* Book Review: Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

By Harry Beckwith.

The excellent book Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith makes many great points about service marketing, including that a good solution today is better than a perfect solution tomorrow. A ready-fire-aim approach (implement first, then iterate to fix mistakes) is generally better than a ready-aim-fire approach (wait for the perfect solution, then implement). You’ve still got to aim. You’ve still got to fire. But you may need to reconsider the order.

Beckwith’s “know where to hammer” story is perhaps the most telling:

A man was suffering a persistent problem with his house. The floor squeaked. No matter what he tried, nothing worked. Finally, he called a carpenter who friends said was a true craftsman.

The craftsman walked into the room and heard the squeak. He set down his toolbox, pulled out a hammer and nail, and pounded the nail into the floor with three blows.

The squeak was gone forever. The carpenter pulled out an invoice slip, on which he wrote the total for $45. Above the total were two line items:

  • Hammering, $2.
  • Knowing where to hammer, $43.

Charge for knowing where.

Summary: five stars (5/5).

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