The Ultimate Sales Machine Summary

Categories sellPosted on

The Ultimate Sales Machine is the legacy Chet Holmes left to help sales staff all over the world, by giving them 12 key strategies to relentlessly focus and execute on, in order to at least double their sales.

Chet Holmes was a selling superstar. After doubling sales for nine divisions of a Charlie Munger company, Chet looked back at what principles and strategies he had used to make it happen.

He then turned those into 65 training products and this New York Times bestseller.

But you read right. “Was”. Unfortunately, Chet died at the young age of 55, after fighting a long and hard battle with leukemia.

His daughter took over the business at only 24 years old – but is mastering the challenge.

Here are the 3 main things I’m taking away from the book’s summary on Blinkist:

  • Offer recurring trainings for your sales staff.
  • Don’t just sell your product, sell the whole store.
  • Shoot for the moon by targeting decision-makers in bigcompanies.

Time to learn how to sell!

Lesson 1: Offer trainings on a regular basis for your sales staff.

Train your sales staff, and train them often.

A lot of companies have sales trainings, but they’re annual events. What’s more, the topic often changes from year to year.

But how can you possibly master the pitch for the upsell from one hour of training?

You can’t.

Chet Holmes uses a great metaphor to makes it clear why training your sales staff on a regular basis is so important.

He says a lumberjack has two ways of chopping more wood:

Spend a few extra hours each day.

Take one hour once a week to sharpen the saw.

Both will lead to the same result, but spending a little more time preparing up front will save you hours later.

It’s the same with sales training. Imagine you had a weekly, recurring workshop to teach the basics, and then would switch to a more advanced topic after 6 months.

Everyone would have plenty of opportunities to sign up and could just go to another workshop in case they forgot something.

This not only gives your sales staff less excuses to underperform, it also makes people feel treated well and taken care of.

Lesson 2: Don’t just sell your product, sell the whole store.

No, I don’t mean you should sell your business to the next investor.

Think back to the last time you came home and said “Honey, you have to check out this store. It’s fantastic!” (long time eh?).

Why did you send your sweetie or friends there? For their awesome chairs? Probably not.

Most likely, it was for the story.

When you’re trying to sell gardening equipment, it’s not your job to just sell 50 feet of hose to the next guy who walks in, it’s your job to sell them the whole brand, story, yourself, store and everything in it.

Tell them about how you build the store from a 1-person army into a proper company. Show them the live turtles that you take great care of in the pond section. Give them advice on how to make sure the hose they buy doesn’t get clogged.

This is called education-based marketing, and it works so well, because it establishes a real connection between you and your customers.

Note: This is the equivalent of content marketing online. Teach everything you know and people will view you as an expert with a great story.

This is what makes the difference between catching the attention of 10% of people (3% who are ready to buy instantly, 7% who are ready to buy eventually), or 50% of people, who can relate to the story you have to tell.

So stop selling gardening equipment, and start selling people the brand that will make their wildest gardening dreams come true.

Lesson 3: Pitch the people who make decisions in big companies.

Remember the whole 80/20 thing? It’s just as true for sales as it is for anything else. Don’t focus your energy and attention on everyone.

Instead of blast mailing every company within a 5 mile radius, just pick out the 10 biggest ones who need what you sell, and put a lot of time and effort into your pitch to them.

Go there, get to know them, meet them.

And when the time comes, talk to the right person.

Yes, your high-pressure cleaner will make the life of the cleaning company’s window cleaners easier. But are they the ones to decide whether they’ll spend the money on some?

Probably not.

Find out who controls the budget, get to know them, and convince them of the benefits, saved time and money of your product.

It’s much easier to spend 10 hours making one new friend at another company, who might buy 300 units, than it is to spend 100 hours talking to every random Joe on the street, trying to sell them a single piece.

Remember: Focus is about saying no.

So say no to a lot of potential clients, and yes to a few influential ones, and you’ll do much better overall.

My personal take-aways

Focus is about saying no. Chet was a karate master. Similar to a quote by Bruce Lee, he said mastering karate is not about practicing 4,000 things, but about practicing 12 things 4,000 times.

This metaphor probably extends to life itself and all areas of it.

That’s what makes this book helpful whether you run sales teams or not. Of course big companies can get more out of it than the solo entrepreneur, but I love how the book holds a bigger message inside.

The Tipping Point Summary

Categories sellPosted on

 The Tipping Point explains how ideas spread like epidemics and which few elements need to come together to help an idea reach the point of critical mass, where its viral effect becomes unstoppable.

Malcolm Gladwell is your friendly, Canadian journalist next door. Much more than that, he’s taken a massive interest in science over the years, and you might know him from a variety of his great talks, books and ideas.

I originally “bumped into him” through his first TED talk about spaghetti sauce. Similar to Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice, Gladwell reveals interesting findings about happiness and choice, and how the two are related (or not).

The Tipping Point is his debut book, and it was a massive hit – not least due to the value it created for businesses and marketers, who now had a first sketch of a blueprint on how to promote their ideas better.

Here are the 3 lessons from the book that will help you spread your own ideas:

Once an idea reaches the tipping point, it spreads like fire.

Three kinds of people are responsible for getting ideas to tip.

Without stickiness, no idea will ever tip.

Ready to infect the masses with your idea? Let’s roll!

Lesson 1: An idea spreads like fire once it reaches the tipping point.

Katniss said it pretty clearly: “Fire is catching.”

So are ideas.

But in order to spread like fire among dry bushes, an idea first has to reach what Gladwell calls the tipping point.

It’s the point of critical mass, where your idea goes from interesting to a few to must-have for everyone.

Take Instagram for example. Yes, they had a lot of growth early on – but it was still steady growth. There was a definite moment though, in February 2012, when all of a sudden, the entire world seemed to need an account.

It’s in this exact moment that Instagram’s user growth curve shoots up meteorically and it becomes the fastest growing social network of all time.

Don’t think virality is limited to the internet though – this phenomenon predates the web. In 1984, Sharp came out with the first affordable fax machine for people at home, and sold a solid 80,000 units in the first year.

Sales rose steadily, but in 1987 completely exploded – by 1990 over 5 million fax machines were in use in US homes.


In 1987, the point was hit where finally enough people owned a fax, so it made sense for the rest of the world to get one too.

Lesson 2: Three kinds of people are responsible for getting ideas to tip.

