Learn Marketing From Story Books


Hundreds of business books hit bookshelves each year. Chances are, you’ve read some of them and were able to glean at least one golden nugget from each.

While ongoing education is absolutely essential to your success, sometimes the best business lessons can be learned from books that you’d least expect. Maybe these books are even sitting on your shelf right now ready to dispel incredibly words of wisdom.

The first glimpse of a “non-business book actually being a business book” idea came from Melissa’s husband Gary. Back in his finance days, he miserably sat every morning in a freezing cold conference room shifting uncomfortably in his suit waiting for the dreaded morning meeting, where they would give excuses to why they couldn’t close the 200 people on the list the day before and hear some pumped up nonsense message (think Boiler Room – if you’ve ever seen the movie).

The sales manager walks in one morning and whips out the book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Gary was shocked and looked around at the 25 ‘suits’ sitting at the conference table with him. Every single one of them was staring at this book, wondering if the manager had made some mistake and accidentally swiped the book from his kid’s backpack.

Turns out, he actually meant to bring that book. And it was a lesson none of those guys would forget.

Think about it. Sam I Am is probably the best salesperson EVER. He is hell-bent on selling those damn green eggs and ham, offering them in every possible way (In a box? With a fox?)

Finally this skeptical customer decides to try the green eggs and ham after Sam I Am demonstrates patience and persistence, and not allowing the various rejections to sway him from closing the deal.

We loved this lesson, and decided to try out this book and the sales message with someone else. Unfortunately, we don’t think she was quite in our target market. What do you think?

After Gary shared his child storybook wisdom with us, we decided to test out this methodology with another book – He’s Just Not that Into You. Melissa actually blogged about this topic last year, drawing a comparison between the book and handling rejection from the media.

The best lesson we found within this book is how to build better working relationships. In business, you shouldn’t try to please everyone. Some relationships are not meant to be, whether it’s a partner or even a client. You might not have the right capabilities, or the client may have expectations beyond what their budget will allow. It comes down to compatibility, so it’s important to learn who your ideal client is up front and market to them specifically (hint: we teach how to work with clients you’ll adore in our program.)

Because we were having so much fun with this research project, we decided to also teach this lesson to our little Brooke. We’re not sure she quite retained the information as we intended…

Finally, because we are both HUGE fans of the TV show How I Met Your Mother, we picked up Barney’s Playbook – a hysterical account of how to pick up chicks with various “plays.” LEGEND – wait for it – DARY.

This same format can actually be used to perfect your 30-second pitch. Or, rather, the answer you give when someone asks “what do you do?” It’s like the ultimate pick-up line for customers.

Instead of stammering through an answer and shoving your sweaty palms in your pocket, you can plan your “pick up” lines ahead of time. Before you know it, you’ll be closing the deal every day (pun definitely intended).

Melissa’s neighbor decided to check it out… Turns out, he had something different in mind….

So, what are your favorite business/non-business books? Post them here in the comments below and lets all build our must-have reading list!

To help share some of the amazing things that have worked with us in building incredible PR and Marketing strategies and systems to create fame, Melissa and I will be hosting a teleseminar called, “10 Tips To Become A Celebrity In Your Industry”

If you want to tune in, it will be held this Thursday, 3/2/11 at 2pm ET

First Name *
Email *

(One more thing… if you, like us, couldn’t remember the end of Green Eggs & Ham, you can watch this and see… and you’ll find out what Brooke REALLY thought of the book, when we stopped trying to make it into a business lesson… 😉 )

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Jerry Nihen says:

    Very well written article. I loved the way you presented this, and it is very a very unique and insightful look at selling.

    Love the reference to HIMYM. Awesome!

  2. Payson says:

    Thanks Jerry! Really glad you enjoyed it! :-) And, yes, Melissa and I are HUGE fans of HIMYM – amazing marketing/PR/Sales info there if you watch for it! :-)