Category Archives: Book Reviews

Interview with Mary Poul, author of Sprint to Sales Success

Sprint cover for websiteWho did you write this book for?
The book is for sales professionals who are willing to stretch themselves to be their best and want a smart way to do it. Sprint to Sales Success came out of the hundreds of interviews I’ve done for Sales Mastery magazine.

On a weekly basis I’m interviewing top sales producers, CSOs, coaches, and experts. Obviously this is a group of high achievers. After a while I picked up on some patterns that are important for any sales professional who aspires to be their best. The high achievers have taken an uncommon approach to growing their success. But it’s something that any driven person can pick up and do. So the book is for the person who is ambitious about becoming their best in their sales career and wants to make dramatic improvements quickly.

How will they benefit from reading it?
My tease is that someone will get at least 10% better at selling as a result of doing what they learn in the book. The reality is that 10% is a lowball number. If someone started doing what they learned and used the worksheets I provide with the book, they can turn one year on the job into the equivalent of 10 years of typical experience. I’m actually confident about that claim, and here’s why.

When you think about how most of your sales peers approach their career, they learn sales skills until they are comfortable. Then they rinse and repeat those skills for the rest of their career.

In the book I recommend ways to get the biggest payoff from working with a coach. It could be a manager or a mentor. Or they could work with a professional coach. A coach’s number one job is to keep nudging you beyond your comfort zone. Human nature is to want to get cozy comfortable and stay there. A few rare people are constantly pushing themselves beyond their limits. But most of us need someone we respect and trust to give us a push and help us along the path.

Honestly not everyone has it in them to become their best. Some people are just not coachable. I share a coach-ability scale in the book and realized my moments when I’ve been un-coachable. They sound like this,

“I’m so glad we had this leadership training because my boss really needs it.”

“How am I supposed to sell more when you haven’t given us any new products?”

“That customer is such a jerk. As if I have any control over late shipments.”

Other people have been conditioned to dream within their means. This is such a tragedy for talented sales people. If you’re afraid to set scary big goals because they’re unrealistic, then you’re left with common goals. What President’s Club member have you ever met that got there by meeting common goals.

I know in your coaching work Brian you like to help people get to a big dream or goal by taking small and doable steps that add up. They want to land a big whale account and aren’t sure how to go about it. You can help them find the next yellow brick in the road instead of stressing about how on earth they are going to arrive in the Land of Oz.

I share a framework in the book that I use to create a scary-big-and-achievable sales plan. I’m a bit addicted to this framework because it’s easy to work through and the process forces me to plan how I can triple my goal and achieve it. I always end up with superior action steps compared to when I was just focused on my original goal.

What will surprise a reader?
Well it may just be me who didn’t realize this. As I was doing interviews specifically for the book, I was asking people how their coach helped them figure out their career vision. It turns out that isn’t at all what people expect their coach to help with. As a matter of fact, everyone I interviewed had figured out their vision BEFORE they worked with their coach. They may have expanded it once they began working with their coach, but they knew what they wanted to achieve before seeking out help.

The great news is if a coach knows your end game, he can help you accelerate the path to get there. I know a lot of people get stuck though on figuring out what they want to be when they’re all grown up, so to speak. So I included how to Find Your WHY in the book.

What’s your favorite part in the book?
Like you, I appreciate small, practical steps that have a wallop of an impact. This one little action at the beginning of your day can change everything for you. Even before you get out of bed in the morning, ask yourself this question,

“Who will I make 120% happier today?”

Do the full visioning with it. Imagine the person in their current state of mind. Then imagine them becoming 120% happier as a result of you. And picture them thanking you for making them that way.

This one or two minute routine puts the meaning into your work. In the Find Your WHY chapter I cover the research into what type of purpose or career vision leads to the greatest sales improvement. It turns out that having an altruistic WHY is the most powerful. That’s probably what makes the 120% happier question my favorite.

The book isn’t at all about sales skills. There are many great books I can recommend if someone is looking for help with their sales process. This book is how to accelerate your path to mastery in sales. Selling is such a challenging profession. If you chose it as your career, why wouldn’t you want to become your best at it?