Why then, do some ideas go big and beyond, and others just never click?

Pareto’s Law is once again at play here, where roughly 20% of the “carriers” cause 80% of the infections with an idea.

Gladwell specifically points out three kinds of people that turn ideas into epidemics:

Connectors – they have a massive social network, with many acquaintances and allow ideas to spread from one social group to the next.

Salesmen  – the boast about ideas they love and their incredibly positive energy is contagious.

Mavens  – they hoard information, in order to be a source of great tips to their network, the people of which they greatly influence with their advice.

If you want your idea to go viral, getting it in the hands of a few of these key players is crucial to hit critical mass.


Lesson 3: If your idea isn’t sticky, it’ll never tip.

It doesn’t matter how many influencers you get to vouch for your idea, or how many testimonials you can collect for the front page of your book – if your book is bad, it’ll never reach the masses.

Gladwell calls this the stickiness factor. It answers the question: “Is your idea memorable enough to make people take action?”

The concept of stickiness was first put to a proper scientific test by the creators of Sesame Street in the late 1960’s.

When testing the show by observing children watching it, they noticed children were quite selective about what they paid attention to, for example toys on the floor or the show on TV.

However, that didn’t influence what they’d remember – the quality of the content did. The kids could only give a few select looks to an educational scene about how to spell the word “cat”, yet still remember the lesson.

That meant unlike adults, children paid attention to TV in order to learn and understand, not to be entertained. As a result the team engineered the entire show around children’s attention, monitoring it meticulously, which ultimately led to the format the show is still in today – humans interacting with fantasy creatures.

The originally planned format, to have puppet scenes separate from human scenes, failed to grab children’s attention and thus, their minds.

Even though this is the last lesson, it’s really the first point.

If you want something viral, you can’t think about making something viral.

Just make something so great, one person who sees it can’t live without sharing it.

Then, and only then, should you start caring about the tipping point.

My personal take-aways

Gladwell’s writing is gripping, he weaves stories and tales and hides baffling discoveries inside them.

I remember distinctly sitting in my armchair at my parents’ house, feeling completely awestruck at the fact that I indeed just yawned 3 times, just because, as Gladwell predicted, I’d read a section about yawning.

That’s the kind of power his writing holds.

A fascinating book.

The Greatest Salesman In The World Summary

Categories sellPosted on

The Greatest Salesman In The World is a business classic that will help you become better at sales by becoming a better person all around.

I’m not good at sales. Never was, never will be. I can speak enthusiastically of all things I believe in, but I’m very bad when it comes to making a targeted effort to close the deal. Luckily, the internet allows us to build careers where we can skip the in-person sales pitch some of us dread so much. And yet, we still need the skill itself.

Being in the middle of launching my first, big product, Write Like A Pro, I thought why not learn from one of history’s best sellers. The Greatest Salesman In The World was first published by Og Mandino in 1968. As opposed to offering sleazy tricks, the book suggests the simplest way to be more convincing in all aspects of life is to become a better person in all aspects of life.

Taking lots of inspiration from Christian spirituality, the book helps you adopt ten valuable habits in ten “ancient scrolls.” It reminds me a bit of The Richest Man In Babylon. Here are my 3 favorite lessons:

The most productive thing you can do to sell stuff is to love other people.

Never give up, but never proceed unprepared.

Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, try to control your emotions.

Regardless of whether you want to become an artist, land your dream job, or actually sell stuff, we all need to master the art of persuasion. Let’s learn how to do it from The Greatest Salesman In The World!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Lesson 1: The best salespeople love unconditionally.

One of my favorite writers about love, Kris Gage, says love is an action, not a feeling. The emotional state of being in love comes and goes, but the choice to love? That’s always available to you. So when Mandino suggests you should “love everything and everyone,” it’s not romantic infatuation he talks about. It means approaching everyone you meet with kindness, appreciation, and understanding.

It’s not hard to see how this makes you a better salesperson because it’s simply a way of improving all your relationships. These relationships and the trust we form in them will determine how willing people are to buy from us. Or to invest in us. Or to hire us. And so on.

Even the people who don’t like you can’t help but be startled when you approach them with love. At the very least, their toxic behavior towards you will eventually fade. How you best adapt this idea is up to you. You could use affirmations, reminders, or a talisman. As long as it reminds you to be kind, it’ll help.

Lesson 2: Always persist, but take breaks whenever you need to.

Mandino was a big believer in taking action. In one of the later scrolls of the book, he repeats the phrase “I will act now” 18 times. The hardest part of sales, maybe in life altogether, is getting rejected. But you never know which attempt is the last time you need to try in order to succeed. That’s why persistence is always a good strategy.

However, there’s one important part of making it work: taking breaks. It’s easy to get inspired when you read motivating words or watch an awesome video, but the process Mandino describes in the books isn’t about brute force. Rather than just always attack, he suggests you pause when you first encounter an obstacle.

In that moment, you’ll notice an urge to give up, to run away. Resist that urge and reframe the obstacle as a challenge. Once you’ve done that, you can try tackling it. If you fail, you can simply retreat to that initial state, observe from afar, recover your energy, and try again with a new, positive frame of mind.

Lesson 3: Control your emotions in everything you do.

The two big components of success in anything are self-awareness and emotional control. If you know how you function and how to best manage your impulses, it’s gonna be hard to stop you. But if you constantly react based on your feelings, you’ll have a hard time.

The sales example here is the frustrated door-to-door salesman, who blows his last appointment of the day because he hasn’t sold anything before. If you can’t contain your anger, you’ll throw it in someone else’s face and whatever you hoped to gain from them is gone. This is also how relationships fail, how business deals fall through, and how athletes lose the match.

To control your emotions, you must learn to recognize them as they arise, then use your thoughts and actions to balance them. When you’re angry, find compassion, when you’re sad, remember a joke, when you’re self-conscious, speak up, and so on. If you realize an emotion is becoming excessive, think of an appropriate counter-reaction, then deploy it.

Once you can do that, you won’t just be better at sales, you’ll also live a happier, calmer, more contented life.

My personal take-aways

If The Greatest Salesman In The World feels to spiritual for you, remember that it was written some 50 years ago. Back then, Christianity’s influence in the Western world was much bigger than it is today. That said, I think all religions have things to teach us. If you can look past certain terminology and concepts, you’ll find there’s a lot to learn from this humble and noble approach to selling.

