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  • 1.  
  • 2. What Clients Love A Field Guide to Growing Your Business AUTHOR: Harry Beckwith PUBLISHER: Warner Books DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2003 NUMBER OF PAGES: 282 pages Book pic
  • 3. THE BIG IDEA
    • “ From making a pitch to building a brand, designing a logo to closing the sale, this is a field guide to take with you to the front lines of today’s business battles.”
    • From the best-selling author of the classic “Selling the Invisible” comes another book filled with lessons learned from real-life stories in the current business environment.
      • Designed for the busy executive (and made to fit nicely in your air travel carry-on) this book explores how the little details really matter in the art of keeping a fruitful and long-term relationship with clients.
  • 4. DRAWING YOUR BLUEPRINTS
    • Your possible business: Ask, “What would people love”?
      • Never mind what clients say they want.
        • The truth is they don’t really know what they want! It’s up to you to make them realize that what you have to offer is exactly what they want.
        • No client every thought of the ATM, or Disneyland, or Starbucks. These were concepts created by brilliant businessmen who sensed what clients (a.k.a. people) would love if you gave them a taste of it.
    • Other helpful tips at drawing your blueprints:
      • Ponder over how you would beat your own business if you were in your competitor’s shoes. Then work at eliminating that weakness.
      • Ask yourself “If I could start from scratch, how would I do things differently?”
  • 5.
      • The value of planning is in the process. It teaches you more about your colleagues, clients, and your market.
      • Find the “white hot center”. Every industry has one.
        • This is the key area where influencers who will endorse your product to followers are located.
        • These are the editors whose reviews dictate the trends of the industry.
      • Nike found the white-hot center of running and later on, in basketball.
        • They chose Michael Jordan, who wasn’t even first choice in that year’s pro draft of college players.
        • Nike’s earliest contact with Tiger Woods was when he was playing golf as a freshman in high school.
    DRAWING YOUR BLUEPRINTS
  • 6.
    • Forget the future.
      • A lot of predictions and prophecies don’t come true. People thought TV would eliminate the need for radio. It hasn’t. Plan around what you can predict: what people will love.
    • Stop listening.
      • Male audiences will never admit they shed tears over Remains of the Day. People do not reveal themselves easily. It is up to you to let them see something about themselves that they cannot. When you research on the market, look for what is hidden.
    • Celebrate foolishness.
      • Why do people pay $3.75 for a cup of coffee? Why would people want to watch a weekly show about a dozen people on an island? To see who survives all the backstabbing? Your idea may sound foolish, so it just may work.
    THE 14 PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING
  • 7.
    • Resist authority.
      • Put 8 people in a room and watch how the Alpha personalities take over.
        • If you are an Alpha, learn to keep quiet so the others can air their ideas.
        • Alphas have powerful personalities but it doesn’t mean they have the best ideas.
    • View experts skeptically.
    • Beware of “science” and “the research shows”.
      • It rarely reveals what the clients really love.
    • Mistrust your experience and memory.
      • Sometimes we remember things that never happened. Ninety per cent of eyewitness identifications of crimes are wrong.
    THE 14 PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING
  • 8.
    • Mistrust confidence.
      • Don’t allow other people’s strong convictions to sway you. They use confidence as a tool of persuasion .
    • Avoid shooting for perfection.
      • Strive for professional excellence.
    • Common sense will keep you out of trouble, but breakthroughs require imagination.
    • Embrace impatience.
      • Big organizations suffer from inertia. Keep moving.
    • You never know where the water is until you find it.
      • Spend less time and money on Plan A, and dispatch small teams off in different directions.
    THE 14 PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING
  • 9.
    • The service company (Yes, we all live in the age of services now) that waits for guarantees is doomed.
      • Nothing in business is guaranteed.
      • Past success is no guarantee of a future one.
      • To learn, just keep doing.
    • Search for the investment that will bring greater returns.
      • Keep looking for the one that will increase returns not just by tenfold but a hundred times what you put in.
    THE 14 PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING
  • 10. Forget about the “mission/vision statement”.
    • Most “mission/vision statements” are stuck to a wall in the office with no one really paying much attention to them.
      • Rename your mission to your “Passion”, or “Our Purpose”, “Our reason for coming to work each day”.
      • It can’t just be about making money. A powerful statement attracts clients, inspires employees, and produces results.
      • Go deeper than the mere bottom line.
    • Create and communicate your vision, but rename it. Remember how JFK concretized his vision-mission: “American will put a man on the moon”.
  • 11. Avoid “nice”.
    • If everyone feels comfortable with your idea, chances are it isn’t good enough or bold enough.
