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Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
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Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  8,868 ratings  ·  225 reviews
A treasury of hundreds of quick, practical, and easy-to-read strategies - few are more than a page long - Selling the Invisible will open your eyes to new ideas in this crucial branch of marketing including why focus groups, value-price positioning, discount pricing, and being the best usually fail; the critical emotion that most influences your prospects - and how to deal ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sound bytes on how to sell services, which is drastically different than selling a product.

Key points, borrowed from others reviews:

1) Simplify access to your work! [Learn how to create executive summaries, tables of contents, hyper-links, etc.--don't assume that everyone knows your value and is willing to spend time digging into your work.]

2) Quality, speed, and price are *not* in competition, they must be offered simulaneously and at full value.

3) What is your promise or value proposition? A
Chad Warner
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chad by: David Steenwyk
Powerful, practical advice on marketing and selling services and intangibles. Overall, one of the best books I’ve read on sales and marketing. The short lessons are easy to read, yet thought-provoking and entertaining. Most lessons contain examples from the sales and marketing efforts of companies, or anecdotes from the author’s experience. The examples and stories work well for illustrating his points, but I prefer to see claims backed by broader research and statistical evidence.

Some of my fav
Heidi Cullinan
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
What I enjoyed most about this book was the idea that services should be viewed as something to sell, just like a product. I found I wanted to hand it to several local businesses and even some larger corporations, because if more people behaved like this, we'd all enjoy our business interactions so much more.

My only complaint is that in business terms, it's been awhile since it's been written. I'd love to see it revised and include a chapter on the internet. Though, to be fair, I got my copy fro
Melissa Jill
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business

All you wedding industry business owners - put this on your must-read list. It's packed full of good stuff. Not to mention it's written with us in mind.

Take the title: "Selling the Invisible." Those of us who are selling a service are doing just that - selling something that, at the time it is purchased, is invisible. I love how Beckwith starts the book: "So as a service face prospects almost shaking with worry, and sensitive to any mistake you m
Aria von Dimple
Don't charge by the hour. Charge by the years.

My first impression of the book? If there is a book that says the word "service" couple million times, it's "Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing". At one point it started to be so ridiculous that I was beyond annoyed – I was certain that English language simply must have other words that could be suitably used instead of "service". Thesaurus gives me 32 synonyms and not all of them are equivalent but I felt like Mr. Beckman w
James Christensen
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read this thing probably 5 times. As is often the case though you need to re-read these things from time to time. It's one of the first marketing books I read that specifically addresses the challenges of a 'service' business. Marketing a service is a unique challenge given the intangible nature of what you're dealing with. This is a quick read, and while not as entertaining as other authors it Beckwith does impart some important tips and ideas.
Sotiris Makrygiannis
4 starts because I wanted more but this book is designed to deliver sound bites and is rather good one.
Straight to the point with the confidence of an expert reminds old and new in service business the basics of marketing.
Jul 25, 2007 added it
This is probably the easiest book I've ever read. The chapters are divided into sections that are incredibly small, which makes it a breeze to get through. But I think that's also its biggest weakness: you feel like you're being hit with so much that there's no way you could take it all in. And so no matter what you do take from this book, you feel as though it's not enough. Nevertheless, there was a lot of useful info in here. It's a good example of how marketing, due to human behavior, is not ...more
Andy McIlwain
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Work in marketing? Read this book. Work in customer service? Read this book. Work in sales? Read this book. Starting your own business? Read this book! (Borrowed a copy from our CEO, read it cover to cover, then bought a copy for myself.)
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Quite a few years old now, this book still has plenty of relevance and tips for service marketers. I keep it handy on the shelf and full of Post-it flags!
Loy Machedo
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

Harry Beckwith is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Standford University, the author of books which have sold over 1.2 Million Copies in 24 languages and among the World’s Five Best Speakers on Sales and Marketing as per a 2009 Poll of 13,000.

Among the books he has authored,
• Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
• You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself
• What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business
Pablitomix  Online
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is most interesting in the world
Alan Wang
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Customers usually can’t “sense” (see, smell, hear, touch) a service before buying, unlike a product

In the future service marketing will only grow in importance as manufacturing products become commoditized so only way for product company to compete is 1) cut costs or 2) add value (which often means services - i.e. personalized Levi jeans, Amazon cloud, Apple iTunes)

The core of service marketing is the service itself

Most services offered in the market are really bad (putting callers on hold, d
Jon Barr
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

Ignore your industry's benchmarks, and copy Disney's. (p. 9)

In most professional services, you are not really selling expertise - because your expertise is assumed, and because your prospect cannot intelligently evaluate your expertise anyway. Instead you are selling a relationship. (p. 42)

Often, your client will face the choice of having you perform the service, or doing it themselves. Therefore, often you biggest competitors are you prospects. (p.45)

The best thing you can do for a pr
LeikHong Leow
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Selling something invisible like services are very different from selling a physical product.

This book illustrated from the branding, marketing and selling points of view on how a service product should be positioned and sell it in the end.