The Art Of Social Media Summary

Categories sellPosted on

The Art Of Social Media is a compendium of over 100 practical tips to treat your social media presence like a business and use a bottom-up approach to get the attention your brand, product or business deserves.

Guy Kawasaki is a name that rings a bell for almost anyone. Yet, most people don’t know why he originally became a public figure.

In 1983, Guy joined Apple, and became their chief evangelist, responsible for the marketing of the Macintosh at the time. As an evangelist, it was his job to spread the word about the Macintosh through articles, talks, speeches, demonstrations and presentations.

In this way, Guy created a base of incredibly loyal fans and customers, who spread the word as much as they could on their own, thus generating huge network effects.

Over the years he’s become an angel investor and expert in social media, as he was involved in many platforms early on. The Art Of Social Media is his practical guide to helping people succeed in this industry.

Here are 3 very actionable lessons for your own social media presence:

Treat your social media with professionalism.

Provide content your fans want to see, not only what you want to create.

Let your various accounts talk to each other for cross-promotion effects.

Ready to become a social media maverick? Let’s do this!

Lesson 1: Treat your social media presence like it’s a business.

Why does your softball team never win and make it to the top of the league?

Because it’s your hobby.

Be honest. You don’t take it seriously. You want to go to softball, hang with friends, throw some balls, and drink a few beers afterwards. That’s okay.

But then you shouldn’t complain about never winning. If you want to win, you’ll have to start training seriously. Double practice, show up early, stay late, round up the team, and really focus on ironing out those mistakes.

Yes, whether in sports, or in social media, if you want to succeed, you’ll have to treat it as if you’re trying to go pro.

So remove your WhiskeyWilliam handle, drunken party profile pic and stop posting jokes about your mum-in-law.

Use your full name (for example my website is, so people will remember my name and start googling it), make sure your picture clearly shows your face and you smile, and start posting things that are relevant to the people you want to connect with eventually.

Lesson 2: Give your fans content they want to see, not only what you want to create.

Speaking of content, most people use their Facebook profile like it’s a megaphone for their opinions.

It’s not.

You’re better than that.

Who cares about yet another rant about Donald Trump, or what you think of the latest Miley Cyrus scandal? Exactly, no one. Just like you don’t read that stuff when other people post it, no one will read yours, if you do the same.

That doesn’t mean you can’t say what you think on social media, but make it a mix.

Give your opinion on things that matter. For example if you want to establish yourself as an Apple expert, give detailed reviews of specific features of the latest iPhone and why you think they’re good or not.

In addition to your own reviews, share things with people they want to see or learn about.

You can find out what people are already discussing with tools like Buzzsumo, which show you the most shared articles on any topic, and then re-post those and start talking about them with your fans.

Don’t just spout off opinions. Mix and match your own unique perspective with content your audience wants to see.

Lesson 3: Let your different accounts talk to each other for cross-promotion.

First of all, when I say different accounts, I don’t mean 10. I mean 2, or maybe 3. We’ve all been there. We signed up for 10 different platforms and ended up so overwhelmed with maintaining them all, that we eventually dropped all but 3.

If you’ve already got that behind you, then good, let’s work with the 3 you’ve got.

If you’re just starting, avoid this mistake. Pick 2 and be done with it.

Facebook and Instagram. Twitter and Snapchat. Youtube and a blog. It doesn’t matter. Have 2 accounts on social media platforms you like, and then drive your audience from one to the other.

I see this all the time on Instagram these days. Someone posts a video announcing that they’re gonna be sharing something on Snapchat. If you want to find out, you have to follow them there, and vice versa.

You can send people to your blog from Twitter, and people to your Twitter from your blog. Use every chance you get to cross-promote yourself and you’ll build your audience a lot faster.

My personal take-aways

Everyone is a media company. The cost of starting to market to an audience is zero. You can start a TV show today, thanks to Youtube, self-publish a novel, thanks to Amazon, release your own music on Soundcloud, or post your photographs on Instagram.

Self-branding is real. Whether you like the term “personal brand” or not, people are making hundreds, thousands, in rare cases even millions of dollars through social media, because they jumped on the content train early.

The best part? All of these platforms just get more valuable as they get bigger. Yes, you’ll have to work to stand out, but that’s always the case.

At 1.5 years old, Guy’s book is already a bit outdated, but the fundamentals remain the same. Many of his tips apply today, and if you’re a social media newbie, it’s a great and light read with a lot of return for your money.

Start with Why by Simon Sinek: Notes

Categories sellPosted on

1-Sentence-Summary: Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s mission to help others do work, which inspires them, and uses real-world examples of great leaders to show you how they communicate and how you can adopt their mindset to inspire others yourself.

Simon Sinek’s first TEDx talk from 2009 is now the 3rd most watched TED talk of all time, sitting at well over 25 million views. I first came across it in 2012 and was instantly hooked on the idea.

The reason his mantra is so magnetic is that it’s incredibly simple, yet very universal – many of history’s most inspiring leaders seem to have internalized his idea of the golden circle and communicate it the right way.

Here are 3 lessons you should take away from Start With Why:

  • If you want to inspire others, always communicate your why first.
  • Excited employees are the best resource for any business.
  • You don’t need sleazy sales tactics when you start with why.

Buckle up, it’s about to get inspirational!

Lesson 1: If you want to inspire others, always communicate your why first.

This is Simon’s key idea in a nutshell: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Every company in the world knows what they do, which is why it’s the first thing they tell people about. But rationale is a weak way of trying to get us to make decisions, probably the weakest of them all.

That’s because emotions trump reason every time. When we make a decision based on a strong why, we own it.

Only when we know why we do things, will we feel a sense of belonging, and that’s why it’s a much more powerful way of getting us to decide.

Once we are sold on the cause of an idea, we’ll go above and beyond to support it, with our money, with our time, and in the cases of some movements, even with our lives.

Great leaders and companies naturally get this right by starting all communication with why they do things, eventually followed by how they do things, until finally revealing what it is they actually do.

Apple is a great example. First they tell us why they’re here to shake things up, then they tell us how (with easy-to-use, beautifully designed products) and finally we find out what they make: computers, phones, tablets and mp3-players.

By the time they get to their what, we’re long sold on their cause and are ready to support them in every way we can.

