It's that time of the year...
The kids are out of school soon, holiday parties are in full swing, and my wife’s pot roasts and casseroles are making the cozy indoors even more enticing, as the weather deteriorates….
We’re about to put 2017 to bed!
As we are getting closer to the holidays and everything is beginning to wine down here at Punter Southall Aspire, I wanted to do something a little bit different this week, and share with you a list of business books which I have enjoyed recently.
READ: Steve Butler'sSummer Must-Reads
They are mostly about developing great client outcomes, whether through sales or customer experience, and I consider them essential reading for anyone in a senior role.
And if you have an office Secret Santa (which we had at Punter Southall Aspire), or know a colleague who would love a small (and thoughtful) gift, these are the *perfect* present for any business professional.
So grab your mug and get ready to jot these down. Or simply click right through to Amazon. Whatever tickles your fancy!
Top 5 must reads for 2018
American entrepreneur Jack Daly has built six companies into national firms. In this book, he gives a practical system to quickly grow your sales. He focuses on three areas: Building a winning culture in your business, so that your employees are engaged; building a top sales team; and creating systems and processes which will get them to perform at their very best.
This book is not only fun and entertaining to read (although Daly’s personality is at times quite strong), it is well-organised and offers genuinely good guidelines for maximising sales, no matter the size of your business.
2. Getting Naked: A business fable about shedding the three fears that sabotage client loyalty
by Patrick Lencioni
This one was hands-down my favourite – a real page-turner as business books go. Lencioni explains how to inspire total customer loyalty, but he does so through telling the fictional story of Jack Bauer (sadly not the same character as the one in ‘24’), who is put in charge of Lighthouse Partners, a new acquisition. Gradually Jack comes to understand how Lighthouse consistently beats larger companies at getting and retaining clients.
Lencioni’s big takeaway is that you have to be vulnerable with your clients – not only providing amazing value but being open, honest and sharing the truth with them, even when it costs you time and effort. When you focus on fostering relationships and transparency, you gain your customers’ total trust and allegiance. If you limit yourself to just one book on this list, get this one!
A lot of businesses leave money on the table because they’re not identifying or utilising the key traits that set them apart (and above) the competition. Jaynie Smith helps you figure out exactly what makes your business special, and shows you how to use that to ethically grow your business.
If you’ve ever had a hard time distinguishing your unique selling proposition, this book will clear the muddy waters. And even if you think you do know what your competitive advantages are, I guarantee you’ll still learn quite a bit. It’s an easy read, so you’ll get through the 10 small chapters in no time. Each ends with an actionable exercise, so you can immediately apply all the great info you’re taking in.
4. The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities
by Anthony Alessandra
The Golden Rule is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Dr Tony Alessandra suggests an amendment. Don’t relate to your staff and customers the way you like. Relate to them the way they’d like. The key is to understand other people.
Alessandra identifies four different personality types in business – the directors, the socialisers, the relators and the thinkers. He explains what these are, how they view the world and approach different situations – and how to speak the other person’s language when interacting with them. Use this book to motivate your team and communicate like a (very cool) boss. Unless you live by yourself in a cave, it’ll be helpful.
Another great book about customer service. We all know we need to provide “a great customer experience”, but what does that mean in practice?
Matt Watkinson distils it down to 10 key principles, reminding us that businesses that project strong values are more likely to generate strong loyalty; we need to meet our customers’ deeper objectives, not just the ones on the surface; great customer experiences are consistent, effortless for the customer and put them in control and much else besides. Customers are the heart of any great business, and this book reminds you how to put them front and centre.
So there you have it. Which of these most struck your fancy? Drop me a line, and let me know which one(s) you’re getting. Or alternately, which business books you’ve loved this year. I'd love to hear your thoughts since many of these recommendations have helped with propelling Punter Southall Aspire to the very next level and will continue to do so well into the new year.