Harry Beckwith’s The Invisible Touch Book Review

The Invisible Touch: The Four Keys to Modern Marketing is Harry Beckwith’s sequel to his bestselling book, Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing. As the title implies, it’s a book about marketing—specifically about marketing your services. Here is my The Invisible Touch book review and notes!

My copy of the book is hardcover and the ISBN is 0-446-52417-4 so if you are following along with my page numbered notes, that’s  the exact copy you would need.

The Invisible Touch Book Cover

The Invisible Touch Book Review

Overall, this is a great book that I recommend reading in its entireity. Beckwith writes prose that is fun and easy to read. He is quite concise too, so you won’t have to wade through the fluff that is often associated with marketing books. The book has chapters and an index by topics so you can easily skip to whichever section you need to improve your service marketing.

The Invisible Touch Notes & Quotes

pg. xvii [yes, I even read the prologues and introductions in books!] – “Products are made; services are delivered. Products are used; services are experienced.

pg. 11 – “Research supports mediocre ideas and kills great ones.”

pg. 13 – “Ignore hard evidence. Soft evidence is much more reliable.”

These first sections talk a lot about focus groups. Beckwith gives the example of McDonald’s (and other fast food chains) who have had hard evidence and data that shows that people would buy low-fat, “healthy,” fast food options. As it turns out, every time these evidence-backed ideas were brought to market, they failed miserably. When research and focus groups are conducted, participants answer based on what they ideally would like to do.

Since consumer behavior usually betrays what consumers say during research, Beckwith argues that you must ignore that hard evidence.

pg. 32 – When meeting with a client ask them what do they know about me? What strengths led you to contact me? This will help you to improve your marketing and identify competitive advantages.

On Leadership, Sales, and Execution

pg. 39 – “People don’t lead. Purposes do.”

pg. 41 – “There are no ordinary jobs. There are only people who insist on performing them in ordinary ways.”

pg. 42 – “Before you try to sell yourself, make yourself familiar.”

pg. 50 – “The more you bundle into a sale, the more you risk losing the sale entirely.”

pg. 53 – “Before you look at your marketing, look at your execution.”

On Client Expectations and Satisfaction

pg. 54-55 – List your points of contact with your customers/leads. List what you’re doing with those points of contact. List what your competitors (or similar companies) are doing. Now brainstorm. What might I do? What is possible? What has no one done?

pg. 69 – Don’t waste time and resources trying to measure client satisfaction. Start working to increase client satisfaction instead.

pg. 71 – When you surpass a client’s expectations, you show what you are capable of. This makes your client’s expectations increase. “The better you do, the better you must do the next time.”

pg. 73-74 – “Expectancy theory is simply this: If your mind expects something to happen, it will.” “This means that anything and everything a service can do to convey quality, expertise, and the ability to perform well likely will enhance client satisfaction. Conveying quality can be as critical to satisfaction as actually delviering quality.”

pg. 74 – “On the subject of satisfaction, the client’s perception is always right. Your job is not to deliver service; it is to create satisfaction. Make your clients believe they will be satisfied and they will be, especially if you do it with passion.

On Pricing

pg. 78 – “Price changes the actual experience of using a service. A high price actually improves the experience.” An example given was with using powdered instant coffee at an expensive, high class event. The guests paid a lot for the coffee so they considered it to be delicious, even though it was pretty much the lowest quality possible.

pg. 80 – “Push price higher. Higher prices don’t juse talk; they tempt.”

pg. 84 – “The higher your price the higher your perceived qualty.”

pg. 86 – “If they come for the price, they’ll leave for the price.”

pg. 89 – “Price is often the excuse for why you lost, but rarely the reason. Look deeper.”

pg. 94 – Consider tiering access to your service with your pricing. For example, add a tier with 24/7 access rather than the usual 9 to 5 access and charge more for it.

On Branding and Naming

pg. 99 – “Acquire, build, or align yourself with a brand.”

pg. 104 – “Build a brand. Services are sold on faith, and brands create faith.”

pg. 111 – Brands should have depth and should convey no more than three meanings.

pg. 114 – “Look for a name that people can see, smell, taste, feel, or hear – or better yet, all four. Be a Red Pepper.”

pg. 119 – “Look for a name that makes the prospect, not you, sound important.”

pg. 120 – “The more commonplace you sound, the less interest you will attract.”

pg. 122 – “Say your name out loud, and listen very carefully.”

pg. 124 – “Keep your nae short – eleven letters or four syllables maximum.”

pg. 125 – “To become a brand, keep your brand name short.”

On Looks and Appearances

pg. 141 – “To make your service better, make it more beautiful.”

pg. 146 – “Copy your prospects: watch your visible details.”

pg. 149 – “Create the environment that will create in your clients the crucial feeling: their feeling of importance.”

pg. 151-152 – “What does your offer look like? Does it look like excellence? Does it fit the prospects image of an extraordinary service? Does your package, your place, and even your person enhance the experience? Your package is your service.

On Creating Powerful Connections

pg. 159 – “To make a keep a sale, make and keep a powerful connection.”

pg. 162 – Always address your clients by name and obey the metaphor of remembering their favorite drink. If you’re a regular at a bar and the bar tender knows your favorite drink, that bar is better than every other bar that doesn’t. Treat your clients like regulars.

pg. 166 – “Refuse bad business – and get rid of it fast.”

pg. 171 – “Choose the clients who are most like you.”

pg. 174 – “Seek clients you would want as friends.”

pg. 181 – “To build trust, build consistency – in everything you do.”

pg. 193 – “Communicating clearly is the essence of creating the impression of competence, skill, and mastery.”

pg. 202 – “Find your specialty – no matter how narrow it is – and communicate it convincingly.”

pg. 207 – “Get to it. State your claim strongly, confidently, and immediately – or it might never get heard.”

pg. 209 – “Sacrifice is the cement of human relationships. Nothing bonds someone to you more.”

pg. 217 – “Say thank you often.” I love sending out handwritten thank you notes to my clients as well as to the people who refer people to me – even if the referral doesn’t become a client.

pg. 218 – Call clients a few days after completing their sservice and ask “how are you doing?”

pg. 223 – Use your client’s name. Address them by name. It makes them feel important (they are) and like you more.

On Passion

pg. 226 – “Knowledge gets you into the game. Passion wins it.”

pg. 227 – “Exellence is not easily seen; it often escapes detection. The passion for it, however, is unmistakable.”

pg. 227 – “Passion is worth billios. It attracts clients. Even more clearly, it helps keep those clients – for life.”

Final Thoughts

The Invisible Touch is an amazing book. I hope that these notes and quotes were helpful to you. As I typed them up I realzied they are such a tease compared to the actual book. Below is a video of the author, Harry Beckwith, speaking on the topics he covers in his books.

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