This is a book about some of the best ideas used in business. Some are simple—sometimes almost embarrassingly so—while others are based on detailed research and brilliant intellect. Most are perennial, as their logic, simplicity, or value will help them endure; while others are, to be honest, rather faddy.
What unites these business ideas is their proven power and potency. They are not only insightful and useful, they have worked: often in a brilliant way or despite great adversity. The ability of the people who conceived and applied these ideas should be applauded.
One word of warning; while these ideas have worked for the companies mentioned at the time they applied them, it is not to say that these businesses will always get everything else right, forever more. They produced a result at the time, but if this book has any general lessons it is that new ideas and energy are needed constantly— in many ways and at varying times—to ensure success.
Both selling and influencing suffer from the similar misconception that success requires you to aggressively or cleverly push a product or idea. This misunderstanding leads to inappropriate behaviors. For example, people can become evasive, “pushy,” and aggressive, or overly talkative and agreeable. Selling and influencing depends on getting behavior right, by moderating openness and assertiveness with warmth and competence. Combined with a great product or brand, this goes a long way to building customer loyalty.
- Deliver customers a consistent (and ideally a “branded”) experience each time they deal with your business.
- Be clear about the value proposition—what you are offering customers.
- Provide incentives for new customers to return and reorder.
- Reward loyalty for established customers.
- Be competitive—what seems like a good deal to you may not match your competitors.
- Make the customer’s experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.
- Reassure customers with a reliable service and product offer.
- Continuously improve the process, based on customer feedback.
- Deliver reliability by working with partners and investing in