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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 ·  8,413 ratings  ·  194 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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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,413 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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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 was
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.
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.)
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.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, nonfiction
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
Dasha Badavi
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Продавать надо уметь. И в первую очередь - себя :)
Много интересных фишечек, которые можно спроецировать и применить в чем угодно.
☺Pablitomix  a.☺.l :)
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
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)
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
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
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
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is an easy book to read and it has large amount of advices for service marketing. I think it is extremely useful for those who are working in services industry. I would suggest adding more real life examples to clarify some concepts to make them easier for the reader to understand and link them to the examples. I will be keeping this book for my reference and future use. Again, I highly recommend this book to anyone involved in services industry
Бекарыс Нуржан
Прикольно написанная книга. Как всегда в книгах про бизнес, много "воды". Но есть несколько базовых мыслей, которые я запишу сюда, чтобы запомнить:
- опросы работают;
- фокус-группы не работают. Потому что в фокус-группе самый умный чел сидит и отмалчивается, т.к. скучает;
- высокий уровень сервиса может быть у любой компании. Раз уж люди, работающие в McDonald's могут, значит и вы сможете;
- оргазм от услуги короче, чем оргазм от товара)
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.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
For basic and enduring marketing principles with a focus on marketing services, this is a great book. I love how each section is relatively short and has a recap sentence at the end which sums up the section. Lots of examples and stories are used which stop it from being dry and too theoretical.
Instructive, informative and enjoyable reading.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
As old as the book is the snippets of information is perfect. To market a service is indeed at times to figure out the best way. Read to from over to cover.

His story on Picasso truly I could relate ... ‘Don’t charge by the hour. Charge by the years.’

If you sell .... provide a service or starting a business this is a must read.
Книга была мне рекомендована преподавателем в сфере бизнес-обучения как одна из лучших в сфере маркетинга услуг. Не спорю, в ней есть полезные мысли и хорошие советы. Но катастрофически мало теории. Вдобавок, очень много того, что называется банально здравым смыслом. В итоге, книга мне скорее не понравилась, по мере продвижения к концу, читать ее становилось всё более скучно.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Not the best business book I’ve read but there are some good tips, as evidenced by my sticky notes. The book is short little sections, not chapters, broken up by topic. A bit unusual. It wasn’t dry but it wasn’t super interesting either. Thankfully it wasn’t too long.

This all sounds negative but it was more just neutral. Not excellent but not bad either.
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What is an effective marketing plan? 1 19 Oct 29, 2009 09:11PM  
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  • Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling
  • Growing a Business
  • Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea
  • The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book Management
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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.
“Don’t charge by the hour. Charge by the years.” 2 likes
“Building your brand doesn’t take millions. It takes imagination.” 1 likes
More quotes…