A simple great reference book which i enjoy reading.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The dust jacket calls this "the best thing ever written on the subject," and "the best book on business ever written." I agree. Don't miss it!
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Typical marketing book, offers a lot of useful advices but nothing spectacular.
Michael Thomas
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sales


---Preface, Intro & Getting Started---

Services are just promises that somebody will do something.

Core problem of services marketing: service quality.

Services are not products, and service marketing is not product marketing.

"Product" marketers typically have two choices: reduce cost or add value.

Recognize the powerful influence of perceptions.

Nothing works more powerfully than simplicity.

Sep 16, 2020 is currently reading it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Master Of Puppets
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing
A person has spent most of their life believing that reading business/marketing books is a waste of time because the ones they came in contact with were full of fluff, pep talk and the usual myriad of seemingly obvious information that everyone should already be familiar with.

That person is me, and this is not that type of book.

Since your time is valuable, i will not bore with an unnecessarily long review, instead i will list a few ideas mentioned within the book:

(view spoiler)
Joel Hassan
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to learn about marketing
If you want to gain a better understanding of service marketing, the book provides that. Are there better books out there on the subject? I don't know, but my guess would be yes.

What the book does do is cover some ideas on a surface level, occasionally backing them up with case studies. What it doesn't do is provide depth. If you're looking for something that explores nuances, then this book will leave you disappointed.

The 'planning - the 18 fallacies' part was probably the most useful and gener
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it

The book is about service marketing and its main ideas are as follow :

• Fix your service first (impress customers).
• Ask for feedback from your customers (third-party preferred) and improve accordingly.
• Your first level to highest level employees are your marketers invest in their trainings .
• Your marketing strategy is from employees to branding; every part is included.

It gave real examples on services from companies such as FedEx, American Express, Disney and McDonald's.

In addition , the b
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though the book is now getting a bit dated the principles are timeless when it comes to providing services. This is a must read for everyone working in a service economy business or an organization or division of one that doesn't create or sell a product.

The basic premise is that services are invisible. Typically you can't judge services before you buy. Too many organizations today are struggling because their service-economy businesses continue to follow product-marketing models. Selling a
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Selling the Invisible is one of those books that makes you think about the basic things you encounter every day and for that it is invaluable.

It is very easy to read and all the interesting little stories from author's experiences make is such an enjoyable read. There are many truths behind the facade of sales and marketing that we see and yet don't register them. How do you really decide about what to buy? How do you feel about the company? Will you make an informed or intuitive decision? On a
Lu Castello
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book it's the best book I have ever read about service marketing.

It's 23 yrs old so you will find a few paragraphs , especially in the first few chapters, that are not applicable anymore since it did not predict the rise of digital marketing.

Other than that its fully packed with very useful and evergreen insights.

It teaches you the right way to think about services and people and can help you understand which direction you should take.

This is not a book about manipulating people, spamming
Todd  Dashley
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this book when it was first published in the 90s and have used it as a field training book since then. This recent purchase was for one of my client's personnel. I purchased a copy for the leaders of the firm, administrative staff, operational staff, and sales staff. They are in a very sensitive service industry and this is always the book I start with in establishing what the owner really wants his firm to be recognized as opposed to his competitors.

This book along with The Expe
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, business
Marketing advice for those with low attention spans.

On the one hand, lots of business books are just a single idea repeated over and over again, and at least I wouldn't accuse this book of being one of those. On the other hand, this book had so many superficial ideas that I don't think I'll remember any of it in a few weeks. Worse, I also don't think I encountered something I hadn't heard already.

I might recommend this to someone who has never read a book about marketing before and suddenly end
Anthony Hernandez
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is a lot of good information in this book related to the professional services industry. I did learn many things from the content presented, however, there were times where I felt like the advice/tactics being given were common sense. But "common sense" is relative I suppose. Id recommend this book to people who are beginning their career in a service related industry, such as consulting, insurance, etc. because there are some segments that give you a good framework on how to approach obst ...more
Sara Saihati
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: skimmed
Make your service great before you start anything else. Branding is everything when you're selling an invisible product. Narrow down your focus to define a strong position. Collect feedback from customers and identify how you can improve it. Use their feedback to leverage more customers. Don't get stuck in the planning phase, take action- it will never be perfect. Customer choices are irrational. Prestige is critical. Low cost and middle market pricing are risky strategies. High end pricing is o ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was in university, most of the marketing books were about products, not services. This is one of the good books that I would recommend, especially for startups.

For new marketers, this book brings you lot of useful information. For the company owners, you will get ideas to promote your services in this digital world. For people like me, self-learning by doing business, it would very beneficial too, when it summarizes and reminds me what I might forget.
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Harry Beckwith heads Beckwith Partners, a marketing firm that advises twenty-three Fortune 200 clients and dozens of venture-capitalized start-ups on branding and positioning. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford, Beckwith is an internationally acclaimed speaker. He is the bestselling author of five books, which, collectively, have been translated into twenty-three languages.

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