If you want to inspire others, start by telling them why you do things, instead of what you do, and you’ll see a massive change in engagement.

Lesson 2: The best businesses are built by excited employees.

Which business wouldn’t want their employees to go above and beyond for the company’s success?

The way you do it is by building your business around a cause, and then assembling people who share your why.

Instead of relying on big paychecks, threatening deadlines or highly qualified graduates, look for the people who are already motivated by the same reasons as you are and inspire them even more.

Who would you rather have working for you?

Excel pro Johnny, who’s only here to collect his consulting fee, or Lisa, who needs some time to learn, but wants to see the world change in the same way you do?

Hire people for their cause, not their craft, and watch your business bloom.

Lesson 3: When you start with why, there’s no need for sleazy sales tactics.

Why do companies use sales funnels, red discount signs, limited time offers, and social proof to trick you into buying their products?

Because they work!

But sadly, these kinds of psychological manipulations are just as short-lived as the joy these businesses get from making yet another sale.

They don’t create trust, but evoke skepticism and they sure don’t create trusting or loyal customers.

When you start with why and just communicate from the inside out, you’ll build a group of customers that trust you, true fans, 1000 of which can make your business last a lifetime.

They’ll always prefer the product of their favorite creator or company over cheaper or even better solutions, because they believe in you and your why.

So don’t waste time with sleazy sales tactics, spread your why and let true connections follow.

My personal take-aways

Simon’s TED talk made me question a lot of things, and is one of the many bits and pieces that got me started on the path I am on today – towards freedom and work I’m passionate about.

So first of all: go watch his talk – it’ll change your life or at least your perspective on it.

After reading the summary of Leaders Eat Last already, this had to get a re-run. The set of blinks is short, and I’m really curious to see more of the examples that were used there and in his talk, I’m very much inclined to get the book. He also offers a course, which looks interesting and includes a hard copy of the book. If you want to see Start With Why in action, look at the intro video of the course – Simon is a master of communicating his why

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Print | Hardcover | Audiobook

Start with Why Summary

The Book in Three Sentences

The ability to inspire those around you and to achieve remarkable things starts with WHY.

Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why.

Those who start with WHY never manipulate, they inspire.

The Five Big Ideas

Your WHY is your purpose, cause or belief.

Every inspiring leader and organization, regardless of size or industry, starts with WHY

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Knowing our WHY is essential for lasting success and the ability to avoid being lumped in with others.

When your WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty, and inspiration that helped drive your original success.

Start with Why Summary

Great leaders are able to inspire people to act. And those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained.

“Most businesses today are making decisions based on a set of incomplete or, worse, completely flawed assumptions about what’s driving their business.”

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

“Though positive in nature, aspirational messages are most effective with those who lack discipline or have a nagging fear or insecurity that they don’t have the ability to achieve their dreams on their own (which, at various times for various reasons, is everyone).”

“Peer pressure works not because the majority or the experts are always right, but because we fear that we may be wrong.”

“If a company adds too many novel ideas too often, it can have a similar impact on the product or category as the price game. In an attempt to differentiate with more features, the products start to look and feel more like commodities. And, like price, the need to add yet another product to the line to compensate for the commoditization ends in a downward spiral.”

“Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or a better price to continue doing business with you.”

For transactions that occur an average of once, carrots and sticks are the best way to elicit the desired behavior.

Every single company and organization on the planet knows WHAT they do. Some companies and people know HOW they do WHAT they do. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do.

By WHY, Sinek means what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?

Every inspiring leader and organization, regardless of size or industry, thinks, acts and communicates from the inside out.

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

When communicating from the inside out, the WHY is offered as the reason to buy and the WHATs serve as the tangible proof of that belief.

“Knowing WHY is essential for lasting success and the ability to avoid being lumped in with others.”

“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.”

“When a WHY goes fuzzy, it becomes much more difficult to maintain the growth, loyalty, and inspiration that helped drive the original success.”

Instead of asking, “WHAT should we do to compete?” you need to ask yourself, “WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?”

“No matter where we go, we trust those with whom we are able to perceive common values or beliefs.”

“We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.”

“Companies that fail to communicate a sense of WHY force us to make decisions with only empirical evidence.”

“Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.”

“If a company does not have a clear sense of WHY then it is impossible for the outside world to perceive anything more than WHAT the company does.”

“When the WHY is absent, imbalance is produced and manipulations thrive. And when manipulations thrive, uncertainty increases for buyers, instability increases for sellers and stress increases for all.”

“For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs.”

“Only when the WHY is clear and when people believe what you believe can a true loyal relationship develop.”

“The goal of business should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have. It should be to focus on the people who believe what you believe.”

“When we are selective about doing business only with those who believe in our WHY, trust emerges.’

“Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.”

“When employees belong, they will guarantee your success. And they won’t be working hard and looking for innovative solutions for you, they will be doing it for themselves.”

“What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good fits to join their organizations—those who believe what they believe.”

“Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.”

“The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.”

“If the people inside a company are told to come to work and just do their job, that’s all they will do. If they are constantly reminded WHY the company was founded and told to always look for ways to bring that cause to life while performing their job, however, then they will do more than their job.”

“When people come to work with a higher sense of purpose, they find it easier to weather hard times or even to find opportunity in those hard times.”

“Energy motivates but charisma inspires. Energy is easy to see, easy to measure and easy to copy. Charisma is hard to define, near impossible to measure and too elusive to copy. All great leaders have charisma because all great leaders have clarity of WHY; an undying belief in a purpose or cause bigger than themselves.”

“Charisma has nothing to do with energy; it comes from a clarity of WHY.”

“Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes.”

When a WHY is clear, those who share that belief will be drawn to it and maybe want to take part in bringing it to life.

“Don’t forget that a WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief and WHATs are the results of those actions.”

“For every great leader, for every WHY-type, there is an inspired HOW-type or group of HOW-types who take the intangible cause and build the infrastructure that can give it life.”

“For a message to have real impact, to affect behavior and seed loyalty, it needs more than publicity. It needs to publicize some higher purpose, cause or belief to which those with similar values and beliefs can relate. Only then can the message create any lasting mass-market success.”

“Clarity of purpose, cause or belief is important, but it is equally important that people hear you.”

“For a WHY to have the power to move people it must not only be clear, it must be amplified to reach enough people to tip the scale.”

