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The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  550 ratings  ·  61 reviews
G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa know what it takes to drive new ideas through complex organizations. They have advised thousands of executives from companies such as Google, Microsoft, and General Electric to organizations like the World Bank and even the FBI's hostage rescue training program. In The Art of Woo, they present their systematic, four- step process for winni ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 2007)
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Gaetan T. Giannini
Applied Woo
In their book, Art of Woo (Penguin 2007), authors Richard Shell and Mario Moussa present “the selling of ideas” from a sales/negotiation perspective. Despite their rather broad framing of the subject, their discourse is highly instructive for Marketing Public Relations professionals. One of several points that are worth noting is their discussion of barriers to woo. Shell and Moussa consider relationships, credibility, communications mismatches, belief systems, and interest and needs
Camille Fabre
I had the chance to attend a training by Richard Shell on The art of woo. For those who wonder what is the woo:
woo definition: winning others over. Or if you prefer, the art to persuade people. As the authors write it, "simple to say, hard to do".

They decompose the persuasion process into four steps:
- Survey the situation
- Confront the five barriers - consider all the barriers people have to overcome to be convinced; some of these barriers relate to your personality and credibility; others are
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neat framework for navigating the world of human interaction in organizations. I am amazed at the authors’ ability to neatly catalogue the complex and messy individual and group behavior backed up by solid research and proven methods. Each chapter builds on previous one, showing how persuasion and influence works, how to build relationships, credibility, navigate politics, and deliver ideas in a compelling way. Last chapter is an excellent finale.
Steele Dimmock
This book opens strong. I was blown away by the persuasion channels that you can use to get someone to do something; Authority, Rationality, Vision, Relationships, Interests and Politics. To me this was really ground breaking stuff and probably my most valuable take-away.

But everything started to go down hill around the time they ask you to fill out the questionaire to find out what type of persuader you are; Commander, Chess Player, Promoter, Advocate and Driver. To me, this was a fruitless exe
Ugh. Skip this; just meanders too much. Never read a book by academics studying successful leaders... read the books by those leaders themselves.

Newish revelations :

“Skilled negotiators spent about 40% of their time at the bargaining table asking questions…. while average negotiators devoted only 20% … The rest of their time was spent proposing, arguing, defending their positions and haggling, activities that discouraged the candid flow of interest-based information.”

“The more p
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woo: "It is a relationship-based persuasion, a strategic process for getting people's attention, pitching your ideas, and obtaining approval for your plans and projects."

Who Woo Works:
Step 1 - Survey your situation
Step 2 - Confront the five barriers (negative relationships, poor credibility, communication mismatches, contrary belief systems, conflicting interests)
Step 3 - Make your pitch
Step 4 - Secure your commitments.

"Everyone's Favorite Topic: Their Own Needs"

Sy. C
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK read. The topical bibliography at the end lists some pretty interesting biographies. The authors concisely summarize some of the mental frameworks for negotiating, pitching, building political alliances, and overcoming some of the common pitfalls to getting buy-in for an idea. They also do a good job of providing ample real-life examples. Probably best audience are recent graduates or anyone who needs a framework for navigating the political realities of selling and then implementing an idea ...more
Todd Benschneider
A valuable must read on the topic of selling and the psychology of the decision making process. Too bad that the title doesnt convey that the contents are scholarly research. Many conclusions drawn from a wide range of other scholar's research, comes accross as very credible and most importantly the conclusions inutitively make sense.
Isabel Hogue
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version and then bought the print version.
This book is a good lesson in civility, among other things.
On the audio version, the one thing I found distracting was the reader's attempt to "make character voices." Very difficult to do effectively, and when done poorly, well . . . it distracts from the text. That's all I'll say.
Matthew S.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read on internal selling. Shell and Moussa take a very dense subject and boil down actionable principles to take into your career. The self inventories are helpful and the illustrations are memorable.
Greg Bae
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Woo: winning other people over through relationship based persuasion. Entertaining read on how to get people’s attention, pitch your ideas, secure commitments, obtain approvals. Relevant for work via influence vs coercion.
Carol K
A good read and guide on "winning over others" that provides both background of public figure examples and how-to points
A book of mostly anecdotes, it provides next to no guidance on how to apply the strategies used in the examples. But the stories were not awful, so it got a second star.
Ekaterina Tarapovskaia
An amazing book, highly recommend it! Many practical tools and easy to read.
Jordan Hubbs
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read on focusing persuasion tactics on your audience.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of good information on how to sell your ideas. It took me awhile to get through.
Nathanael S.
Very helpful and HIGHLY informative. This book is thick with methods and tips to remember, so go through it with a pencil and notepad if you really want to get everything.
Great book for anyone wanting to learn how to better relate your ideas and sway others to your side.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In their book, Shell and Moussa develop in a modern context many of Aristotle’s ideas about principled as well as effective persuasion. The objective of Woo is to win others over to mutual advantage. That is, Woo “is relationship-based persuasion, a strategic process for getting people’s attention, pitching your ideas, and obtaining approval for your plans and projects. It is, in short, one of the most important skills in the repertoire of any entrepreneur, employee, or professional manager whos
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First understand myself of my style and tendency on the channels that I use most.

