I picked this up because it was recommended by Andrew Wilkinson, the creator of Metalab (the company that designed Slack), and the owner of the parent company of Dribbble, Crew, and more. He praised it as a “way to sell more of anything with minimal effort”.
Reading this book feels more like a chore than anything else. The author has some good ideas, but they’re wedged between pages upon pages of repetitious self-help. Still, I’m excited to see if I can glean any actionable information.
Bosses, management, and organization leaders want one thing most of all: solutions to their problems. Solutions that make them look good and help them achieve their goals. They want anyone who reports to them to be a problem solver.
- Customer: one who purchases a commodity or service
- Client: one who is under the protection of another
Think of people you work with as clients – and as dear, valued friends.
The universal selling proposition gets their attention, the risk reversal causes them to buy, and the cross-selling gives them the best products and services to solve their problem. Once you nail those, test variables to raise revenue even more:
- Create a universal selling proposition. You must determine the most powerful benefit or advantage you can possibly offer an existing or future client so it will be totally irrational for them to choose to do business with anyone but your company. To do this, identify what advantage or result your clients want most, and position yourself as having a part of that they’re not getting from competitors. Be very vocal about this so they want to seize that difference.
- Reverse the risk. Your goal is to eliminate as much, if not all, of the risk in the transaction for your client. When you take away the risk, you lower the barrier to action and eliminate the primary obstacle to buying. Agressively let your clients know that if they are dissatisfied, you will give them the money back, re-do the job at no charge, or whatever it takes to demonstrate your total, passionate commitment to their satisfaction.
- Cross-sell. Basically upselling the customer when it’s time to buy. Demonstrate if you have anything else they could get value from, that they could add onto their purchase.
Partnerships. Determine who has a product that’s complimentary to yours, and see if they can refer clients to you. Develop a formalized referral system:
I really enjoy doing business with you, and I’m guessing that you know other people who are, like you, pleasant to work with. Would you mind giving me a referral to another company that might be able to benefit from my services? I’d be happy to give them a free trial.
Direct mail. When people cold call, they’re introducing an idea for the first time. It has to settle in; to be embraced. The sales letter breaks that ground for you.
Always stay on the lookout for opportunities to create wealth. Places to look: problems and changes. Ask questions about how other people use things, do things, sell things, deliver things, service things, make things, compete, and prosper.
You don’t need to be smart to find ideas – just super-logical.
What’s the highest and best use of your time, money, and effort?
Discover breakthrough ideas by combining your knowledge of one field with that of another. Apply models from different industries. Practice by coming up with 30 ideas in 30 minutes related to different areas of your career. Try to think of overlooked opportunities that you’re sitting on right now. You want your mind to always be searching for new ideas.
Create systems to attract new clients, garner repeat clients, and bolster your marketing efforts. These can be simple things like paying attention to how customers find your business, remembering to upsell, calculating the lifetime value of a client, knowing how you’re different from your competition, actively soliciting referral business, creating a system for gathering testimonials, and finding out why people are buying from you and not your competition.
The strategy of preeminence is the ability to put your clients’ needs ahead of your own. It’s “I know you selected the $500 option, but for your needs, you probably only need the $200 one.” Be a problem solver, not a problem bringer.