Randy Mayeux and I are really excited about our upcoming book, entitled Answers to 100 Best Business Questions from 100 Best-Selling Business Books.
The book attempts to answer questions that our clients have in areas such as customer service, management, leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and strategy. The answers come from books that we have presented over the years at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. Each question and answer fits on exactly one page.
The idea for the book came from a presentation we heard last week at Success North Dallas with Jill Schiefelbein, who spoke on business video, podcasting, and livestreaming. She is called the DYNAMIC COMMUNICATOR. Her major take-away is that businesses need to answer the questions that their customers ask. I am pictured with her below.
Here is a sample page from the book to whet your appetite:
What do customers really want salespeople to know?
Ram Charan. (2007). What the customer wants you to know: How everybody needs to think differently about sales. New York: Portfolio.
The landscape for selling has changed in significant ways in the past twenty years. Customers’ quest for personal service and high quality, now rival the best possible price that they want to pay. In this best-seller, Ram Charan explains what this revolution in customer demands means for salespeople’s behavior.
What exactly has changed? Years ago, supplies were tight, and customers had to book orders months in advance, with little room to negotiate price. Salespeople transitioned from order-takers to ambassadors, identifying needs and linking them to products and services, building relationships with their customers. Today, there is a glut of suppliers and supplies, with access from the Internet to all types of locations. The customers are under pressure to deliver value to their clients. “But the pressure on customers to perform is actually a huge opportunity for those suppliers who can help them….So while they want low prices, they also want their clients to love their products and services. They want to win against their competitors and stay ahead of them…They want suppliers who can help them accomplish those things by acting as partners, not one-time transactors” (pp. 4-5)
So, what does Charan say to do? Make the focus on the prosperity of your customers. Become your customer’s trusted partner, requiring you to understand: (1) the customer’s set of opportunities and the anatomy of competitive dynamics, (2) the customer’s customers and the customer’s competitors, (3) how decisions are made in the customer’s organization, (4) the customer’s company culture and its dominant psychology and values, and (5) the customer’s goals and priorities, both short-term and long-term, clearly and specifically (p. 40).
In short, Charan tells you to measure your success by how well your customers are doing with your help. Do not focus on selling a product or service; focus on how you can help the customer succeed in all ways that are important to that customer.
As evidence of how nervous we are about global finance, James Rickards‘ book on the subject, released on November 15, has shot all the way to # 3 as a debut selection. News about this appeared in the Wall Street Journal Business Best-Seller Hardcover list, published on November 26-27, p. C14.
Rickards’ title is The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis (New York: Portfolio). The book is currently # 1 in three Business and Money categories on Amazon.com
This is not Rickards’ first book. As I both paraphrase and quote from his biography published on Amazon.com, he is the Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a financial newsletter, and Director of The James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics and global capital. He is the author of The New Case for Gold (April 2016), and two New York Times’ best-sellers, The Death of Money (2014), and Currency Wars (2011) published by Penguin Random House. “He is a portfolio manager, lawyer, and economist, and has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management, and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He is an Op-Ed contributor to the Financial Times, Evening Standard, New York Times, and Washington Post, and has been interviewed on BBC, CNN, NPR, C- SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rickards is a guest lecturer in globalization and finance at The Johns Hopkins University, The Kellogg School at Northwestern, and the School of Advanced International Studies.”
The essence of this book appears in a description on Amazon.com: “As Rickards shows in this frightening, meticulously researched book, governments around the world have no compunction about conspiring against their citizens. They will have stockpiled hard assets when stock exchanges are closed, ATMs shut down, money market funds frozen, asset managers instructed not to sell securities, negative interest rates imposed, and cash withdrawals denied.”
It remains to be seen whether we will present this book at an upcoming First Friday Book Synopsis. Part of this depends upon the critical reviews the book receives, and how well it performs on upcoming best-seller lists. But, there is little question that the book will continue to receive much attention over the next several months.
Only one book debuted on the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list this week (July 23-24, p. C14).