Then, check through the four steps, see if I have handle the barriers well and work
out the whole program carefully and innovative enough.

Persuasion is tough job. Character plays a critical role in this game.

This book is intersting, it apply story telling skills, inteact to therories and psychology and careful selected examples to "persuade" readers that this Art of Woo workbook is excellent and the framework it
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A smart guide to the art and science of persuasion

Salespeople market products and services. Successful people within organizations market ideas. Can you market yours? In this smart, well-sourced book, G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa show you how to sell your concepts to your colleagues and clients. They detail six primary “influence channels” and five “persuasion roles.” They also outline the four components of an effective persuasion. If you want to promote your ideas, getAbstract suggests fo
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's been way too long since I have finished a book, and I didn't think it would be this one. But a friend of mine gave it to me, and I thought it might help with my persuasive abilities...or at least to understand them. I'm not usually one for self-help-style books, and less so for business books. Now I know why.

In fairness, the book did give name to certain methods of persuasion that we all see but fail to recognize. And it did help me discover how to get people to sign onto longer-term projec
Stephen Simpson
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid review of negotiation techniques and approaches, particularly for the planning phase leading up to negotiations. Unlike many books on negotiation that try to identify the "one best way" and force readers to adopt only that one approach, this book urges readers to identify their own favored style/approach and learn to maximize the effectiveness of that approach (as well as identify and work around the drawbacks it may have). The step-by-step approach outlined in the book is a little too s ...more
Mar 05, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended from New Renaissance book store. The authors of this book come from the Wharton School to teach us how persuasion doesn't have to be manipulative or about defeating someone. It's about seeing it from all angles, analyzing and adapting your communication style, doing your homework, attaining credibility, growing relationships, and getting specific about what you are asking for. Enthusiasm only gets your so far--learn how to be a strategic and effective in creating change.
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
A decent, high-level look at negotiation. Examples were sometimes too lofty and/or legendary to be easy for the common folk to identify with. The book is aimed, it felt, at middle managers rather than entry-level people, but for someone who wants a sense of what to expect when trying to get ideas across in the corporate world, this is a good primer. It's a practical and amoral (but not immoral, and also very ethical) look at getting your goals accomplished in corporate America.
Semi-Academic Eric
You may need Sun Tzu's The Art of War to defeat your enemies. But if you would prefer to win them over, read The Art of WOO.

So says the top of the back of this book.

It continues with "What's The Art of Woo? It's about winning others over – the ability to persuade people without coercion, using relationship-based, emotionally intelligent influence. It's the secret of success with colleagues, clients, and customers that opens minds and hearts...

Seems interesting so far.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a great book for anyone who wants to gain confidence in their ideas or how to present themselves to the powers that be...I basically read it to lear more about sales, but it translates on a business level into any aspect of live. I think that we could all use a little more confidence in our own ideas and help to make them into fruition...however big or small they might be.
John Fletcher
Didn't really hit me as a great book. Kinda wordy and not written the best. Felt like some pretty simple concepts with a lot of words around it. I might come back to it at some point, but only if I have a good amount of extra time to spend to go through the whole book quickly. I do still believe in the power of selling, because we all do this at one level or the other ALL the time.
G. Kofi
The authors clearly outline the steps and concepts around selling ideas and getting buy-in from decision makers. The writing style got a bit academic and overwhelming at times, but this is definitely great reference material
Tony  Bradshaw
There was something in the way this book was laid out that made it a bore. The material is awesome. But there is something maybe in the type set or the lack of visual stimulation that made it a drudgery to get through. Shouldn't have been. Really great content. Poorly packaged; on the inside.
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G. Richard Shell is the Thomas Gerrity Professor of Legal Studies, Business Ethics, and Management at the Wharton School of Business. His latest book, Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success (Penguin/Portfolio 2013), was named Business Book of Year for 2013 by the largest business bookseller in the United Sates, 800CEOREAD. He is the Director of Wharton’s Executive Negotiation Work ...more

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