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Selling the Invisible

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Selling the Invisible

A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

Warner Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Your service is intangible, but your customer relationships are real and reliable. Now, do you know how to sell that?

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This book presents the crucial concepts of new marketing. In an age where more than seventy percent of people in the United States earn their living working for service companies, the old product-marketing model is no longer viable. Instead of emphasizing features and benefits, new marketers need to work on developing lasting relationships with their clients. Those who learn this first will be able to attract the largest number of clients, even in a market that is becoming over-saturated with commodities and services. Harry Beckwith’s excellent book offers numerous useful tips in a highly readable format. Few chapters are more than a page long, and he offers enough insightful stories and eclectic examples to keep even the most time-pressed reader interested. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone trying to market a service and to those interested in ideas about marketing.


The Nature of Services and Why You Need to Know About Them

Services are invisible. For the most part, you cannot see, hear, taste, or touch them before you buy. The service industry, however, is hardly invisible. More than seventy percent of Americans make their living working for service companies. Many of them are struggling because their service-economy businesses continue to follow product-marketing models.

Products are not invisible. Selling a haircut or legal advice is not like selling a new car. When you sell a product, you are selling something that people can judge with their five senses. You can put it before them or let them try it. Then they can decide if they like it, need it, and can afford it. When you sell a service, you sell a promise. Your clients cannot immediately evaluate what you are giving them; only time and overall performance will tell.

Clients don’t always know if they need your service in the first place. People wait years to fix leaky faucets or to hire someone to paint those hard-to-reach places. Clients aren’t even sure what your service costs, since the price will vary depending on the time and extent of the service rendered.

About the Author

Harry Beckwith, founder of Beckwith Advertising and Marketing, won the American Marketing Association’s Effie award. He has worked for several of America’s best 100 service companies and nine Fortune 500 companies. Selling the Invisible is his first book. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and children.

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    L. O. 1 decade ago
    Good summary - great book. I have read the book previously and have recommended it to many others in the past and will continue to do so.
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    M. M. 1 decade ago
    Wow!! Wow!! This book opened my amateur mind in business or service industry.

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