Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing Hardcover – Mar 1 1997
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The transformation from a manufacturing-based economy to one that's all about service has been well documented. Today it's estimated that nearly 75 percent of Americans work in the service sector. Instead of producing tangibles--automobiles, clothes, and tools--more and more of us are in the business of providing intangibles--health care, entertainment, tourism, legal services, and so on. However, according to Harry Beckwith, most of these intangibles are still being marketed like products were 20 years ago.
In Selling the Invisible, Beckwith argues that what consumers are primarily interested in today are not features, but relationships. Even companies who think that they sell only tangible products should rethink their approach to product development and marketing and sales. For example, when a customer buys a Saturn automobile, what they're really buying is not the car, but the way that Saturn does business. Beckwith provides an excellent forum for thinking differently about the nature of services and how they can be effectively marketed. If you're at all involved in marketing or sales, then Selling the Invisible is definitely worth a look.
From Library Journal
"Don't sell the steak. Sell the sizzle." In today's service business, author Beckwith suggests this old marketing adage is likely to guarantee failure. In this timely addition to the management genre, Beckwith summarizes key points about selling services learned from experience with his own advertising and marketing firm and when he worked with Fortune 500 companies. The focus here is on the core of service marketing: improving the service, which no amount of clever marketing can make up for if not accomplished. Other key concepts emphasize listening to the customer, selling the long-term relationship, identifying what a business is really selling, recognizing clues about a business that may be conveyed to customers, focusing on the single most important message about the business, and other practical strategies relevant to any service business. Actor Jeffrey Jones's narration professionally conveys these excellent ideas appropriate for public libraries.?Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am the owner of a small service business, so I read these kinds of books not for personal enjoyment, career advancement or writing amazon.com reviews, but to find insight about how to improve my business.
This book conveyed no additional information and when reading it I had a strange deja-vu feeling that many fragments and anecdotes I had already read before. What is worse, the book is filled with anecdotal evidence - someone did that and succeded, someother didn't and failed, but anecdotal evidence is even worse than no evidence, since you don't know the context, the economy, the market and all the conditions that influenced the outcome. Nowadays you can find anecdotal "evidence" to support just about anything. Some of the world oldest men and women are smokers, but surely this does not mean that you should smoke as much as you can.
There are no statistics, no research (the author even tells in one of the so-called falacies to distrust everything that begins with "the resarch shows") no proof whatsoever of anything. Compare this to books like Cialdini's "Influence" or Caples' "Tested Advertising Methods".
The chapters are one or two page anecdotes ending each one with a supposeldy profound moral. For example, "when choosing a name, choose one that sounds well", "find out what clients are really buying","planning is an imprecise art". No advice is given, however, about what makes a name sound well, how to exactly find what clients are really buying, etc. Of course, the typical references to McDonalds, Federal Express and Disney are also there. "Be like them", the author preaches.
A great disappointment after all these stellar reviews here. 1 star is too much.
This is not a <em> "how to" </em> book and hence it does not teach step-by-step marketing or selling technics. Rather it gives numerous examples from industry what one should do promote his/her brand. As many of the points were already known to me, this book only serves to reiterate my beliefs.
I plan to make this book as a compulsory reading for any new persons joining my company so that he/she will realize how much they represent the company to the client. I never believe in miracles or short-cuts to sucess. But, I strongly believe that implementing the tips given in this book will bring success to my business by bringing-in more satisfied customers.
For a while I was reading Geoffrey Moore's Inside the Tornado book, which is also my favorite marketing book along with Crossing the Chasm. I can co-relate many points between Moore's books and Selling the Invisible.
This is a "must buy" for anyone in the service business.
As our economy evolves increasingly into more of a knowledge-based economy books on the marketing of services will become more important. As the title indicates, selling and/or marketing an intangible service is a different process than tangible product marketing. Mr. Beckworth says, "Marketing is not a department" and he's right--it is your front line (sales people) to your CEO and everyone in between. Everyone at your company is involved in marketing your company-and the author makes sure you get the message. Stop wasting time with ploys that don't work. COMMUNICATE with the consumer and you will see increased sales and market share.
This book is not about how to develop a complex marketing design or plan. What it does offer is quick, easy to read "business nuggets" that are a page or so in length. Each observation is a fairly insightful observation about marketing in general but focused towards the service industry. This book is written in a tone that is simple and down-to-earth rather scholarly or academic and was refreshing to read.
As the author writes, most people cannot evaluate the skills of an accountant, or lawyer, or any number of professional services. We often look for tangible proxies that indicate the professional's level of expertise and success (e.g., fancy offices, degrees on the wall, presentation, etc.).
If you read this book in its entirety in one session, you are bound to remember nothing in the sea of facts and tidbits.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Having spent much of my career in the I.T. services sector, I thoroughly enjoy researching other interests and broadening my understanding of topics that can enrich my life and... Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by Roger Koon
The ideas that the author brings up are good, but too often I felt like I wanted more. The second section was irritating. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2004 by tv_funhouse
Selling the Invisible is must reading for anyone who wants to understand what it really means to run a service business. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003 by Amazon Customer
There are several hundred books available on the market about selling. Most of these books are based on tangible products, something the consumer can see, feel and recieve an... Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003 by M. Bennett
Harry Beckwith's techniques in Selling the Invisible actually work. When you are dealing with service-related companies, it can be hard to understand what works and what does not. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003 by Michael Gordon
This book far exceeds the many others that I have read, for a couple of reasons. It is a compilation of what other books state sure but it has some new ideas as well (or at least... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003
Honesty, Professionalism, Trust, Hardwork. Saves you time from sophomoric, expensive attempts to convince your clients they need to do business with you. Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2003 by R. L Saunders
I read this book while interning the summer before my senior year in undergraduate school. It uses stories and antecdotes to show you the obvious, it reinforces facts that you... Read morePublished on May 24 2003
"Selling The Invisible" by Harry Beckwith is a great book for those who market services. Beckwith tells us selling a service amounts to selling a promise. Read morePublished on May 2 2003 by Peter Hupalo
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