Archive for category Business book reviews

Book Review: The Sales Survival Handbook: Cold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction- The Real Truth About Sales

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu

The Sales Survival HandbookCold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction- The Real Truth About Sales

By Ken Kupchik

Copyright 2017Amacom Coming out September 21st 2017

Price $17.95

Pages: 185 with Index

A Funny Sales Book

You’ve got to laugh, right? One of the best tools to have in your kit when you’re in sales is a great sense of humor and that’s what this book is all about. Imagine a sales book written by Jerry Seinfeld and you’ll get a good idea of what this book is like. Filled with all kinds of valuable advice including everything from cold calling to handling rejection, the author uses humor to make us laugh at ourselves while learning how to be better sales people.

Mr. Kupchik takes serious subjects and turns them into funny and ironic lessons that you’ll laugh about every time you remember them.

Here are just a few gems from this book:

When having a sales call with a new customer:

Do: Listen intently to the words the customer is using.

Don’t: start speaking in a fake British accent halfway through the conversation.

Or…

When doing research on a customer:

Do: Research the prospect company before contacting…

Don’t Conduct your research by flying a small drone outside the company’s office building.

Don’t: Laugh uncontrollably when you hear the size of their budget

And…

On sending proposals:

Do: Send your proposal in a timely manner

Don’t: Get down on one knee when pitching your proposal

Or

Don’t: follow the customer around in your car after you’ve sent over the proposal.

And here are some tips on choosing then right neighborhood if you are into door-to-door sales:

Don’t go into the neighborhood if the houses all have bars in the windows; most of the buildings are abandoned; and most of the cars are up on cinderblocks

This is one of the most enjoyable business books I have ever read. But don’t get the wrong idea, this book while being fun to read is also full of very good sales advice.

I can truthfully tell you that reading this book will be the most fun you have reading a business book in your entire career.

Look for The Sales Survival HandbookCold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction- The TrutH About Sales when it comes out on September 21st of this year.

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Book Recommendation – The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Day

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu

The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Day

By Kristi Hedges

Copyright 2017Amacom

Price $24.95

Pages: 261 with Appendix and Index

How to be a better leader over all, as well as one who inspires

No matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter where you have been or where you are in your life journey, this book can help you to be inspirational. Look not all of us are inspirational by nature. Most of us are well, just regular people how have lead regular lives. For the most part, we have done nothing dramatic enough to be inspirational just by our very existence. We did no save lives like the pilot Sully. R change the world like Steve Jobs, or walk on the moon like Armstrong. Now we have just lead our lives the best we could trying to help people along the way. If you agree that you are one of the regular people, that you are one of us, then this book is for you. One of the regular people who want to inspire those around us to greatness.

This book is literally a systematic manual on how to be inspirational from showing people how much we care, to intentional listening to encouraging dialoguing this book provides everything a person needs to be an inspiration to those around her.

Ms. Hedges makes the case that to be inspiration is to energize those around us to do things far beyond what they thought they could do. She focuses on honestly in conversation, authenticity in what we say and even how we say it.

Here are the four steps that take people up the “inspire path” as Ms. Hedges calls it. Inspirational leaders are:

Present: Focused on the person in front of them, not distracted, visibly stressed, or beholden to an agenda. They’re open minded and let conversation flow.

Personal: Authentic and real, and listen generously. They know how to find and expand potential.

Passionate: They infuse energy, calibrate it, and manage it as one of their greatest skills.

Purposeful: They are intentional and willing to have courageous discussions about purpose, and role model how to live into their own.

There is even a focused on how to apply these four steps in different situations from a one on one conversation to giving a presentation to a room full of people.

Frankly, I think this is a book about leadership in general, good leadership which in the end does lead to inspirational leadership.

If you are serious about your role as a leader, or even a team member who strives to get the best from your team this is book is a great way to start.

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Book Recommendation – UPSIDE: Profiting from the Profound Demographic Shifts Ahead

dan-3A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

UPSIDE: Profiting from the Profound Demographic Shifts Ahead

By Kenneth W. Gronbach with M.J. Moye

Copyright: Amacon 2017

Pages: 278 with Index

Price: $27.95

Predicting the future through demographics

If you want to know what is going to happen in the future, you can forget the crystal ball and the Tarot cards because all you need is this new book by generational researcher Kenneth Gronbach. The first thing I want to say about this book is that it is readable and interesting. I say that because I was almost turned off to the point of not wanting to read it because of the subject matter which sounded as dry as the Arizona desert, but au contraire mon frere as they say in my culture, this book is actually a page turner. The author takes you through six generations of demographics from the “Silents” those who survived world war two to the baby boomers to generation Xer’s the millennials and beyond. He describes in detail the make-up of these six generations and how they are made up and what their effect is on business both today and in the future.