MaryPoulMary Poul is publisher of SalesMasteryMag.com, which produces a monthly magazine and interviews and hosts online events. She also founded the initiative Teach Kids 2 Sell, with the ambition of teaching one million kids the life skill of effective selling. Sprint to Sales Success is available on Amazon.com and comes with bonus worksheets to make sure readers do what they learn.

Interview with Jared Kimball, Author of “14 Email Subject Line Formulas”

14-Email-Subject-Line-Formulas-book cover-340x340Today, we had a chance to interview Jared Kimball, who recently published 14 Email Subject Line Formulas. Below is an exchange between Jared and FIND the CLIENT’s Brian Farrell about the book.

Tell us about yourself, and what made you write this book?
I’ve was introduced to the world of marketing back in 2008 after I was furloughed by the airline I was working for. Yes, I used to be an airline pilot.

Back then all I knew was basic website stuff like HTML and setting up a blog with WordPress, but I didn’t have a clue when it came to marketing or marketing anything online for that matter. I just thought that if I build a website the people will come and I was wrong because nobody came to my website back in those days.

When I was furloughed I heard about this local company called Infusionsoft and I was encouraged to apply for a job there. I did apply and got the job and started out as a consultant (they’re called Coaches now).

Anyway, that job opened up my eyes to the world of online marketing, email marketing and marketing automation. I was hooked.

I started to read everything I could on marketing, copywriting, email marketing, advertising and the like. I couldn’t get enough of it.

After working at Infusionsoft for almost 2 years and helping hundreds of small businesses set up, launch and optimize their email marketing campaigns I started to get a good feel for what worked and what didn’t when it came to sending emails.

In early 2010 the airline called me and told me that I was eligible for the upcoming class in February, and I decided to go back to flying. But when I went back things had changed. The pay was reduced (pilots actually don’t make that much money for example, first year pay for pilots averages around $20,000) and the workloads were increased for all flight crew members.

In October of 2010 I decided to get out of aviation permanently, and I went right back into email marketing. At this time I was managing and running the email marketing for one of the largest travel agencies in the world. They had an email database of over 3 million registered members. These were members who paid annually to be a part of a variety of unique travel programs.

Anyway, working there I got a ton of experience writing, testing and optimizing email marketing campaigns. It was invaluable experience and I learned a lot while I was there.

Jared_Kimball

Jared Kimball

However, I was offered an opportunity to write pilot manuals on a variety of different types of aviation equipment. The contract was solid and there was plenty of work, plus I could pick up more email marketing clients at the same time so I did.

Without going into too much detail on my work background I have personally been responsible for sending, testing and optimizing millions of emails since 2008 and most of those campaigns have been mostly focused on small businesses.

As I work with more and more small businesses I realized that a lot of people started asking me about how to write better email subject lines to increase their open rates specifically and I created a couple of presentations and did a few training events, but it wasn’t enough.

People needed something more concrete. They need an easy way create subject lines without having to really think about it very much, and that’s when I decided to sit down and look back at all of my emails to figure out what were the patterns for success.

And that’s how I got the idea to write this book.

What’s your favorite subject line formula? Why?
Although it’s not as sexy sounding as the “Boost Formula” or the “Menace Formula” my favorite and most powerful formula has been the “You & I Formula.” The You & I Formula allows an email marketer, business owner to get inside the head of exactly who they are targeting for an email broadcast. But the real power of this formula is unlocked in your Marketing Automation campaigns or what some people might call an Autoresponder series.

In the You & I Formula you try to imagine what your ideal prospect is thinking about when it comes to your product or service. So if you run a pool cleaning pool you’d sit down and write out thoughts like the following:

  • Why does my pool company do a horrible job at sticking to the schedule?
  • Who’s the best company to call to clean my green pool?
  • I wonder how much a pool cleaning service costs on average?
  • Am I getting ripped off?
  • And etc.

Why this formula is so powerful is that you can literally sit down and think about the thoughts, frustrations and objections that your target prospect has on a regular basis, and when you write those thoughts into a list you know how to write your email series. Of course, you need to attempt to put down the most important or most common thoughts in the series first, but the beauty of it is that you now have a plan for action.

