Selling The Invisible

Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Selling The Invisible

Selling The Invisible (book)

The Big Idea

A classic book on marketing services, with hundreds of quick, practical, easy-to-read sections; perfect for picking up anytime throughout your day. Beckwith tells you in simple and plain language why focus groups don’t really tell you anything, what positioning really is, and outlines eighteen common planning fallacies. A basic marketing guide that refreshes the mind after reading so many gurus and faddish ideas, now here’s a book with timeless ground rules that are supported by real world stories.

Getting started, misconceptions, rules of thumb, and survey/research

  • The first rule of service marketing, or selling the invisible is: The core of service marketing is the service itself. Before you write an ad, rent a mailing list, or fax a press release, first things first – fix the quality of your service.
  • The best thing to do is assume your service is bad and you will be forced to improve it.
  • Forget the excuses and remember McDonald’s. How can McDonald’s deliver spotless restrooms and world-class French fries in 50 seconds for just 79 cents? McDonald’s raised the standards for service excellence worldwide. If you think it can’t be done. Think of McDonald’s.
  • In advertising, creative people win awards for clever copy and arresting visuals, but do these great ads really help grow the clients business? Who is setting your standards? Your ego, your industry, or your clients? Ignore your industry’s benchmarks, and copy Disney’s.
  • Why emulate Disney? They show us how service is clean, friendly, and creative.
  • Do not presume big causes lead to big effects. A small cause can lead to a big effect. A butterfly in Singapore flapping its wings can affect the weather in North Carolina. This is the Butterfly Effect. In marketing services, little things can have huge effects.
  • Address the error immediately. Hire sales people who can turn a mistake into a profitable experience. If a customer walks in and the goods you promised aren’t ready, apologize and have them ready in five minutes. The five minutes he spends loitering in your shop and looking at other things could mean more business for you.
  • Write an ad for your service. If after a week your best ad is still weak, stop working on the ad and start working on your service.
  • If you fail to communicate your message clearly, it will cost you. Service is the heart of service marketing, but marketing is the brains. If the brain fails, the heart follows.
  • Don’t just think better. Think different. Citicorp pioneered automated teller machines and aggressive marketing of credit cards. McDonald’s radically redefined fast food into a process-driven approach.
  • Always start at zero. Ask if the way you serve customers is the way they would like to be served. Should your team develop new skills? Should you narrow your scope?
  • Stage one of any industry is meeting acceptable minimum standards. When the automobile first came out, everyone was satisfied with the same black car. Stage two is when customer needs like AM/FM radio, colors, and driver’s ashtrays are addressed through product design; the added features and choices are market-driven.