Beyond that he writes about the various areas of the country showing growth slow-down in the North east and super growth in the south especially North Carolina…and why.

Which what we all want to know isn’t it? We not only want to know the what but also the why.

Probably the best part of this book is when the author shows us the future; like how generation Xer’s are turning the housing market around and how boomers are responsible for the health care issues we are having today because there are so many of them living for so long and needing so much health care.

As a bonus, the author includes brief studies of the rest of the world including Europe, Africa and of course Asia including the projected growth rate of each region.

Honestly, I went from wondering if I should even read this book, to feeling I had to read this book to learn about demographics and how to use them in my business, to my considering this book only the beginning of my study of this all-important subject. If you are serious about the fate of your business, nay the fate of your world then you have to reads this excellent and don’t forget readable book

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Book Review – Time Management (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu

Time Management: (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

By: Brian Tracy

This entry in Brian Tracy’s series is aimed at helping us to be better managers, salespeople, and overall better business people. In this small but powerful volume, Tracy focuses on time management, something on which we can all improve. And what better way to help us with time management than by writing a book on the subject that can be read in one sitting? Like all books in this series, this one cuts to the chase, dealing only in the most pertinent facts, tips, and guidelines without wasting the reader’s time in the process.

As a tried and true procrastinator, I found the chapter on that subject particularly appropriate for me. Truth be known, it was the first chapter I read, even though it’s Chapter 13 and on page 67. Listen to this: “The truth is that everyone procrastinates…but if everyone procrastinates what is the difference between the high producer and the low producer? Simple. The high producer procrastinates on task and activities of low or no value. The lower producer procrastinates on tasks that have considerable value…you have to engage in ‘creative procrastination.’”

In other words, create a triage of the tasks before you and then set them in order of priority. That is simple enough, isn’t it?

And here is another bit of advice we certainly can all use: “Use e-mail as a servant.” Most of us do the opposite; we have become a servant to our e-mail. We even program our devices to set off some sort of alarm when a new e-mail arrives. And then we cannot help but look at that device in case some sort of earth-shattering e-mail has arrived, which is seldom the case, by the way. Instead, Tracy advises that we have set times several times a day to look at our e-mails while we do more important things throughout the day.

Oh, and here’s one that will scare the heck out of you–he recommends deleting all of your e-mails once in a while. Yikes! Here’s what he says: “A busy journalist told the story of going to Europe for two weeks. His e-mail was inaccessible for the entire time. When he returned he had more than 700 messages waiting for him. He knew that it would take him many hours, even several days to go through 700 e-mails. So he took a deep breath and pressed ‘delete all’… and he was right; 90% of the e-mails the he deleted were never repeated, and the ones that he deleted that were important ones were resent within a few days.” Are you ready to give that a try? Think about it.

And then think about buying this book. For just $10, you are going to get all of the time management advice you’ll ever need. And, by spending about an hour with this little volume, you’ll save yourself hours, if not days, of time. Its worth it, don’t you think?

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Book Review – From The Soapbox To The Stage: How To Use Your Passion To Start A Speaking Business

dan-3A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

From the Soapbox to the Stage: How to Use Your Passion to Start a Speaking Business

By: Bill Corbett

I like that the author takes such a step-by-step approach to a subject that many of us find scary, public speaking, and makes us believe that even we can speak for a living. I love that. I admire the way Corbett decided one day that he would become a professional speaker and in the inimitable Nike style, ‘just did it.”

Even though this book is focused on becoming a professional speaker, the information provided could be used as instructional manual to help you achieve your career goal–whatever that might be.

If you think about it, the most important step to becoming a successful speaker is to find your subject; to know what you’re good at, what interests you, and, most importantly, what you’re passionate about.

Chapters in this book address when, how, and why to give free speeches; how to get on the radio and how to get your own radio show, even if you have to pay for air time (I had no idea!); how to make the right connections; and how to use your bully pulpit to become an “expert” in your field.

Do you ever wonder how those talking heads get on CNN to discuss the topics of the day? This book tells you how.

There’s also a chapter about creating your professional credibility by writing an e-book. You have to like that. The author claims you can write and publish an e-book without typing a word. Wondering how that works? If you’re a speaker, why would you want to write when you can “talk” an e-book?