The book is entitled Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life (Atria Books, 2016). It entered the list at #7, and has been available since mid-April of this year.
The author is Adam Markel. He is the CEO of Peak Potentials. Over the years, he has trained thousands of people to find new jobs, careers, and directions. In addition to being an author, he is a keynote speaker, real estate developer, entrepreneur, and attorney. Having run his private law practice for more than 17 years, Adam underwent a career change by creating a successful commercial real estate investment firm, title insurance company, and social media start-up. You can read more about him by clicking HERE to find his website.
His website describes the book as follows:
“Adam reveals his top strategies and tools to creating a new path towards your ultimate happiness and fulfillment by finding your big ‘why’ for living. Adam shares powerful and life-changing exercises, declarations and challenges with you, as a way to help you start taking action, releasing negative beliefs and patterns and replacing them with powerful Intentions and daily rituals.”
Markel also publishes a downloadable Pivot Journal, to help you track your progress toward the reinvention of your career and life that you desire.
We have not yet determined if we will present this book at an upcoming First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. While it qualifies since it is on a national best-seller list, one factor will be whether it maintains its popularity, and appears on other lists. As I am writing this post, the book is at #157 on the Motivation and Self-Improvement business sub-category on Amazon.com.
So, stay tuned as we monitor its progress.
Only one new book debuted on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list, published on July 16-17, p. C10.
The book is entitled Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez (New York: Harper, 2016). The book was distributed on June 28, 2016, and debuted at # 5 in the list, which is incredibly high. It has also been on the New York Times best-seller list, thus qualifying the book as a potential selection at our First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
One description of the book is “Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble.”
Here is a summary of the book, from Amazon.com:
“After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team, turning its users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. He also fathered two children with a woman he barely knew, committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg’s desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sport cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrel.
“Now, this gleeful contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future. Weighing in on everything from startups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetization and digital “privacy,” García Martínez shares his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a humorous, subversive tour of the fascinatingly insular tech industry. Chaos Monkeys lays bare the hijinks, trade secrets, and power plays of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists, accidental tourists, and money cowboys who are revolutionizing our world. The question is, will we survive?”
I haven’t read this book yet, and I don’t know if we will present it at the First Friday Book Synopsis. But, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that people love to buy books that are exposes. Also, books about scandals sell very well. Perhaps that is how this book vaulted all the way to # 5 in its debut on the best-selling list.
The new book by Chris Anderson, TED: Guide to Public Speaking (Houghton Mifflin, 2016), rocketed to the #3 position in its debut week on the Wall Street Journal best-selling hardcover business list, published on May 21-22 (p. C14).
We rely on the New York Times business best-seller list as our primary source for selecting books for the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. We will consider this book, as well as others, as soon as we see its listing there.
Other new books include The Ideal Team Player (Jossey-Bass, 2016) by Patrick Lencioni at #7. It debuted at #8 last week.
Michael Synk of Memphis, Tennessee is a business coach/consultant who coaches business owners and executives in the Mid-South on how to have a better business and richer life.
He now hosts his own version of the First Friday Book Synopsis in Memphis, with a creative use of materials from our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.
He is offering one free attendance to one of his sessions to the person who sends in the best photo of their own “Tower of Guilt” – that stack of books, already purchased, still unread. Here’s how he introduced the challenge: “Do you have a “Tower of Guilt” on your desk or nightstand, that large stack of books that you have been meaning to read but haven’t.”
Here’s are a couple of the submissions.
Do you have your own “tower of guilt?” I suspect we all do. That is why Karl Krayer and I present 24 book synopses every year – two a month – so that you can learn the key content of best selling business books, and then either decide to buy the book yourself for a deeper dive, or use your time to read other books that we can not get to.
The goal is simple – to help you build an ever-growing cache of usable knowledge, to help you on your own path to business and life success.
Great idea, Michael! (To see more photos submitted to Michael – or, to learn about his event if you live near the Memphis area, click here).