Archive for category Business book reviews

Book Recommendation: Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch the Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales

Book Recommendation

From: Dan Beaulieu

6/9/18

Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch the Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales

By Tony J. Hughes

Copyright 2018 Amacon

Price $ 18.95

Pages: 244 with index

A New and Effective Approach in the 21st Century

How do you get to the people who matter? How do you get to the C-Level decision makers when these poor people are literally deluged with request for their attention coming at them from all avenues? From old fashion phone calls to cold calling to social media to Facebook and Linkedin these people are being attacked from all sides,

Mr. Hughes has come up with a series of unique techniques combining social media and traditional methods to get to the right people with the right message using the right techniques.

By using today’s tools of communications with yesterday’s proven strategies the author has created a sales process that followed properly is guaranteed to work.

Covering topics from relationship selling, to creating your own on-line brand, to social listening, getting though to not only CEO’s but board members as well, this important book equips today’s sales people with every tool they will need to make their forecasts and more.

One of the more valuable insights in the book is the section on becoming a trusted advisor, which I personally have always believed is the ultimate goal of any sales person, to earn the customer’s trusted advisor,

As for what is the problem with most sales people, here is some insight from a CEO:

The number one problem with sales people is not having enough in the pipeline…

More root issues are:

  • Enough know-how in driving sales success through old-school high levels of effective activity combined with new school digital engagement.
  • Lack of customer industry knowledge or poor understanding of the client
  • Inability to leverage personal networks and technologies to find the right path for connection with decision-makers
  • Inadequate insight and value narrative needed for senior engagement.

And again, from the book some insight from an executive, and I condense:

  • I only meet people after a warm introduction from someone I know and trust
  • Cultivate multiple stakeholders in my company and educate them on your solution too.
  • Don’t be creepy personal, stick to business Amen to that!
  • Do your research, seeking a conversation with me without doing your homework is unprofessional and shows a lack of respect
  • Know my industry
  • Don’t appear arrogant
  • Take the time to know how I define success
  • Aspire to be a trusted advisor…act in our best interest

Good advice from a person who matters. In this case an executive who has take the time to educate us as sales people on who to work with his company.

This book is filled with this kind of valuable information and insights. But I warn you this book is only for people who are dead serious about being successful, people who are willing to invest a great deal of time and energy in being the best. If that is you, then this is the book for you!

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Book Recommendation: Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges that Defined the Company that’s Disrupting the World

Dan - booksBook Recommendation

From: Dan Beaulieu

6/9/18

Becoming Facebook: The 10 Challenges that Defined the Company that’s Disrupting the World

By Mike Hoefflinger

Copyright 2018 Amacon

Price $ 24.95

Pages: 244 with index

Great insight into one of the world’s most influential companies

Everything you wanted to know about Facebook and we’re afraid to ask…well almost afraid to ask! Okay we’ll let’s start with those 10 challenges. What were they?

  1. Knowing whether your next thing is your last thing.
  2. Add by subtracting
  3. Know your North Star Metric, Magic moment and core value
  4. Everybody wins if you democratize something for customers of all sizes
  5. Speed is a feature
  6. Crossing the chasm is the best defense
  7. Disrupt yourself before someone else does
  8. Some long games are worth playing if you take care of business in the meantime
  9. Employee engagement is everything. Fit to people’s strengths and ignore weaknesses
  10. Care more.

As you can tell these are more guidelines than they are challenges by which I mean they are the answers to challenges that Facebook has had to face over the years.

But besides being an excellent history book into one of the most fascinating companies in the world it is also a great business book. Full disclosure, I wanted to read his book because of wanted to know the Facebook story. Although I thought the story would be interesting I did not think that any of the lessons in this book would apply to me and my own small business or the small businesses that I work with, but I was wrong. The book is filled with valuable lessons that can be applied to any company, no matter the size.

Here are a few:

  • The value of self-disruption. If things are going okay with your company, it takes a great deal of courage to decide when you have to change things, especially if you are taking a risk that the change might not work or be for the better. It still has to happen sometimes.
  • People. It’s all about the people, no matter how technology driven a company is you still have to remember that any business, as in life, is people dealing with people. And when managing people, it is always better to figure out what they do best and work with that.
  • Not all investments in your company are good. Although the money might be tempting, especially when you really need it. But if the people offering to partner with you are out of alignment with you…only bad things will happen, it is often better to move on.

