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Jeffrey Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 business books that have been translated into over thirty languages. He is the founder of Fox & Company, a management consulting firm that shows clients how to dollarize their value proposition to overcome price objections and shorten the sales cycle.

Jeffrey started Fox and Company in 1982. He wrote his first book How to Become CEO as a monograph for his children and the children of his clients. He was asked to speak to a group of promising college graduates and he gave them copies of his monograph as graduation gift. Unbeknownst to him a copy of his monograph got into the hands of a book packager in California. The book packager called him and said, “I think you have a book here.”

They worked together for about a week to format the monograph into something resembling a manuscript. From there Jeffrey got an enthusiastic agent and they were able to sell the book very quickly.

Our conversation covered some powerful topics including marketing and the power of writing short and simple books here are a few of the takeaways:

  • Readability is the thing you most want when you publish a book. You want your audience to be able to read and understand what you say.
  • In marketing you have to find the obvious and then say it in a way that hasn’t been said before.
  • 90%-95% of all business books aren’t read past page 14.
  • When writing for an audience write for yourself first. Make it simple. Write your statement and then say why it works.
  • It’s no easy business to be simple — Gustave Flaubert
  • A brand is a promise.
  • A brand is not the product. A brand is the name of the product
  • What you’re watching for in the marketplace is positive brand awareness
  • Positive Brand Awareness means that your brand is associated with the highest quality and the highest prices.
  • A brand is worth more than the physical property of the company.
  • You’d rather own a market than a mill. And a brand that represents the market.
  • The biggest mistake that new entrepreneurs and new authors make is they think social media is their message. Social media is the method for getting your message out. Figure out what your message is and then choose the media best suited to transmit that message.
  • A book has to be interesting to have any staying power.
  • When you publish a book traditionally it’s important to have an agent who specializes in the genre of book you’re writing.
  • When writing in a new market that you’re not familiar with it’s a good idea to get beta readers and listen to their feedback.
  • The #1 problem in business today is 90% of businesses don’t know how to price their products. You should always price your products based on the value they give your customer. So if your product costs $1 to produce and it provides the $20 of value to the customer you can safely price that product at $15
  • Another huge problem is how to overcome the price objections of your customers. In order to do that you have to know your product and your competitor’s product enough to be able to explain why, even though your product is priced higher, your product is a better value in the marketplace.
  • When explaining the value of your product people want numbers, facts and figures. Adjectives alone don’t cut it.
  • When selling business-to-business products the buying decision is 15% “feel-good factor” and 85% “does this solve my problem?” With selling in the consumer market a lot more buying decisions are based on the feel-good factor.
  • It’s especially important today to get out of your office and meet your customers face-to-face.
  • The secret of listening to feedback is to listen for something. You want to listen for specifics like dates, facts and figures.
  • It’s very important that you listen to feedback dispassionately.
  • Listen to yourself. Listen to your customers. Don’t go by commonly held wisdom.

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3 Steps to Creating an Author Brand from Scratch

1. You’ve got to write something interesting, something good.
2. Your audience has got to be able to read it and like it.
3. You’ve got to decide what media to put your message on.

The 2 reasons Everyone Buys Everything

1. To solve a problem
2. To feel good (or some combination of these two.)

Jeffrey Fox’s Books

1. How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization
2. How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Client
3. Secrets of Great Rainmakers: The Keys to Success and Wealth
4. How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees
5. The Dollarization Discipline: How Smart Companies Create Customer Value…and Profit from It
7. How to Be a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies and Great Managers Do in Tough Times
8.How to Make Big Money in Your Own Small Business: Unexpected Rules Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know
9. Don’t Send a Resume: And Other Contrarian Rules to Help Land a Great Job
10. How to Become a Marketing Superstar: Unexpected Rules that Ring the Cash Register
11. Rain: What a Paperboy Learned About Business
12. How to Get to the Top: Business Lessons Learned at the Dinner Table (Fox Business Library)
13. Don’t Send a CV: And Other Controversial Rules to Help Land a Great Job

Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview – Jeffrey’s Marketing consulting firm – A website specializing in business books

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