With those thoughts written down you can leverage the You & I Formula to help you create powerful email subject lines that really stand out to your prospects. It’s a thing of beauty when you take the time to think and write it out.

Do you find these 14 subject line formulas useful in other areas besides email, such as writing blog posts?
Yes, these email subject line formulas can be used on a variety of different areas including blog posts, direct mail pieces, display ads both online and offline. The opportunities are endless.

The book focuses mainly on creating email subject lines, but you could easily adopt the formulas for those other areas.

Anything else we should know (e.g. website, Twitter, etc.)?
Thanks for asking Brian. I give away a ton of useful marketing material, PDFs, worksheets, live training sessions and a lot more for people who subscribe to MarketerLife.com. I’d encourage anyone who’s trying to improve their marketing, email marketing, and/or sales automation should definitely sign up. People can also follow me on Twitter or like my page on Facebook if they’re interested as well.

Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book

ape_300x250I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Guy Kawasaki in person at an Entrepreneur magazine event a few years ago. He captivated and kept hundreds of people glued to their seats, furiously typing notes on their iPads. He just delivers great information, in every medium. Most so with his books — each containing information not found elsewhere. APE just adds to the long list.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, get APE. It’s exactly what you need. The three sections Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur are self-explanatory and logically lay out what’s needed to write, self-publish and promote your book.

I liked the section on social media the most. You can’t make it without a network, and APE cover’s Guy’s experience with social. Other helpful topics:

  • Book editing options
  • Book covers
  • Distribution options
  • Converting your manuscript for ebooks

Don’t forget to take the SPIT, or self-publishing intelligence test: http://electricpulp.com/guykawasaki/ape/

Highly recommended, and better than a head-start — APE is a complete roadmap.

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World — Book Review

I’ve just finished reading a review copy of Michael Hyatt’s “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” (aff link). With dozens of short, pithy chapters, it’s a very easy to use guide on getting your online presence set up, and more importantly, why you should care.

I was skeptical about reading his book, which is why it took me so long to actually do it (2+ months since getting the review copy). I’ve been blogging, active in social media and part of the Internet generation for more than a decade, so what could he show me?

Quite a bit actually. I found each chapter to build successively on the previous, fully delivering on the promise made with the title. From how to increase your social presence, building your personal brand and why you should be on Twitter, the book is loaded with practical, easy-to-digest information. Just don’t think you can buy this book and have your own “Platform”. Anyone can get on LinkedIn, Twitter or build a blog — it takes hard work and a plan to make any of them successful.

What was most valuable were the various disclosures he uses on his blog, and when / where he uses them.

The book contains an incredibly well-thought out Index, lists of dozens of resources and an Appendix. I made notes on many chapters and plan on implementing several of the WordPress plug-ins mentioned. I’ll re-read this one again, as there was just too much in there!

Google+ for Business – Book Review

A few weeks ago, I was on Google+, and came across an update referencing Chris Brogan’s “Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything“. Within seconds, I was checking out from BN.com, thankful for my membership which offers expedited shipping (yes, I still like real, printed books!).

Do we really need another social network?
Simply put, Google+ will be a game changer. For starters, it’s owned by Google, and there are already more than 90 million users. Additionally, your +1 links may rank higher, and sites on Google+ get indexed quicker.

The intuitive circles for organizing your following, hangouts to formally or informally chat with others, and the ability to create a page for your business make Google+ a sure winner.

The book is broken down into 14 chapters, including:

  • The Opportunity of Google+
  • A Day in the Life
  • First Moves with Google+
  • Circles
  • Posting
  • Growing an Audience
  • Sharing

And more. My favorite chapter was “A Day in the Life”, where he cleverly detailed daily suggestions for seven different types of occupations. This chapter also features interviews, including Problogger Darren Rowse and Scott Monty from Ford Motor Co.

I also liked Chris’ explanation of how he set up his circles. It wasn’t a how to, as much as it was a here’s how I did it, and why.

Clearly, the opportunity on Google+ is authorship, focusing on the person, rather than the company. The book is easy to read, and  makes the case why you and your business must get on Google+ sooner, rather then later.