    • A distinctive idea will always make a few people feel uncomfortable.
  • 12.
    • People speak honestly when they are on the phone for the simple reason you cannot see them.
    • It is similar to the way people are in a confessional booth.
    • The customer will be more candid on the telephone and you will be more likely to get an accurate insight on your service.
    To get to the truth, get on the phone.
  • 13.
    • Why? Because timeless works, like those by Shakespeare, reveal something about human nature that no business book can ever teach you.
    • Novels reveal what clients love.
      • Examples of classics to read are Hamlet, Macbeth, The Great Gatsby, works by John Updike, and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”.
    To understand business, read Classic Literature.
  • 14.
    • If your business was not specifically conceptualized to be an Internet business like Amazon or eBay, then don’t expect it to suddenly boom the day you upload your site. The Internet is merely an aid and never the answer.
    For nine business out of ten, the Internet is a customer service tool.
  • 15.
    • The Internet gives but takes. Electronic communication will never replace the value of face-to-face contact. The Internet leads us to neglect our relationships. You must become more personal with clients, not less.
    The economy is new, but the people are old.
  • 16.
    • We are living in the age of information and option overload. In the seventies, you only had to choose between a black phone unit and an avocado one.
      • Today, your choices to your phone unit and all its possible functions are infinite: call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, etc.
    • Because the average person’s mind is cluttered with information and options, your message has to be absolutely clear, simple, and visual.
    • Quick information bites:
      • What images would you use to convey your message?
      • Do you create the expectation that you are trustworthy, reliable, and skilled?
      • Does your advertising distinguish you?
      • Are your materials made of better quality?
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 1. Clear Communications
  • 17.
      • Have you mastered the art of the great first impression?
      • Do you fall under a negative stereotype?
      • Simplify everything. “The future is bright.
        • The future is Orange” is a very simple and clear message. At Orange, there is only one number to call for customer service.
        • Clarity and simplicity comforts people overwhelmed by all the information in this world.
      • Do not cold call or send direct mail. It annoys people. Let them hear about your in the papers or on TV. Advertise.
      • Get publicity. One article can go a long way. Editors in local papers are always looking for material to fill up their space. Retain a professional writer with magazine-writing experience. It’s an investment in your public relations.
      • Beware of testimonials. They only work if the person testifying has credibility and authority.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 1. Clear Communications
  • 18.
      • Avoid using words like world class, ISO certified, superior quality . Instead, replace them with proof. Avoid superlatives. Avoid clichés.
      • Use the direct address, “You” in your advertising copy.
      • Be specific.
      • Brevity is the key. People want their information fast and in quick bites. If you cannot describe what makes you different and excellent in twenty-five words or less, don’t fix your copy. Fix your company.
      • Edit your message until everyone understands it.
      • Make your model the Absolut vodka campaign. Simple, visual, implicit, different, and brand-obssessive. Absolut brilliance.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 1. Clear Communications
  • 19.
    • The decline of trust
      • Watergate. Janet Cooke. John DeLorean. Barings Bank. Jim Bakker. Enron and Arthur Andersen.
        • These are just some of the big events that exposed the corruption that exists in society.
    • “ A generation is coming of age in America that doesn’t take the
    • news straight…it sees giant con games everywhere.”
    • -Jacob Brackman, The Put-On, 1971
    • A service company has to win its customer’s trust. Even 5 year-olds know that a sale sign is just put up in a window to make you come in and buy stuff.
      • Make sure your message is honest and modest.
      • Admit your weakness.
      • Sometimes un-selling can be your best strategy.
      • When you admit a weakness, the client tends to believe you and trust you, because you aren’t hiding anything.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 2. The Velvet Sledgehammer
  • 20.
    • How to gain trust?
      • Sell yourself first. Then sell your company, your service, or product. Sell your price last.
      • Cultivate yours - as well as your people’s - relationship skills.
      • Position yourself in every presentation. Studying your prospect’s shortlist will help you.
      • Wielding the velvet sledgehammer translates to “Sell softly.”
      • Just like in any relationship, you can’t hurry it.
        • Two people achieve a strong relationship by reaching beyond boundaries they usually maintain between themselves and strangers.
        • A party moves into the other’s boundary only with the other’s consent.
        • Even together, people must remain separate to thrive. Sell slowly. Don’t cross any boundaries without getting the client’s consent first.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 2. The Velvet Sledgehammer
  • 21.
      • Sell like you date.
      • Perfect your storytelling.
      • Find the Force, or the strongest link in the organization, and sell to that person.
      • Treat subordinates as equals.
      • Sell your presenters before you present, to create a great expectation.
