Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom is a fun, eye-opening book. It explores the field of neural marketing, which is a mix of marketing, behavioral economics, and cognitive science (think commercials + FMRI’s).
It uses an adventure-like narrative to describe some of the procedures and has some fun little tidbits in it, like how car commercials were virtual clones (you could swap one for another without brand/product recognition), yet the mini-cooper stood out because it activated the cute facial recognition part of our brains. Maybe I’m not the only one who sees headlights as eyes and grills as mouths.
The key points for me were:
– If one brand’s presence dominates a show, side advertisers may be wasting their money
– Rituals can make a product stick
– Little details, like headquarters listed make huge differences
– Non-important or non-existent magic mystery elements sell!
– Breakable brands are more likely to succeed
– Sex and religion in advertising aren’t always the best policy
– Associated messages (truly subliminal ones) are extremely powerful
The biggest question I had with it was if there was research done on how the warning labels and anti-smoking commercials impact non-smokers. While the book shows the counterproductive impact on those who are addicted, I wonder how they impact potential consumers who are not addicted.
I’ve been listening to Brian Tracy for the past few weeks. The guy is fantastic. He’s quoted almost every other success coach I’ve read. His books make very strong points and asks very powerful questions:
-The differences between a winner and a loser is: clarity and responsibility.
-If you could be guaranteed success in field, what field would you choose? If you had ten million dollars, what would you do for a living?
-If you aren’t willing to pay the price to becoming the best in your field you should get out as soon as possible. You’re wasting your time.
-In order to succeed there are only two things you need to do: pay the price and pay it in full
His time management tips are amazing. I especially love the one about procrastinating on what’s not important. It’s such a powerful tool. I also like the whole “eat that frog” idea and the focusing techniques. Aside from Rich Dad, Poor Dad (which isn’t really a coaching book as much as an eye opener) I think this is fastest impact couching program I’ve listened too.
He also gave some really good tips about time and money. I really like the one about figuring out what you get paid per hour and what you would like to get paid and raising the value of your hourly contributions to that. I also like the one about taking a month to delay making any big spending decision.
Speaking of which, I might have made a mistake, but it’s a “mistake” that lets me listen to these tapes. =)
The Psychology of Achievement: Develop the Top Achiever’s Mindset
Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income
Master Strategies for Higher Achievement : Set Your Goals and Reach Them – Fast!
SalesDogs (or Sales Dogs?) is another book that rocks. Also by Blair Singer. I’m not in sales, and have never been in sales, but after reading the book, I got all excited about it anyway. It made me want to go out and try my hand at it. I like how the book breaks down different kinds of people (or dogs) and its attitude. Instead of fixing what you suck at, it says get good at your natural skills, then start picking up skills from others. Its a neat flip of an approach. Some other cool things in the book are attitudes toward trying, rejections, getting started, and getting things done. I think this is a really good book to follow Rich Dad, Poor Dad or the Rich Dad Cashflow Quadrant book with. It gives a kind of path to someone that wants to move to the right side of the quadrant but isn’t sure how, and it does so realistically too. One of the interesting things it mentions is that it’s worth the time to stay at a certain place to build knowledge of the territory and learn all the skills and build the necessary authority and networks. It says that in choosing a company to work for, one should choose it for the training and knowledge that one will receive. It also gives a progression from selling products for someone and building the skills and knowledge, to opening a franchise and selling the product or service yourself, to eventually selling the franchise and learning to sell franchises. Very neat, optimistic, more realistic and clear. After reading this book I really started to wonder about my whole actuary endeavor. It got me all excited about sales and made me more eager to try real estate. The SOA exam is in mid February. I still plan to pass it, but as far as work goes, big surprise (sarcasm) now I’m thinking about another field. Next book: something about getting started in real estate.