“A clear sense of WHY sets expectations. When we don’t know an organization’s WHY, we don’t know what to expect, so we expect the minimum—price, quality, service, features—the commodity stuff. But when we do have a sense for the WHY, we expect more.”

“A symbol cannot have any deep meaning until we know WHY it exists in terms bigger than simply to identify the company.”

“For a logo to become a symbol, people must be inspired to use that logo to say something about who they are.”

“If WHAT you do doesn’t prove what you believe, then no one will know what your WHY is and you’ll be forced to compete on price, service, quality, features and benefits; the stuff of commodities.”

“It is not just WHAT or HOW you do things that matters; what matters more is that WHAT and HOW you do things is consistent with your WHY.”

“If a company tries too many times to “seize market opportunities” inconsistent with their WHY over time, their WHY will go fuzzy and their ability to inspire and command loyalty will deteriorate.”

“Achievement comes when you pursue and attain WHAT you want. Success comes when you are clear in pursuit of WHY you want it.”

“For passion to survive, it needs structure. A WHY without the HOWs, passion without structure, has a very high probability of failure.”

“If you give people the right tools, and make them more productive, then everyone, no matter their lot in life, will have an opportunity to achieve their real potential.”

“When people know WHY you do WHAT you do, they are willing to give you credit for everything that could serve as proof of WHY. When they are unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context.”

“Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”

“There is a difference between running with all your heart with your eyes closed and running with your all your heart with your eyes wide open.”

“When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.”

“What if we showed up to work every day simply to be better than ourselves? What if the goal was to do better work this week than we did the week before? To make this month better than last month? For no other reason than because we want to leave the organization in a better state than we found it?”

Recommended Reading

If you like Start with Why, you may also enjoy the following books:

The Dip by Seth Godin

Drive by Dan H. Pink

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Buy this book

Print | Hardcover | Audiobook

Purple Cow Summary

Categories sellPosted on

Purple Cow explains why building a great product and advertising the heck out of it simply doesn’t cut it any more and how you can build something that’s so remarkable people have to share it, in order to succeed in today’s crowded post-advertising world.

Gary Vaynerchuk has a fair point when he simply introduces Seth Godin as “the legend” on his show. You know you are one when you can type in just your first name into Google and your own blog shows up.

Seth Godin caught the magnitude of what the internet would turn into from day one, and boy, was he right. His first startup Yoyodyne, which used giveaways and contests and games to market companies to online users back in 1995 (can you believe this?) was eventually acquired by Yahoo in 1998 for $30 million and Seth got a fancy new job as Director of Marketing there.

Even before, but especially after quitting that in 2000, he’s created a plethora of companies, written 18 bestselling books, and owns the number one marketing blog in the world, which counts 6,000 posts.

Here are 3 lessons from this particular masterpiece of his:

We live in the third era of advertising, where marketing is mainly done through word-of-mouth.

Not taking risks is riskier than taking risks.

If you want your product to succeed, focus on early adopters as your first customers.

Ready to make your marketing remarkable? Here we go!

Lesson 1: Today marketing is mainly done through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Seth walks us through the history of advertising and says there were three distinct periods.

Before advertising was way back in ancient times, when people could only spread the word about great deals with their mouths.

For example in ancient Rome, when one of the vendors on the market sold particularly good fish, everyone who bought one would of course tell all their friends and family. Likely, the next time they’d go to the market, they’d visit that same vendor.

During advertising was the time during the 18- and 19-hundreds, when advertising seemed to work like magic and the only limit to how much you could sell through it was how much you were able to buy. Billboards, ads in magazines, TV commercials, they all fall into this category.

But by now we’re in the era after advertising. Consumers completely ignore ads now and are already blind to banner ads online. Unless they’re looking for something specific, for example a car, people won’t look at car ads.

In the era we are in right now, we’ve gone back to word-of-mouth marketing, only that the word is now exchanged online, which makes news about good and bad products spread a lot more quickly, thanks to social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Lesson 2: Not taking risks is riskier than taking risks.

Because we live in a post-advertising world and the internet is such a noisy place, you have to be truly remarkable to stand out – like a purple cow among brown, black and white cows.

Seth calls this remarkable marketing and without it, your product is doomed to fail.

That’s why the riskiest thing you and your company can do right now, is to not take any risks at all.

Following the trends and trying not to make any noise, won’t make you stand out, it will make you invisible.

For example, Ford is a steady company, but they’re not very innovative. They do what they know to do, again and again, which is why their stock price has merely changed in 10 years. They’re a boring company.

Take Porsche, and you see a company that’s always at the edge. In 2013, Porsche took a massive risk with the 918 project.

They built a car with hybrid technology, which they’d never done before, the car cost eight times as much as any of their normal models, and they limited production to 918 units.

But what they built was truly remarkable, the car caught major attention for it’s space-style design and also set an all time record on the Nurburgring.

The car completely sold out.

It’s your choice.

You can never take risks, and never build something that’s so great everyone will eventually want it, or you can work at the edge, occasionally fall, but rise all the higher in the long run.

Lesson 3: If you want your product to successfully reach the masses, focus on early adopters first.

When I hear the word early adopters, I always have to think of Simon Sinek and his talk.

The gist of it is that you need to communicate why you do things before you tell people what you do, because that’ll help get your product into the right people’s hands.

In both Seth’s and Simon’s case, these people are called early adopters.

Traditional marketing shoots its advertising right at the majority of people, when a new product comes out. The mistake with this is that the majority isn’t ready for it yet – they want a proven product, not some new gimmick.

Instead, build your product in a way that makes it attractive to innovators and early adopters, the tech geeks, the people that stand in line for 24 hours to buy an iPhone, and let them spread the word.

When you do this and make sure that your product is easily shareable, you’ll make sure your product eventually reaches the masses through diffusion, and they won’t turn you down at the door.

My personal take-aways

You can’t possibly comprehend Seth by reading one summary, watching one talk, or even reading one book of his. He describes himself as a lifetime of projects, and I think he’s quite spot on.

I like the inherent call to greatness in Purple Cow, it really carries a “get up and do something great” vibe which resonates well with me.

Considering this book is from 2003 is mind-boggling, a lot of ideas from it still haven’t reached the masses today – but they will – because just like his advice, his book is – remarkable 🙂

Pitch Anything Summary

Categories sellPosted on

Pitch Anything relies on tactics and strategies from a field called neuroeconomics to give you an entirely new way of presenting, pitching and convincing other people of your ideas and offers.