If you want to know about Facebook, this is an excellent place to start. If you want to know about how a company grows to mega-size this is a great story and yes if you just want to learn more about how to successfully run our business, surprisingly this book will work for you as well.

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Book Recommendation:  Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

Dan - books

Book Recommendation

From: Dan Beaulieu

6/12/18

Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

By Anne Bahr Thompson

Copyright 2018 Amacon

Price $ 27.95

Pages: 294 with index

I love this book and want every business leader to read it

The best way to get your people engaged to is give them a company with a mission that is bigger than the company. People, now more than ever want to believe in things that matter, causes that matter. They want to be proud of the company they work for.

A company with values is a company that will last, a company that has brand identity that is known for caring about customer yes, but also about people in general.

This is what this book is all about. Here are some examples:

Businesses that engrain social responsibility and corporate citizenship across their operations will create greater financial and social value over the long term.

Nothing has ever been truer and unfortunately rarer. Most of our companies are in business for themselves and don’t adhere to the values of social responsibility.

Ethical customs follow changing values and an evolving ethos. To remain relevant, businesses need to follow these changes closely and ensure they adapt to shifting needs and expectations of customers. Employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

Like Ikea, all brands need to be restless and consistent in how they present themselves; staying true to their purpose and personality while continuously evolving and raising their standards to reflect changing social values and expectations.

Now, I know what some of your thinking, “I can barely eke out a profit now. I can barely keep my employees engaged and with their focus on the job they are doing. How do you expect me to get involved in all of this greater good stuff?” Or, “this is all good for big companies, but I’m running a little five-million-dollar job shop how can I possibly do the kinds of things recommended in this book?”

I hear you, and as a consultant to many five and ten million-dollar companies, I sympathies. But I also know that getting your company and your team involved in doing good you will create a better company and you will develop a company that will perform better. The reason for that being that the same attributes and values required to have a “Do Good” company, are the same attributes and values required to have a well-run, profitable company filled with engaged, committed and passionate employees.

Here from then book are examples of how Brand Citizenship directly enhances a company:

  • Trust (don’t let me down) improves: Customer service, Product development, Marketing and Branding and Finance.
  • Enrichment (Enhance daily life) improves: Customer service, Customer relationship management, Communications, Product development, Digital technology.
  • Responsibility (behave fairly) improves: Human resources, Corporate responsibility, Sustainability, Supply chain management, Corporate communications/Reputation management, Finance, Legal compliance.
  • Community (Connect me) improves: Human resources, Corporate social responsibility, Digital technology, Market and Brand.
  • Contribution (make be bigger then I am) improves: Corporate social responsibility, Sustainability, Supply chain management, Product development, Reputation management, Marketing and brand comms.

In short, the message is, do all you can to drive your company to Do Good and you will have a good, nay great company in the end.

Don’t just read this book, study it, believe it, practice it and you will not help make a better company, but a better world as well.

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Listen Up Or Lose Out

dan-3Listen up or lose out, is not only the title of this column, its not only the title of a great new book I just came across, but it’s also the best advice that you can give anyone no matter what their field of business is. And, of course it is especially cogent advice for those of in sales.

Looking back over past columns, I see that I have done a many of columns on listening, true intentional listening. But obviously never enough because it is still the number one problem I deal with when I am training sales people. And frankly, I think it is getting worse. People are practicing the at of intentional listening less today than ever before. We are all so in love with the sound of our own voices that we seldom actually stop for a minute and listen to what the other person is saying.

Think of the political situation in this country today for example….er nope not going there, never mind. Let’s instead turn to the art of listening that successful communicators practice.

First of all I would urge you all to run out and buys this book by Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton. I mean run out right now…I’ll wait. That’s how important I think this new book is. Its not only one of the rare books on this extremely important subject, it could be the book on the subject.

