Let me start this post by telling you that I am a BIG fan of Michael Port.
Michael, if you ever actually read this blog post, I would like to say THANK YOU for helping me learn how to grow my business.
I really loved your book and it helped me immensely.
I read “Book Yourself Solid” for the first time about three years ago.
I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday (I get one every year) and I decided to add this book to my shopping cart.
Needless, to say I was not disappointed.
I devoured the book over a three day period and then immediately re-read it again.
At the time, I was struggling to get more coaching clients in my business and this book really helped me solve that problem.
If you’re looking to get more appointments and more business, this is the book for you.
The book provides step-by-step instructions on how to get more clients than you can handle, even if you hate marketing and selling.
It is not a book with a bunch of theory or pie in the sky thinking.
It is practical, to the point, and easy to follow.
I’ve read “Book Yourself Solid” five times now and if you were to look at my personal copy of the book, you would find at least fifty pages that are dog eared and about 400 underlined and highlighted quotes and passages.
That’s how much GOOD INFORMATION the book has.
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What I want to do today is share 20 lessons I learned from Michael Port’s book “Book Yourself Solid” and convince you WHY you should buy the book and study the material.
Each lesson below is a quote from the book. The quote/lesson is in bold and italics.
After the quote, I will share my own insights on the topic.
The lessons are listed in no particular order.
Let’s get started.
# 1 Choose your clients as carefully as you choose your friends.
You can’t think of your customers like a one night stand. Many of your customers will be life-long customers, so it’s in your best interest to find clients that are fun and easy to work with, and profitable. If someone is giving you problems from day one, ask yourself if you can really see yourself working with that person for a long time. A quick buck is not worth years of pain and punishment of dealing with a difficult client.
# 2 Marketing and sales isn’t about trying to persuade, coerce, or manipulate people into buying your services. It’s about putting yourself out in front of, and offering your services to, those whom you are meant to serve – people who already need and are looking for your service.
Your job as a business owner is to find people who want what you have, not to bug, pressure or chase people. You simply need to sift and sort through people until you find those folks. You can succeed by focusing your advertising and marketing efforts exclusively on your target market.
# 3 Help others laugh a lot – it’s the best sales technique in the world.
People love to be around other positive, funny, and friendly people. That applies to friendships and in the business world. Put a smile on your face and don’t be scared to use humor. Your clients will appreciate that and many of them will do business with you because you could make them laugh.
# 4 Your likability factor has an enormous impact on your perceived value.
People only do business with people they like, know and trust, unless they have no other option. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you, even if you have a great product or service. Make sure you are creating a positive self-image and are likable.
# 5 It is much harder to sell your services, products, and programs to a new client than to those who have already received value from you as a client or customer.
It’s a lot easier and cheaper to keep a current customer than it is to go out and find a new customer. Treat your customers like gold. Don’t look at them as a one-time transaction. Provide great customer service and don’t forget to follow up.
# 6 If all you ever do is trade time for money, your revenues are limited by how much you charge per hour.
In every business, you need some type of residual income. Otherwise, you will have to work forever and have to keep going to work to make money. Find ways to turn your expertise, products and services into some type of product or program that you can sell and earn a residual income from. EBooks, books, videos and information products are a great starting point.
# 7 People rarely buy professional services based solely on price.
Being the cheapest price in your industry IS NOT a good business idea. If you focus on that strategy anyone can outdo you by having a cheaper price (just ask Walmart’s competition). Price your products too low and people will think you are cheap and low quality. Set higher prices and let people know WHY your prices are higher. It could be because of better hours, better customer service, better quality, more convenience or a variety of other factors.
# 8 You don’t usually become successful doing something that you find difficult. You become successful when you exploit your natural talents.
Do what you love and the money will follow. It really is that simple. Some people will disagree, but this advice has worked for me and I know it can work for you.
# 9 One of the reasons that so many sales conversations are unsuccessful is because they’re had at the wrong time – usually too soon – before you’ve earned the proportionate amount of trust needed for the offer being made.