Oren Klaff had to make quite the journey to arrive at the insights he presents in this book. After devouring every book on marketing, blog post and online training he could find, even taking on a position as an analyst with a billionaire, and still not having found what he was looking for, he eventually discovered neuroeconomics.

This branch of psychology and science is entirely dedicated to studying how the human brain makes economic decisions and it provided him with the material he needed to well…pitch anything.

As a result, he came up with a way to sell stuff that’s not busy throwing facts at our rational computing software, but that instead focuses on the very irrational, basic principles our ancient brains rely on.

Here are 3 lessons to help you pitch and sell anything:

  • Your pitch must speak to your audience’s neanderthal brain.
  • Make yourself the prize.
  • Use multiple so-called frames to trigger a gut decision inyour favor.

Whether you’re in baseball, singing, or selling, this’ll teach you the perfect pitch! Actually, maybe not for baseball or singing – but for presenting yourself as an MLB or Hollywood star for sure 🙂

Lesson 1: Make sure your pitch speaks to your audience’s ancient (kinda stupid) brains.

Our brains as they are today have evolved in three stages, leaving us with three levels to process stuff on.

The oldest one is what Oren calls the croc brain (short for crocodile), which is stupid, but efficient at keeping us alive. It reacts to new, exciting and potentially threatening cues in our environment and can trigger strong emotions. Seth Godin calls this lizard brain. If you have a freeze, fight or flight response to something, your croc brain is in charge.

The midbrain developed next, which helps process more complex visual and auditory information, enabling us to have social interactions with others. It also regulates complicated bodily functions like sleep and temperature.

Our neocortex was the very last part to develop and it’s what’s made the tremendous progress of civilization of the past 100 years possible. This part of your brain is in charge of abstract thinking, analyzing complex situations and logical reasoning.

When you’re pitching someone, you usually try to explain all these awesome, but complex features of what you’re selling. You’re using your neocortex to communicate – but this isn’t where your message first lands. Your target will first pick up whatever you’re presenting with their croc brain, which is why what you say must first of all be simple.

If you’ve ever been hit with a 180 page slide deck starting with complicated graphs and instantly zoned out, you know this is true. Instead, make sure you bring something new, exciting and positive to the table, so the croc brain will pass on the new inputs to system 2.

Lesson 2: Turn yourself into the prize, instead of chasing your target.

Once you have attention, it’s time to convince. And do you know what’s the most convincing? Someone who doesn’t try to convince us. If you can position yourself as the prize instead of the contestant, you’ve already won (pun intended).

This means showing your audience that while you want to work with them, you’re not desperate to sell and don’t depend on anyone. Part of this is to qualify your customers – why should you do business with them? What do they have to offer to you in exchange for your awesome product or service?

Manufacturers of luxury goods often do this by limiting units of handbags, or serving only a very small group of people. Car makers do a good job at this too. For example, even if you have the cash you can’t just walk into your local dealership and buy a Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, or even an M4 GTS. You need a pre-existing relationship with the company and in some cases have to agree to not sell the car for a while, have it serviced regularly, etc.

Don’t come across as someone who’s desperate for another sale. Know your worth and become the object of desire.

Lesson 3: To get people to make a gut decision in your favor, use multiple frames.

A core concept of Oren Klaff’s philosophy are so-called frames. You can think of them as lenses, through which we view any situation, and when people come together, frames collide, with one eventually winning over the other.

If you can get your audience to see the world through the same lens as you, you win. To do this, Oren suggests frame-stacking: throw multiple frames into your pitch to make your point of view strong.

For example the prize frame mentioned above (“We’re not sure we can sell you one of these cars, we only have so few, what will you do with it, if we decide to sell to you?”) can be combined with an intrigue frame – a compelling story (“During the development of this car, I rode shotgun for some Nürburgring laps, and I can tell you that breaking the 7:30 mark felt unlike anything I’ve witnessed before!”).

Slap on a time frame (“We expect this to sell out by next month.”) and you’re likely to trigger something called hot cognitions.

This simply means your audience will make a gut decision in your favor. We hardly ever wait for all the information before making a decision. We usually go with our intuition and then justify it later. Frame-stacking is a great way to achieve just that.

My personal take-aways

A lot of powerful stuff, and I haven’t heard much of this before. I like that Oren came up with his own terminology for a lot of this stuff. I don’t agree with everything in this book, some of it is downright manipulative. It’s a sales book, so that’s to be expected, but still. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to learn here, not just for actual selling but also for presenting your ideas in general – and that’s something we all need to do in today’s world.

Permission Marketing Summary

Categories sellPosted on

 Permission Marketing explains why nobody pays attention to TV commercials and flyers anymore, and shows you how in today’s crowded market, you can cheaply start a dialogue with your ideal customer, build a relationship over time and sell to them much more effectively.

Seth Godin is no stranger here on Four Minute Books. In February he made his debut on here with Purple Cow. Now, he’s back (and you can expect quite a lot more from him).

Permission Marketing is a book that talks about today’s common marketing practices: getting permission to market to your audience, for example via an email list, and then building a relationship, before eventually making a sale.

The staggering part is the year the book was published in: 1999. Once again, Seth caught the wave early, to say the least.

The lessons from the book are still as rock solid 17 years later. Here are my favorite 3:

  • Ads that rely on interrupting people are dead.
  • By giving people a chance to volunteer their attention, youend up with a much more targeted customer group.
  • The internet makes permission marketing extremely easy, soget started!

Do we have permission to take off? Great!

Lesson 1: Ads that rely on interrupting people are dead.

Man, looking back, marketing in the 1950’s must’ve been a dream. Color TV became available on a big scale and people’s eyes were glued to the tiny boxes in their living rooms.

This era and the following 50 years were mostly coined by what’s called Interruption Marketing. It works exactly like it sounds. As a consumer, you’re being interrupted in whatever you do and told: “Hey! Watch this soap commercial now!”

Why did it work so well for so long? Because peoples’ attention was already there. When you’re watching Little House On The Prairie anyway, you might as well sit through the 5 minutes of soap, cooking and car commercials.

Huge companies like Procter & Gamble used interruption marketing for decades to target as many people as possible. Whether they were a good fit for their products wasn’t important. If you reached enough people, you’d make enough sales.

