Business Books You Need to Read

You must constantly learn and change to stay ahead of your competition.

Savvy business owners have a regular program to study and learn from the experts.  Many wonderful business books will teach you principles that can help your business prosper.  The books listed below — What Clients Love, World Wide Rave, and Made to Stick — are three of my favorites.  I commend them to you.

Don’t just read these books, incorporate their teachings into your business model.  Study them with a highlighter, pen, and pad of paper close by.  Highlight relevant sections and make copious notes.  Look for true principles and words of wisdom as you read.  Ask yourself, “How does this apply to my business?” and “What changes can I make to better implement this concept in my business?”

These books have the power to change your business.  Read them and incorporate their ideas.  Your business will boom.

What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business, by Harry Beckwith

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I am a huge fan of Harry Beckwith’s book.  Written in short, succinct sections overflowing with great ideas, this book will help you change the way you think about your interactions with your clients and help you stand out from the crowd.

Our modern economy focuses more and more on intangible assets, products, and services.  This emphasis on the intangible — the Invisible, as Beckwith called it in his first book — requires that we change the way we deliver our goods and services.

Because your goods and services are intangible and invisible, your clients often cannot determine whether those goods and services have value.  They cannot, for example, distinguish between a well-written estate plan and a poorly conceived plan.  What they can tell is how they felt when you delivered the service to them.

What Clients Love focuses on taking your client service to a new level.  Don’t be deluded into thinking that your client service is stellar — it’s not nearly as good as you think it is.  Change the way that you think about your interactions with your clients; focus on the relationship from their perspective rather than from yours.  You will be amazed at how many dramatic changesyou need to make.

World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers That Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories, by David Meerman Scott

Speaker, coach, author:  David Meerman Scott does it all.  He understands how to market ideas in the Electronic Era.  You must incorporate his ideas if you want to flourish.

In World Wide Rave, Scott discusses how to harness the power of social media to get other people to drive customers to your virtual doorstep.  And not just any customers, mind you, but customers who already are convinced that they should give you their hard-earned cash for your goods or services.

To get others to flock to your virtual doorstep — to create a World Wide Rave — you must change the way you market.  You must publish “great content online, content people want to consume and that they are eager to share with their friends, family, and colleagues.”  You must accept the six Rules of the Rave, and allow others to freely distribute your ideas.  In short, you must stop thinking about your needs and focus instead on the needs and interests of your target market.

Each section contains a series of questions and challenges that will help you create an environment in which a World Wide Rave can emerge.  You’ll learn how to use stories to get widely distribute your message, realize that Nobody Cares About You or your product, and understand why you must make your message “totally free (and freely sharable).”  Once you incorporate those principles into your business, you can propel your business “to seemingly instant fame and fortune — for free.”

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

We live in a noisy world where it is difficult to be heard over the chatter and commotion engulfing us.  And yet some messages emerge from the noise, stake out a claim, and become memorable and “sticky.”  What separates these messages from the competition?

The Brothers Heath explain how to make your message “sticky,” or “understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior.”  If your message is not “sticky,” then it’s just part of the noise.

You must change your way of thinking and Think Like a Client.  Your needs and your interests do not matter.  If you want your message to surface, you must make it memorable to your intended audience.

You will learn how to make your message “sticky.”  Find and share the core of your message, then get and hold the attention of your audience.  Use concrete examples to get your message across.  Reinforce that message through internal or external sources of credibility.  Your message must appeal to the emotions of your audience, and call them to action.  Use stories to tell people how to act and to give them the energy to act.

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