The book covers everything you need to know about listening including how to develop the right skills to be a great listener, not an easy task. Here are some of the subjects covered in this book:

  • Knowing when to listen and when to speak: Full disclosure, this is one of the challenges that I face every day, especially on the phone. It happens when I think that the person I am talking has finished saying what she wanted to say and there is a pause, and I take that opportunity to jump in, only to realize she was taking a short break and wasn’t done. Then we have one of those awkward verbal dances filled with, “sorry go ahead.” “No, you go.” “No you.” And that goes on for a while. This happens to me because I am petrified of pauses. I hate the pause, its scares the heck out of me. This book address how to handle the pauses.
  • Asking the right questions at the right time: Listening is also key to a great conversation and then the right questions, the questions whose answers are going to move the conversation forward and lead it to where you want it to go. Obviously, this is a very important tactic when driving a sales pitch.
  • Listening intentionally, instead of thinking about what you are going to say when this person stops talking: Oh, I am guilty of this one. It’s another one I need to work on. Honestly, I think this is the most challenging issue to overcome. We are so busy focusing on what we are going to say next. that we can miss the gist of what the person is saying right now. And, in many cases by not listening intently we can be missing something the person says that could make the answer we are preparing, ridiculous. Example: You are talking to your customer about when she is going to place that next order. While she is talking about all the things her company must consider when placing that order, you are preparing to ask her point blank if she can tell you whether or not the order will be placed this month yet. And while your formulating that question she is saying that the order will be placed next week. When she is done talking, you jump in and ask her when the order will be placed! Busted! That eye-roll you get from her is saying, ‘if you had been paying attention you would have the answer to your question.”
  • Listening like you mean it: When you’re listening intently, really listening to someone your entire being takes part. Your eyes are looking at the person, your body is hunched forward, you find yourself nodding in agreement. Your body is telling that person that you are listening…that you are paying attention.
  • Knowing when the person has more to say but just needs the time to say it: Oh, that dreadful pause again. Relax while your listening. Let a little pause in there once in a while it will be worth it.

Finally, one quick story about when intentional listening and living with the pause paid off. Years ago, I was trying to close a military contract with a customer down in Tampa, Florida. I had been working on this contract for months. The customer was stalling, and I knew there was another supplier nipping at my heels. I had a heard that the other supplier had been to visit this customer only the week before. So, I called the buyer to see what the situation was; and I could tell…by listening like my life was depending on it (because it was)- that he was wavering. He had gone from, “All you have the do is sharpen your pencil a little bit more and the contract is yours.” To now on this phone call he had started wavering. So, I made s snap decision and told him that my pencil was sharp, I would put the finishing touches on my final proposal, send it to him and I would be there Monday to close the deal.

Monday, I flew to Tampa, was there for our meeting at 1:30 sitting across the desk from him. We had discussed the new proposal, He said he liked it but that he would still have to think about it for a few days. I looked him straight in the eye and told him, “no, I flew down here to close this deal, and this is what I am going to do.” I then put my pen, a gold Cross pen, in front of him and told him he needed to sign our contract. And then I sat back and shut up…and he shut up, and we sat there for over five minutes without either of us saying a word, seeing who was going to be able to handle the silence the longest and then he caved. He looked at me, shook his head, said “you &&^%&& and picked up the pen and signed the contract! And that ladies and gentlemen is what can happen when you are not living in fear of the dreadful silent pause.

The book is published by Amacon. It’s called Listen up or Lose Out I urge you to buy. and read it. It’ll be the best twenty bucks you’ve spent this year. It’s only common Sense

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Book Recommendation: Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants

Dan - booksA book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu:

Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants

By Paul Cherry

Copyright 2018 Amacon

Price $ 17.95

Pages: 227 and Index

The one book to read and study if you truly want to know who your customer is.

This is a great book to help sales people learn how to win over their customers and an even better book for helping companies particularly their inside sales people on how to turn their customers into customers for life.

Creating a customer-focused company is all about knowing everything possible about your customers and the best way to find out everything about your customers is to ask them.

Author Paul Cherry who is President and CEO of one of the country’s foremost sales and leadership training organization shows his complete mastery the art of the question in this book. He focused not only on the right questions to ask in the appropriate situations but also how to ask those questions, the right time, the right place and even the right pace of questioning. He makes us realized that questioning is an art, a craft that must be studied and perfected.

Have you ever been in any of these situations?

  1. You’re talking to a prospect and you need to stop talking and get her talking. How do you do that?
  2. You’re in deep trouble with a customer. Your company has really screwed up this time and that customer is really mad. How do you handle that situation with questions that will not only start getting to the heart of the matter and solving the problem but also calm the customer down as well?
  3. Or you have to tell you customer that if that if they don’t start paying you will have to cut them off, or other touchy messages that we in sales get to deliver?
  4. Or having to find out if you are going to get that big order that they are awarding next month, but you need to know now because it is so vital to your company?
  5. Or you know that the buyer is stalling you for some reason but you don’t know why, and its your job to find out why?