But not anymore. Interruption marketing is dead. There are ads plastered on supermarket floors, car roofs, gigantic walls and bus stands, and we see…none of them.

We’ve long crossed the point where huge companies market so much to us, that our brains have decided not to pay attention to any of it, because it’s too much information to even filter.

You can save that money you were going to spend on posters and flyers, Seth has a better idea.

Lesson 2: Give people a chance to volunteer their attention and you’ll build a much better customer base.

We now live in the age of Permission Marketing. Not only does it sound a lot nicer, if done right, it’s also much more effective than the old ways. Here’s how it works:

You invite people to learn more about your product by making a unique offer.

You start talking to the people who accept your invitation on a regular basis.

Once you’ve established a relationship, you can ask for a sale.

If you know your marketing 101, you’ll now instantly think of email marketing, but that’s by far not the only use case, just the most popular one. For example, you could do permission marketing in a TV commercial by describing your product and then inviting people to learn more on your website, call a phone number, or send you an email.

You’re still making the initial contact, but then you put the ball into the customer’s hands and say: “Your turn.” This empowers people. Instead of being forced through 30 seconds of airtime, they now get to choose. They can contact you and take you up on your offer, or not.

The reason this makes your marketing 10x as effective is that the people you actually end up talking and trying to sell to are much more likely to buy from you, because they expressed interest voluntarily.

When people give you their contact information voluntarily and tell you it’s okay to send them more, that’s when you know you have permission to market.

Lesson 3: Permission marketing is free and easy, thanks to the internet, so what are you waiting for?

With permission always comes a mission – you have to fulfill your promise! If you said you’d give them a 10% coupon, give them a 10% coupon. If you promised an ebook, deliver the ebook.

Thanks to the internet you can now make and deliver on your promises 24/7/365. Best of all, it’s free, or costs a few $ at most.

Take the homepage of Four Minute Books, for example. The promise is simple:

Each Saturday I’ll send you 7 new book summaries, so you can learn more in less time.

That’s it. No more, no less. And that’s exactly what you’ll get. For the past 3 months, I’ve sent out an email every Saturday (except one). If you’ll give me permission, I’d love to send them to you too, tomorrow’s the next issue.

People can go to that page, sign up, receive their bonus, and get the next round of summaries whenever they want. Whether I sleep, work, or eat, people can give their permission at any time.

Sending messages at scale has never been cheaper, with social media and services like Mailchimp, which lets you build an email list of up to 2,000 people and talk to them regularly for free.

Your customers can also reach you a lot easier, all it takes is a click on the response button and soon, you’ll have built a solid relationship with someone who was a stranger just days before.

So if you haven’t started, please, please, please, I beg you, create something online.

My personal take-aways

I would never have become interested, nor involved in any marketing activities whatsoever, if permission marketing wasn’t around. It’s such a fun way of basically making a whole lot of friends, who end up supporting you financially, because you help them.

We can let honesty, hard work and great service rule and work with the people who choose to work with us. No need for scams and marketing bullshit.

The book is packed with much more insights, details and case studies, but the summary gives a great overview of the history of marketing and how permission marketing works in specific cases. Thumbs up for both!

Make A Killing On Kindle Summary

Categories sellPosted on

Make A Killing On Kindle shows you how you can market your self-published ebooks on Amazon the right way, without wasting time on social media or building a huge author platform first by focusing on a few key areas to set up your book for long-term sales in just 18 hours.

Michael Alvear is a TV personality, LBGT rights activist and writer on all things sex, dating and relationships. He used to host a show on British television where he and his co-host installed cameras in couples’ bedrooms, who had problems with their sex life, and then gave them tips and homework to help improve it.

It’s a sensitive topic and taboo to talk about, but if we’re honest, it really deserves our attention. After all, sex is a crucial part of a good relationship, if communication matters anywhere, it’s here. Eventually, since he was writing so much about sex, he figured why not try self-publishing books about it?

His ebooks went on to be successful, selling over 100,000 copies to date. Now, with newer options like the Medium Partner Program, self-publishing isn’t the only way writers can make money, but it’s still one of the newest and most interesting ones. In Make A Killing On Kindle, he breaks down his marketing process.

Here are 3 lessons to help you make money with self-published books:

  • Forget social media and author platforms when you’re just starting out.
  • The two things you absolutely mustn’t screw up are your book’s title and cover.
  • You should get a handful reviews early on for each book, as they drive sales a lot.

Ever wanted to self-publish a book on Amazon? This is your checklist for making sure it’ll sell (and not just on launch day).

Lesson 1: Social media and author platforms suck for beginning authors to sell their books.

There’s a million websites out there, claiming to teach you how to make a living selling Kindle books. But because there’s a plethora of self-publishing authors right now (since it’s so easy), marketing your book has replaced actually writing it as the toughest part of making this business work.

Most authorities in this space tell you to market your books in two specific ways:

Be on all social media.

Create an author platform.

According to Michael Alvear, both of these SUCK for first-time authors. Here’s why: While they both have great long-term upside, they’re useless in the short term, because their effects only kick in at scale.

For example, while it’s very hard to directly sell on social media, the effects from having a brand and people discovering your work are real, even if Twitter accounts with 200,000 followers just get a few clicks on their tweets. But nobody has 200,000 followers if they’re just starting!

The same with author platforms. Even if you get 20% of people to open your emails and 10% of those to click on links to your articles and books, that’s just a 2% potential conversion rate – meaning you need 10,000 email subscribers to sell just 200 books. Those won’t land on your mailing list over night.

But what should you do instead?

Lesson 2: If you screw up your book’s title or cover, it doesn’t matter if the content’s great. about focusing on the very basics first and starting with not screwing up your book’s title or cover image (which is something most people get wrong, including myself).

In terms of title, I think I almost did alright with my very first Kindle ebook “How To Google: The Ultimate Guide To Finding Everything,” but with the cover, not so much (designed it myself, HUGE mistake).

People on Amazon scan, they don’t really read, so your title must be short, clear, attractive and descriptive. If I don’t know what your book is about in two seconds, my eyes have already moved on to the next one.

