Issue 16-39, September 26, 2012
9/26/2012 10:20:51 AM
A Little Light Reading: 5 Practical Marketing & Business Development Books That Can Transform Your Practice
There are so many marketing and business development books on the market that is it hard to discern which to read. For purposes of this piece, I have focused on five books that are more practical in nature. In other words, reading them not only inspires but also moves the reader to action.
Not all of the books were published this year, though the web marketing books offered are current. However, new doesn’t necessarily equal valuable. The books cover a broad spectrum of sales and marketing strategies and tactics, and address everything from trust-based selling to social media, and their advice is still right on the money.
The first book on the list is foundational. The second provides a roadmap to marketing and selling tools and techniques. The third book listed is helpful because it is based on research about what works and what doesn’t for professional service firms. This is important because it helps prioritize efforts. The final two books are included to help those among you understand and then leverage the power of the web. Happy reading!
- The Trusted Advisor (David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford)
Published in 2001, this is still a must-read for professionals. It is written in a straightforward style and contains loads of actionable advice on the important subject of understanding and building trust with clients. The appendix alone is priceless. This book should be mandatory reading for every professional in your firm.
- Rainmaking: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field, 2nd Edition (Ford Harding)
This book can serve as your field manual for building and advancing your career as a provider of professional services. As the author states: “I have already noted that professional firms do a poor job of training their employees to market and sell. If you do not take responsibility for your own development, no one will.” Invaluable advice. The book is broken down into 4 sections – 1) Marketing Tactics: How Professionals Build Reputations and Generate Leads, 2) Building a Network: How Professionals Develop a Sustainable Source of Leads, 3) Sales Tactics: How Professionals Advance and Close a Sale, and 4) From Tactics to Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t. Get out your pen and highlighter before you sit down to read and be prepared to take notes.
- Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success (Mike Schultz & John E. Doerr)
The authors are the owners of Rain Today, a successful consulting firm and content provider for professional services firms. They have created a pure marketing how-to guide. Their advice is backed up by research results on what works and what doesn’t for professional services firms. If you have a marketing director or coordinator, this book is a must-have resource for them. Business appraisers will benefit as well. (Full Disclosure: I am one of many bloggers thanked in the acknowledgements)
- The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar (Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen)
We live in a connected world. Professionals who appreciate the importance of and the ability to leverage the web will win. The book is easy to read, full of practical tips, and helps you understand some of the basics of using the web to create a platform for your practice that will attract clients to you. If you’re interested in using the web to grow your practice, this is a must read.
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman)
Content Rules differs from The B2B Social Media Book in that it is more of a how-to manual. It walks you through best practices for content creation and then instructs you on how to set up and use blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, webinars, videos, podcasts, etc. The authors pull it all together to help you understand how to use the content and platform(s) you’ve created to make your phone ring.
These five books, at a minimum, should be part of every business appraiser’s marketing and business development library. Reading these books, absorbing the advice and ideas, and then taking appropriate action can transform your practice.
Barbara Walters Price is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Mercer Capital. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.