General Ruminations on Business Reading (Part 1)

Trying to pick out my “favorite business book” is like trying to list my top movie or song. It is a continually changing list and I just can’t do it! And for the purposes of this missive I am limiting my “faves” to only one book per author. (Because of this self-imposed restriction I will also list a group of authors at the end who consistently write great books.)

NOTE The following list is not in any particular order.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, 20th Anniversary Issue – Ries & Trout
Probably the most referenced book in the field of marketing. The definition of “Positioning”: The position your company occupies in the mind of the consumer. It doesn’t matter what YOU believe- you are not the customer. You cannot change the mind of the customer, you can only reposition their view of your company. This book was updated from the groundbreaking original in 2001. The authors provide great insight on their original almost ten year old predictions.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini, PH.D
As you read Influence you will start to recognize yourself and many of your experiences in the stories and example. Dr. Cialdini is a psychologist who has dedicated his life to studying the principles of human motivation. Cialdini believes that persuasion is a science and lists the six principles of ethical persuasion. Influence is the basis for every sales and marketing book ever written.

Selling the Invisible – Harry Beckwith
Some books read like college textbooks and others read like great novels.
This superb classic falls into the latter. Beckwith writes short entertaining chapters that are filled with profound information on the sales process. Selling a product is completely different from selling a service and Beckwith gets it. So will you after you read this one.

The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up – Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham
Norm is a regular columnist for Inc Magazine and is an entrepreneur that has started 8 different businesses and failed miserably at one. He learned more from the failure than from the successes. He is a man who truly lives up to the phrase “street-smart.” This is not a book from a marketing professor who has never run a business. Perfect for small businesses such as cleaning. The lessons all apply.

More to come …

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