Focus on making a friend first, and show the person what you bring to the table, before you reach out to their jugular and try to sell them something. People need to warm up to you and get to know you before they will buy your product or service.
# 10 Knowing how to do something and actually doing it are two very different things.
Most business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed, but there is a HUGE difference between knowing how to do something and actually going out and doing it. People know how to lose weight, but don’t do it. People know how to save money for retirement, but don’t do it. People know how to get customers, but don’t do it. I could go on and on, but it’s applied knowledge that matters most.
# 11 Reading books is, by far the best and most efficient way to increase your knowledge.
If I could credit one thing to my own success in life and in business, it’s my love of reading. Read 30 minutes a day, every day and never stop until the day you die. Make sure you feed your brain as much as you feed your body.
# 12 Start conversations by asking questions.
Be a good listener. Do more listening than talking. You can learn a lot by listening and people will like you more. The best salesmen are good listeners. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them accordingly. The truth is people don’t care about you. They care about themselves. Get them talking about themselves and they will LIKE you and want to do business with you.
# 13 Think relationships first, business second.
This is common sense. Focus on making friends so people know you, like you and trust you. Do that and you will have more business than you know what to do with! Try to make the sale before you make a friend and you will be disappointed and broke.
# 14 Referral generated clients are often more loyal, consistent, and better suited to you than any other category of potential clients you could find.
Referrals are the best customers you can get. Treat your clients well and ask for referrals and you will have more business than you know what to do with. Just don’t forget to ask for them for the referral.
# 15 I track my sales and know that 90% of my online sales are a direct response to my monthly newsletter, not from a new visitor landing on one of my websites.
Most people will not buy from your website the first time they visit it. You need to cultivate a relationship with them over a period of months. The best way to do that is through a weekly or monthly newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter, make one and start sending it out regularly. It will be a huge business asset.
# 16 One of the greatest mistakes I see service professionals make is giving up too quickly when their initial efforts don’t produce immediate results.
It’s the cumulative effect that will pay off, so be consistent and be tenacious. Don’t give up! Marketing takes time to succeed. It is a process of doing things consistently for a period of time. Most people need to see your message REPEATEDLY before they will respond and take notice of it. Come up with a plan and be consistent for a period of months and years. Stick with something and you will succeed. Do it one or two times and stop and you will fail.
# 17 The biggest mistake people make online: they don’t know what they want their visitors to do when viewing the site and if they do know; they don’t know how they’re going to get the visitor to do it.
Make sure your website has a crystal clear purpose, whether it is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, to buy something or anything else. Optimize and set up your website so it meets your purpose. On your website, TELL your visitors what you want them to do.
# 18 Video marketing should be integrated with the rest of your marketing plan, and not just as an add on or afterthought.
Video is a great way to connect with your prospects. Use video on your website and as part of your overall marketing strategy. Even if you are introverted and scared of the camera, do it! People want to see your face, hear your voice, and know you are a real human, just like they are.
# 19 Obtain and showcase specific testimonials rather than general testimonials.
Testimonials are very important. You want testimonials from happy clients. When possible, have them be as specific as possible. Have them showcase numbers, savings, percentages and other details. These testimonials are much more powerful than someone just saying they liked your product or service.
# 20 You must have a professional email address.
Stop using a free HOTMAIL or YAHOO email address for your business email. Get an email address with your own domain, like I have at firstname.lastname@example.org. This makes you look more credible.
About the Book
“Book Yourself Solid” is published by Wiley Press and is copyright 2011, second edition. It comes in soft-cover format and has 344 pages. It retails for $18.95 and can be bought anywhere books are sold.
Buy the Book
In summary, these are my top 20 Michael Port quotes and book review of “Book Yourself Solid.” Overall, I give this book a 10 of 10, if not more, and consider it a MUST read for anyone in business and looking to make more money and get more clients.
It’s one of only a few books in the marketplace that gives you actual step-by-step instructions on how to get more clients and customers. Once you finish the book you will know EXACTLY what you need to do to propel your business forward. And it’s really good!
If you’ve read the book, I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
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Chuck HolmesWebmaster, OnlineMLMCommunity.com
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