Besides demonstrating to the reader how to handle these situations and many more, the author also provides lists of actual questions designed to help you develop your on line of questioning for all of these situations and many more. In fact, just about every situation you can come up against.

Basically, everything you need know about asking questions that not only help you sell but more importantly develop a long-lasting and productive relationship with your customers is in this book.

I would urge anyone interested in their customers and knowing everything about them should read this book. If you truly want to know who’s your customers, this is the one book you should make sure to buy and read.

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Book Recommendation – Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again

dan-3A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu

Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again

By Scott Mautz

Copyright 2017Amacom

Price $24.95

Pages: 246 with Index

An unbelievably entertaining read

This is a fabulous book for when you get those blahs! You know what I’m talking about, those times when you just cannot get out of your own way. When everything you try to do gets stuck in park and you just can’t understand how you ever got anything done in the first place.

This is one of those books you should keep in a glass case with a sign that says, “when you get stuck in a rut break glass and read book.

Scott Mautz has filled each chapter with tips and tools on how to handle the “anti-muses” that show up and put out your spark on initiative. You know the ones: Fear, Boredom, Inundation, Loss of control, Swindling self-belief, Disconnectedness, Dearth of creating, insignificance and Lack of Evocation, I can feel the spark of my initiative to even finish this book recommendation just listing them.

But have no fear, Mr. Mautz deftly, handles each one of these spirit suckers demonstrating techniques to chase them away and move on to more inspiring venues. For handling fear he gives real-life examples of great men like Michael Jordan and Walt Disney who failed miserably only to use that failure as an true inspiration to become stronger and get on the road to success.

For inundation which is really another form of procrastination he shows the ready how to break away from all the causes of putting things off, with particular attention to the ever dangerous tendency towards counterproductive perfectionism.

And when we are overwhelmed by loss of control he demonstrates how to regain that control with e few simple tactics for facing your challenges such as thriving on feedback good or bad and that all important one we all should master embracing change.

The one thing we all should remember is that inspiration is not automatic. None of us has the time or the luxury of sitting around waiting for our muse to show up and inspiration to strike. No instead we have to turn to techniques like the ones outlined in this important book to get our juices flowing again.

The next time you find yourself needing a good swift kick of inspiration this is the book to break into.

The next time someone starts taking control of your life, run don’t walk to the shelf where you keep this book and crack it open.

Whatever you do make sure you do it with Scott Mautz’s new book Find the Fire.

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Book Recommendation – The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain

Dan 8A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu.

The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain

By Victor Prince

Copyright 2017 Amacom

Price $21.95

Pages: 199 with Index

What a story! I didn’t even know about the Camino Way until I read this book.

Then I had to find out how reading about this book and what a pleasant surprise that was. Author Victor Prince uses the backdrop of his own pilgrimage along the Camino Way to give leadership lessons.

All along his thirty-day journey he received like every other pilgrim who takes this journey he stopped to have his Pilgrim’s “Passport” which formally documented and officially marked every step of his journey. He notices that on the back of the passport titled, “Spirit of the Camino” he found seven guideposts for not only the journey but also for all aspects of a life being well-lived. It was on these guideposts that he constructed his very useful and inspiring book.

Here they are:

  1. Welcome each day, its pleasures, and its challenges
  2. Make others feel welcome
  3. Live in the moment
  4. Share
  5. Feel the spirit if those who have come before you
  6. Appreciate those who walk with you today
  7. Imagine those who will follow you

Mr. Prince took these very valuable guideposts and turned them into chapters of the book. Relating first where he was on the pilgrimage in each chapter, talking about his own journey through life as well as the people he meets along the way.

Then as a special treat each chapter ends with what he calls a Camino Leadership Lesson here he applies the guideline to business and yes to life. Here is discusses lessons like, “Identify Hidden Pockets of Value” or “Maximize Recognition” where he demonstrates the value of recognizing people for their contributions.

And finally, he wraps up the book with a summary of lessons learned from Camino Way. The very fact that he ties in a religious experience with a personal experience with a business lesson was surprisingly appealing to me as I hope it will be for other readers.

This book is a true and unique pleasure to read and ponder.Dan 8

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