        • This expectation makes a client believe you are good already.
      • Use visual aids, not Power points filled with too much information.
      • Keep the lights in the meeting room on during the presentation.
      • Cut the number of slides.
        • You must speak, not read during your presentation.
        • Edit your slides down to a minimum number of words per slide.
        • Present one thought per slide.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 2. The Velvet Sledgehammer
  • 22.
      • If you use visual aids, they have to be Visual. Have a layout artist or graphic designer with experience help you create a professional presentation.
      • Package bold ideas conservatively, and conservative ideas boldly.
        • Package yourself by wearing a funky watch if you are presenting a conservative idea.
        • Wear a conservative gray suit when presenting a really cutting-edge campaign.
      • Dress honestly and a little bit better.
      • Accentuate the positive. Avoid the negative.
      • Use uncommon ways to say common things.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 2. The Velvet Sledgehammer
  • 23.
    • The Rise of Invisibles and Intangibles
      • Clients are buying a relationship with you. Make your business and your excellence tangible through your name, packaging, and price.
        • Make sure you have a really great name. You need a proper noun. Not a description.
        • Your symbol or logo should be distinctive and instantly recognizable.
        • Your brand has limits. Don’t leap outside of your area if it is one you are well known for already.
        • Try an unusual name, a contradictory name, or a little oddness.
        • To find an uncommon name, take your first set of names and then free-associate.
        • Test your name. Ask 12 intelligent and articulate people from different backgrounds what they think of your initial list of names.
        • Don’t use an acronym.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 3. Blue Martinis and Omaha surfing
  • 24.
        • A geographic name might work.
        • If you are a lawyer, an established architect, designer, and have a very good reputation, use your own name.
        • Yahoo! is a very evocative name. Think outside the box.
    • Checklist for name creation:
      • Is it musical or easy to pronounce?
      • Can you say it without being asked to spell it?
      • Is it short?
      • Is it negative?
      • Is it interesting? Is there a story behind it?
      • Is it sensory?
      • Do a few people dislike it? (A good sign)
      • Does it imply more than one meaning?
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 3. Blue Martinis and Omaha surfing
  • 25.
    • Your package/environment is your service.
      • From the way your people dress, to the letterheads, faxes, and memos you send out, to the space and design of your office restrooms, the environment is what your clients see. The environment is the experience. Make yours exceptional. Here are some examples of great service environments:
        • Restrooms at the Felix restaurant, Hong Kong
        • Cirque de Soleil stage, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas
        • MyExcite customized home page, Exite.com
        • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
        • Priority letters, FedEx.
        • Sephora department store, Paris
        • The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington D.C.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 3. Blue Martinis and Omaha surfing
  • 26.
    • Create opportunities for clients to connect, and this will connect them to you.
      • Have open houses, seminars, and other excuses to gather. People are natural social animals.
    • Service tips:
      • Your clients are buying satisfaction.
      • Always assume your service needs fixing.
      • Nurture every client’s sense of importance.
      • Clients want service from people, not machines.
      • Serve your best customers passionately.
      • Show that you are making time for them.
      • Make use of handwritten, personalized notes.
      • Clients want speed of service.
        • Answer the phone after one ring.
        • Call them back within ten minutes.
        • Design your space so they can find things easily. Cut your service time in half.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 4. Caring Service
  • 27.
      • Master the art of the welcome.
        • Hire a really remarkable receptionist.
        • This is your business front liner who warms up calls before they get to you.
      • Praise all clients. Even past ones.
      • Keep your client’s secrets.
      • Put every promise in writing.
    • Ten Rules of Business Manners:
      • Always wait a second after a person finishes speaking before you speak.
      • Listen with your entire body.
      • Be positive.
      • Speak well of others.
      • Memorize names.
      • Never try to impress. The effort shows and diminishes you.
      • Never make your cell phone conversations public.
      • Praise but never flatter.
      • When in doubt: be kind.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 4. Caring Service
  • 28.
    • The Traits Clients Love
      • Humility. Never praise yourself or criticize a competitor.
      • Generosity/Sacrifice. Give up something and you will get more back.
      • Openness. Tell the truth even when it hurts. Risk yourself to earn their trust, the foundation of a great relationship.
      • Integrity. Integrating words with deeds, promise and performance. Quality is integrity.
    • Clients love comfort.
      • Give clients comfort and you will keep them. A familiar brand makes people comfortable. Clarity comforts. A genuine interest in a client, and your strength of passion in what you do are great sources of comfort to a client.
    • Parting words:
      • Your greatest asset is your passion and belief in yourself. Clients love that.
    FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS 4. Caring Service
  • 29. BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES