Many of us will be using this time away from the office to focus on improving our practice-and what better way to do this than with a great book?
As an avid reader myself, it’s not the reading that’s the hard part; it’s actually finding the right book to read in the first place. There are so many texts out there; trying to pin-point the ones that will resonate is half the battle.
This blog aims to take the hard work out of looking. Whether you’re a Business Owner, Managing Director, Sales Professional, Marketer or even Student, these books are the very best in self and business development.
So let’s dive in…
They ask, you answer – Marcus Sheridan
Who’s it for: Marketing Professionals & Business owners seeking to learn more about content marketing
They Ask, You Answer is a straightforward guide to adopting a content marketing strategy by utilising the best resource you have: the internet.
Author, Marcus Sheridan’s pool company was on the brink of bankruptcy after the 2008 recession. One evening, after another exhausting and fruitless day, Sheridan sat down at his kitchen table and started writing answers to common questions that customers (and potential customers) had asked him over the past few years. He then began publishing these answers on his company’s website.
Unbeknownst to Sheridan, this became the foundation of a content marketing strategy and within months, this content started driving thousands of visits to his website, daily. Today, they’re one of the biggest pool installers in the US, making millions of dollars of revenue a year. This was all done through the value of good content.
This book is a prime example of what can be achieved during even the darkest of times, and right now, I think we can all relate to this.
Storybrand: Clarify your message – Donald Miller
Who is it for: Business owners, MDs, Sales & Marketing professionals
Expertly written, this book gets to the root cause of most companies’ biggest problem: their message. So often companies in the building products and construction industry overcomplicate their message, confusing potential clients.
Story brand is not a book to be read once. It’s so efficiently packed with useful information that you’ll want to reference it again and again, so get your highlighters ready!
Miller cleverly relates back to every good story we’ve ever written or seen, asking us to think of our customer as the protagonist in your brand’s story. In every great story, a Hero encounters a problem to be solved; a challenge to be won.
Donald Miller suggests that you should position your brand as the guide to help your prospects (or, the Yoda) to find the tools and confidence to succeed.
This book will force you to reconsider every interaction you’ve ever had with a customer-be it face-to-face, with the messages on your website or the emails you have sent.
It’s a great book to share amongst colleagues, and the actionable steps in the ‘seven-step framework’ will form the basis of some highly productive staff meetings.
Gap Selling – Keenan
Who’s it for: The Sales Professional, MD or Business Owner
If you’re in construction sales and you don’t follow Keenan on LinkedIn, then do it now. Keenan’s content is invaluable, and this book is action-packed full of information that forces you to question your current sales strategy.
Gap Selling shreds traditional and closely held sales beliefs that have been hurting salespeople for decades, creating many of the issues that reps have been trying to avoid.
Keenan’s book is a game-changer, designed to raise the sales IQ of sales reps around the world. With his unapologetic and irreverent style, Keenan breaks down the tired old sales myths causing today's frustrating sales issues, to highlight a deceptively powerful new way to connect with buyers.
By the time you’ve finished reading Gap Selling, you’ll understand:
How properly assessing the gap drives the entire sales process
Negotiating price to overcoming objections
How to address blockers,
How to handle the competition,
How to prevent leads from going dark,
How to close
Inbound Organisation – Dan Tyre & Todd Hockenberry
Who is this for? Managing Directors and Business Owners/Leaders who are interested in Inbound Marketing
This book addresses the fact that we're in a major shift in a fundamental aspect of how businesses grow, how buyers purchase, and how businesses build meaningful conversations and customer relationships.
It highlights that companies who align their mission, strategies, action plans, and tools with the way buyers think, learn, discover, and purchase will have a huge competitive advantage.
It’s one of those books to read whilst you’re away from the office, either on holiday-or in this case-at home, social distancing. It will allow you to reflect on your current strategy, giving you an opportunity to re-approach your practice, once you’re back to normal.
Tyre and Hockenberry teach you the foundation of Inbound principles, whilst demonstrating how organisations have already successfully applied this methodology, giving excellent context to the different topics discussed.
Never split the difference – Christopher Voss & Tahl Raz
Who’s this for: Mainly sales and business leaders, but any front-facing professional will benefit from this book
At its core, this is an entertaining and engaging read, telling the story of a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. Along the way, however, you learn about how experts approach high-stakes negotiations that you can apply in the boardroom, during meetings, or in any of life’s situations.
The art of communication is the key theme of this book and you’ll be left with a set of skills that’ll allow you to undertake challenging situations with confidence.
Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed
Who is this book for? Anyone who sees the true value in failure
Did you know that every passenger aircraft in the world is equipped with an almost indestructible black box? Whenever there’s any sort of mishap, major or minor, the box is opened, the data is analysed, and experts figure out exactly what went wrong.
Then the facts are published and procedures are changed, so that the same mistakes won’t happen again.
By applying this method in recent decades, the industry has created an astonishingly good safety record, resulting in the odds of a plane crash being one in eleven million.
Syed champions this approach to failure, and notes that this strategy should be applied to every industry in order to achieve better results. Syed argues that the most important determinant of success in any field is an acknowledgment of failure and a willingness to engage with it.
This book is one of my personal favourites from the list, and if you’re looking to reassess your construction business’ approach to failure, then this book is for you.
Fire Your Sales Team Today - Eric Keiles, Mike Lieberman
Who is this for? Business leaders, Managing Directors
Don’t be put off by the controversial name. This book prompts you to reassess your current set up to address the changing need in buying habits (and in our case, specifying habits) of today’s customers.
In order to be truly remarkable and create the kind of company that gets people talking, you need to step outside of comfortable patterns and think about your business in new ways. Changing the way your company does business starts with a close look at the way you interact with your clients or customers. That means re-examining your sales and marketing approach.
Eric Keiles and Mike Lieberman present three "big ideas" that will help you think differently about your sales and marketing efforts, lead your company to success, and beat the pants off of the competition.
Adapt to the dramatic shift in buyer behavior. As you probably know by now, the Internet has permanently changed the way people make purchasing decisions. Now that architects and specifiers have the power to research each purchasing decision online with the touch of a button, companies both large and small need to rethink their sales and marketing approach.
Transition to a guided sales process. The architect and/or specifier does not want to be sold. Instead of selling or pushing your company's products and services to every lead, you need to retrain your sales force to act as consultants who take time to understand each prospective customer's pains, answer their questions, and guide them to the appropriate solution.
Create a Revenue Department. For decades, companies of every size and across countless industries have separated their sales and marketing efforts into two distinct departments: one to drive customers to your door (marketing) and one to close the deal (sales). By combining your sales and marketing team members into a single, cohesive entity called The Revenue Department, you ensure that every member of the team works together to reach your company's overall goals.
Creating positive change within your business structure may seem difficult. Whatever you do, don't stand still. Change is necessary to move your business forward.
As Confucius said: Every long journey begins with a single step. But there's one thing Confucius left out: If you don't start taking those steps now, before long the competition will leave you behind.
The books in this list are all designed to provide you with a sense of reflection, and what better way to do this whilst being on lockdown?
If you do end up purchasing any of these books in the list, let us know; we’d love to hear your thoughts.
At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.
We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM Implementation, Web Design, Sales Automation, SEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.