say yes, you haven't earned their business, you've only earned the right to earn their business. They've assumed all the risk and feel like you owe them.

๐Ÿ“’ Summary + Notes

The primary focus in service marketing should be the service itself. Make it outstanding.

Everyone thinks they're above average, smarter, better looking, and better at their jobs than they actually are. Assume your service is bad. It will force you to improve.

Let clients set the standard and always do what's in their best interest.

Errors are opportunites to show clients they matter to you, and you'll do anything for them.

Create a service so good the market can't even think of it. Create what the market would love!

Figure out what clients are really buying.

Study each point of client contact and significantly improve it.

Good ideas can seem ridiculous at first. Try to have more dumb ideas.

Follow up brilliantly.

People want to avoid making a bad decision more than they want to make the best decision. Eliminate everything that would make hiring you a bad choice in their mind.

First impressions are huge. What are my prospects first impressions of me? My service? How can I improve that?

The best thing to do for a prospect is to eliminate their fear by offering a trial period or test project.

Admit weaknesses and tell the truth. It will make you look more trustworthy.

Emphasize special skills to communicate you'll do good work on simpler tasks.

Position is a noun, not a verb. Don't try to position your service, leverage the position you already have.

Several chapters are spent emphasizing focus. Focus on messaging. Focus on skills. Focus!

He seems to think the naming of your business and sounding distinctive are important. He says to be distinctive and sound like it. But he also says when you're looking for a name to start with your own. My takeaway is that it's ok to name your business after yourself, but if you're not doing that, be distinctive.

Brands are important and integrity is the heart of a brand. Without the belief that you will do what you say, you have nothing.

Say one thing well. Saying too much usually means people won't remember anything. Focus on one message. Then, after you say the one thing, repeat it โ€” over and over again.

Every service has a common stereotype people think about it. That's your first weakness. Address it immediately.

Don't try to be the best or even superior. Positively good is enough. People don't want to spend more time or money on the best when something good, that they're comfortable with, is all they really want.

Get to the point โ€” quickly, and don't use clichรฉs. When your message isn't clear, concise, uses filler words, and no proof, you're communicating that you're willing to waste peoples time.

When clients say yes, you haven't earned their business, you've earned the right to earn their business. They've assumed all the risk and feel like you owe them. It's common for service businesses to operate at a deficit and not even know it. Assume the relationship is going worse than it is.

You can never be too appreciative. Say thank you. Often.

Make sure the client knows how good of a job you've done. On their own they'll usually only know when you've done a bad job.

Stay present with your clients. Keep in touch and remind them of your successes. Out of sight is out of mind.

One trait truly content people have in common is that they've all taken big risks. Put yourself out there. Risk yourself!