And, finally, there’s a very good chapter on how to write a proposal and what to charge, which is something I personally find challenging at times. If you want to be a professional speaker you need to have this book; if you’re already a professional speaker, there’s plenty you can learn by reading this book. If you’re not a professional speaker, and don’t plan to be one, this book will still help you with whatever your career is. I promise.

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Book Review – Redefining Operational Excellence

dan-4

A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization

By: Andrew Miller

What’s the problem with Lean manufacturing? What’s the problem with Six Sigma? Easy–they don’t include people. They take into consideration only processes rather than people. They are only a small component of operational excellence rather than the entire solution.

According to Andrew Miller in his book, Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization, “Operational excellence is about empowering employees to use judgment on the front lines. But often an organization uses methodologies that preclude having to use judgment. The methodology (Lean or Six Sigma) becomes a crutch.” And to me, said methodology creates a “leave your brains at the door” mentally when it comes to people. And this is why I love this book.

Full disclosure: I’ve always been vehemently against any process methodologies that attempt to “lobotomize” and “robotize” people. I am a great believer in people and the amazing things they can accomplish. I’ve always believed that Six Sigma, Lean, and every other theory-of-the-month ideologies were bad for business so that’s why I am in full agreement with Miller.

When I saw this book come across my desk, my first reaction was, “Here comes the next version–the latest ideology-of-the-month.” But once I opened the book I honestly could not put it down. This guy makes sense. This guy has brought the people to the table, which is what has always been needed.

Miller had me from the very first paragraph when he writes, “Operational excellence is the relentless pursuit of doing things better. It is not a destination or a methodology but a mindset that needs to exist across and organization. Operational excellence is not about perfection or performing activities. It is about dramatic improvements and financial growth.”

I believe that the author has it right when he says, “Fix the process, then implement the technology.” So many times we want to implement new technology into a flawed process. It just doesn’t work. If the basic structure is not sound, technology will only allow you to make “bad decisions faster.” Why don’t people get that?

One of the biggest problems with programs like Lean is that it wants to treat everything as though they are the same. It assumes that the people and customers are the same, which they are not.

“Instead of focusing on standardization, organizations need to focus on customization. Every customer is different and requires a different solution. Organizations need to focus on learning more about their customers and on collaborating with them to provide the best solutions.” And to that I say a big amen and thank you to Miller.

If you agree with what the author is saying in his book, you need to read it to get the facts and strengthen your arguments against the “Leaners” in your organization. If you find yourself not agreeing with his theories, you’d better get out there and get this book right now because it’s critical to you, your career, and your organization that you see the light, and sooner rather than later.

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Book Review – Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

By: Brian Tracy

I have read all of the books in Brian Tracy’s Success Library and found them all equally useful as well as readable and interesting. What I like about his newest book is that everything you need to be a great leader is right here in this very short, but very concise, volume.

From learning how to be a leader:

  • Be action oriented;
  • Have a vision;
  • Have a plan;
  • Know where you are going;
  • Lead by example.

With just a few minutes reading, Tracy allows you to discover all you need to develop into a strong leader.

But hold on–this book is much more important than that. This is what I call a “right-hand drawer book.” It’s the kind of inspiration stimulation tool you refer to again and again as you develop into a true leader.

Here, for example, are Tracy’s four basic steps to becoming a better leader:

  1. Do more of certain things. Do more of those things that are of greater value to you and more important to achieving your results as a leader.
  2. Do less of certain things. At the same time, you must deliberately decide to reduce the amount of time you spend on certain activities that impede your success as a leader.
  3. Start to do those things you aren’t doing that you need to be doing. What are the skills, competencies, or knowledge that you need to succeed as a leader? Identify them and then either acquire them or learn them.
  4. Stop doing certain things altogether. There may be certain activities that are no longer relevant to your goals as a leader…what was once important is no longer important and should no longer take up your time.

From the chapter on how to handle yourself in a crises:

  • Stay calm;
  • Be confident in your abilities;
  • Dare to go forward;
  • Get the facts;
  • Take control;
  • Cut your loses;
  • Manage the crises;
  • Communicate constantly;
  • Identify your constraints;
  • Unleash your creativity;
  • Counter-attack;
  • Keep things simple;
  • Never compromise your integrity; and
  • Persist until you succeed.

I know that many of us have heard and read these things before, but, then again, the truth is the truth and great is advice is just that–great advice. I look at this particular chapter as that fire extinguisher behind the glass you break in case an emergency or, in this case, a crisis.

I can say with one 100% honesty that I’ve used Tracy’s books in this way. I have used them as an emergency tool when I get intoa jam. I just take a deep breath, open my right-hand drawer, and read through the appropriate book until I find something that helps me to find the solution. You should try it…it works.

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