For example, which one gets your attention more:

You Can Do It! The Power Of Managing Your Inbox Down To Zero

Daily Inbox Zero: How To Eliminate Email Overwhelm

The first one you’d have to read all the way to the end to even know what the book is about. The second one gives you the end result instantly – and thus makes you perk your ears (and eyes) up.

Speaking of eyes, the next thing you see after the title is the cover. Don’t design it yourself. Just don’t. Spend whatever you can afford, whether that’s $50, $100 or $500, but please, get a professional to help you with this.

Lesson 3: Get a handful of reviews right when you launch it, so Amazon starts to pick it up and promote it for you.

With a good title and solid cover to make sure people who see the book actually buy it, what remains is to get Amazon to show it to more people.

The number one way in which you can do this is by getting reviews. The more reviews, the higher a book ranks, the more sales it makes, the higher it ranks. Getting just 5-6 (good) reviews in the first few days of launching your book can take it all the way to your category’s top 10.

Organically, only a tiny fraction of people reviews books on Amazon. Even Harry Potter books are reviewed by just 0.0002% of all buyers. However, having just 2-3 reviews more will greatly increase your sales ranking.

What you can do is when your book launches, ask friends and family to write 4-5 great reviews for your (5 stars), then get 1-2 with 4 stars and 1 with 3 stars (it’ll happen sooner or later anyway) with some proper criticism and you’re off to a good start!

My personal take-aways

Make A Killing On Kindle has been updated and revised in a new, 2018 edition. That’s good, because in internet years, something that was published originally in 2012 is already considered old and quite possibly outdated. The principles, however, are still sound regardless. They’re mostly about what makes a book a good book in general, with focus on how specifically this translates to a book on Amazon. Don’t throw a lot of money down the toilet – this book really tells you all you need to get going and publish your first 2-3 books, then you can learn more.

Buy this book

Made To Stick Summary

Categories sellPosted on

 Made To Stick examines advertising campaigns, urban myths and compelling stories to determine the six traits that make ideas stick in our brains, so you don’t just know why you remember some things better than others, but can also spread your own ideas more easily among the right people.

Some siblings just play extraordinarily well together. Like Chip and Dan Heath, who both turned out to thrive in an academic environment, ending up teaching at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Duke University, respectively. If you had a brother and you both taught business at two of the most prestigious schools of the country, what would you do?

Of course, write a book about business! They’ve done just that. Three times. This was their first book, which ended up being translated into 25 languages. Often mentioned in the same breath with absolute bestsellers like The Tipping Point or Built To Last, it describes a simple way of getting others to pay attention to your ideas.

Chip and Dan found six simple traits, which all sticky ideas share. Here are 3 of them, so you can get your friends and co-workers to perk their ears up when you speak:

  • Sticky ideas are always unexpected.
  • Use curiosity gaps to keep your listener’s attention.
  • The best way to get your ideas to stick is to tell great stories.

Want some mental duct tape for your best thoughts? Sure, here you go!

Lesson 1: A sticky idea will always make us listen up, because it’s unexpected.

For something to stick, you have to notice it first. If an article’s headline isn’t good, neither does it matter if the rest of the article is, because you’ll never even start reading it. The same thing holds true for advertisements, books in a book store, or products in the supermarket – if it doesn’t stand out, it’s as if it’s not there. People have long become blind to online banners too, so whatever doesn’t take us by surprise gets left out in the cold.

That’s why sticky ideas are always the ones you don’t expect.

For example, imagine instead of the usual humdrum speech a flight attendant gives, she’d suddenly say: “I know there are more than 100 ways to leave your lover, but there’s just one off this plane.” Would that get your attention?

Or a banner ad that showed nothing more than a mysterious symbol? How about a book with a bright, orange cover, that sticks out from the rest? Or a coffee brand that comes in elegant capsules, all black on black?

To get people to perk their ears up at your ideas, you have to risk sticking out like a sore thumb. No risk, no fun!

Lesson 2: You can use curiosity gaps to keep your listener’s attention, once you have it.

If you think getting peoples’ attention is hard…then you’d be right. However, once you have it, it gets even harder, because now, you have to hold it. The reason people run on autopilot in the first place is that they think they know everything they need to know right now. However, if you can convince them that they don’t, guess what’s going to happen? Of course, they’ll do whatever it takes to find out!

Showing people that there’s something important they don’t know yet, and giving them a way to find out is a very powerful way to make your ideas stick, and it’s called a curiosity gap.

So when Marvel asks you on Twitter whether you’re #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan, the first thing you want to know is who else is on each team and what the heck the two camps are even about. Typical clickbait headlines on sites like Buzzfeed use the same principle, by asking you thought-provoking questions, like “Can We Guess Your Favorite Season Based On Your Favorite Disney Princess?”

Present powerful facts, figures and questions as your opening line, and you’ll have poked your audience’s interest.

Then, it’s storytelling time.

Lesson 3: The best way to get your ideas to stick is to tell great stories.

Every time I read the word or the phrase, I hear a roaring Gary Vaynerchuk in the back of my head, screaming at the top of his lungs: “TELL STORIES FOR THE YEAR WE LIVE IN!!!” or something along those lines  😀 He continues to tell great ones, and there’s always one you haven’t heard.

In 2016 and beyond, I truly believe the best thing you can do, if you want to market something, anything really, whether that’s your product, your service, or yourself, is to stop marketing and start storytelling.

Creating good slogans and advertisements for your idea is important, but even if you’re a billion dollar business like Subway, being able to share a story of a guy who lost 200 pounds eating only your food is priceless.

Chip and Dan say there are three common, well-suited patterns to tell your stories, which are timeless:

Challenge – when an underdog beats an incumbent, a David vs. Goliath kind of story, which gets people to take action.

Reaching out – when an unfamiliar character, a “Good Samaritan” helps a stranger in need, which speaks to our empathy.

Creativity – when a problem is solved in a creative new way, giving us a chance to look at things from another angle.

The best thing you can do to get more people on board with your ideas is to just practice telling stories – every day. No matter whether you do it in writing, speaking, video, or whatever other format you can think of. The point is to just start.

My personal take-aways

This book was very refreshing. Simple, to the point, and didn’t feel like it was fluffed up. Their SUCCES model describes six traits of sticky ideas and how you can position yours accordingly, that’s it. No matter whether you have a business or not, today, we’re all selling something. Chances are, you can learn a lot about how you can do better work from this book. Give it a go!

Buy this book

error: Right click disabled