March 7th 2014
The Art of Social Selling. Finding and Engaging Customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Other Social Networks.Shannon Belew. 2014. ISBN 9780814433324. A superb book from Amacom. It is really hard to write a book like this that can stay current. The author is good at this and has an easy writing style. I always learn a few now things and methods. She stays pretty true that social selling is another tool to add to a salespersons kit. She has lots of data already that shows that high performers will do even more business using social media and they are already there. As well she makes a good case for marketing and sales to talk about and agree on t buyer process and buyer persona. A good resource for sales pros and leaders. Failure to grab this tool set , likely will be part of why your company remains or becomes an also ran.
March 3rd 2014
Sales Management. Robert J. Calvin. 2004, ISBN 0071435352. One of the best thought out sales management books I have read. You would think that being 10 years old that the topics would be long in the tooth and the chapters on technology and Sales Force Automation could use an update. That said the author sticks so close to the basics that work that this book will endure for quite some time. If you are new to sales management, aspire to management , or expect to supervise sales managers this is terrific book for you. The book is based on two very valuable truths.
- Structure follows strategy
- Tactics reflect strategy.
Many sales people and trainers come at this topic without addressing company strategy first.I really agree with the author that a weak sales force reflects a weak company management. If you are thoughtful in reading this book, you will prevent yourself from falling into weak management decisions. If you are in senior management this is a reference book for you. ( But it is a very entertaining read as well ).
February 24th 2014
Predictable Revenue. Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler. 013. ISBN 978-0-9843802-1-3. A short ( 40 pp) but powerful book that does deliver on its title. The author is a fan of outbound marketing and sales but not cold calling. His techniques can work for your company – but you have to deserve to be on the call. One of the better books of this year.
February 21st 2014
Neuro-Sell. How neuroscience can power your sales success. Simon Hazeldine. 2014. ISBN 9780749469214. At first glance this book may appear to be another take on Selling Styles Theory . However take another look as it is much more than that. In one volume written specifically for sales teams you find a concise description and application of today’s relevant research on the brain and how to be brain friendly in your approach. . It would not take much to apply this material to marketing as well. I read this in a rapid time as it seemed to be replaying what we have been finding in the marketplace for the last few years. Some of what he says seems self evident and some seems common sense and some so new you will read the sections twice. I do not see how any sales person today could ignore this book, unless he/she wishes to be an also ran in the market. Buy it, read it, apply it and do it again. Great for a cross country flight and my compliments to the easy reading brain friendly style!
February 17th 2014
The Bully Pulpit. Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism. Doris Kearns Goodwin. 2013. ISBN 978-1416547860. A very thorough book I kept thinking of just putting it aside, but there was always something that the author offered which caused me to turn the page. Teddy Roosevelt was quite an admirable figure and despite the “press” Taft shows himself as quite a hard worker also for the purpose of nation building and progressive issues in the US. Anyone thinking of being an American president would be advised to read this book and it is too bad that Obama did not have it in front of him before he first took office. If you decide to take this read on, it is well worth it and you will learn much about our neighbors to the South.
February 14th 2014
Maximize Your Social. A one-stop guide to building a social media strategy for marketing and business success. Neil Schaffer. 2013. ISBN 9781118651186. I have been following Neil’s writings since the early days of social media and he never disappoints. I am calling this the state of the art book on social media . Its practical and thorough, with a good strategic focus. He takes you deep into how to make the best use of the tools and then how to organize yourself and your company on getting the work done well.Its a book for the beginner through to the polished professional – you will all get something valuable from it. At Rocket Builders we advocate a unified voice to all your communication traditional through to social. Neil has a very clear explanation on how to do that. He surprised me with his chapter on G+, its the 2nd largest social network , but it goes way beyond that with its implications on SEO. I spent an hour re-jigging my corporate and personal g+ sites and I am just getting going, following his ideas. As well he makes a compelling argument about expanding our use of YouTube, it is the second largest search engine. y eyes were opened wrto Instagram since the no of mobile content consumers continues to grow rapidly. Several of his points are echoing what was said in the Connected book. This is a valuable book for any business person, plus it is a pleasure to read it.
February 10th 2014
The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service. Chip R.Bell. 2013.ISBN 9781608102471. I am a Chip Bell fan. He has written definitive books on customer service (19 I believe). This is part of his Simple Truths series. These books are designed to be give away items at corporate events, to pass onto employees to reinforce concepts and so on. So they are short snappy glossy books in a rugged hardcover. That said they are not lightweight books as the simple truths are often the hardest to stick with. Time and operationally tested this series is well worth your investment in time (a small amount) and dollars ( high value). www.simpletruths.com is best source for the book
February 7th 2014
An example of a social network diagram. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Connected. The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. Christakis & Fowler.2009. ISBN 9780316036146. I picked this up as I was interested in any theories of social networks and how they relate to the surge on social networking sites. This is definitely not another book about Facebook and content marketing. The two Harvard professors and practice leaders have written a very insightful and useful book. They build with a basis on history and genetics and how groups / networks have formed, the “normal ” sizes , including the role of religion in all societies ( very interesting given if you are not religious at all). They explore the impact on connectedness and paring on life, health , longevity and so on. ( Hint stay married as long as possible – and when you are again single get into lots of healthy groups) . Then when you add in the new social networks you see how they still follow the existing limits to close friends, most friends , and so on. They explain how to every communication innovation such as telegraph, telephone, internet and now Social networks expand the limits to connectivity , allowing for more interaction , but not necessarily adding more people to the groups – you become able to interact more often. You may find interesting that the rule of three degrees of separation remains true, that the weak ties we have are often the most useful for job seeking, and the growing intersection of political science, genetics, sociology and economics. Cap this off with two authors who can write clearly and simply and you will enjoy this book. It is good for the cross country flight and back again.
January 31st 2014
Scott Rewick (Photo credit: Levi Sanford Media)
Unplugged. Scott Rewick . Walking away from a job and getting everything you want in life.2013. The author has the tire tracks from a life in the tech field ( Advertising to be more exact). You read along as he gets more fed up with his life – he has made some money but he is on the treadmill. He breaks away and then finds that there are a few basic assumptions you need to know make this work. SO the first part of the book establishes his credentials and the end gets you the meat. A quick but useful read.
January 27th 2014
A 2003 photo of Lewin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For the Love of Physics. Walter Lewin. 2010. ISBN 9781430108277. Made famous on Youtube for his dramatic physics lectures at MIT, Lewin has written this book on physics – for everyman. Its a fascinating world as Lewin takes you through it. His demos are listed and you can see them all on YouTube. He is also a first rate researcher on Astrophysics and for me his chapters on X-rays, stars, black holes and so on were fascinating. He also does his best explaining the nano world of atoms including his thoughts on string theory. A side chapter on art is also a treat as he explains the role of artists teaching us to see differently. A fun and educational read – even if you know nothing about math and physics.