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The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns [book review]

Book Review: The Win Without Pitching Manifesto Bair Enns

“not our objective to sell, convince, or persuade… instead simply determine if there exists a fit suitable enough to merit a next step.” -Blair Enns

This is not a book it’s a bible for the modern day agency or consultancy. After reading strait through the book in 2 sittings I was left wondering just one thing: This was published in 2010 and I’m just now finding about about it three years later? After finishing reading the book for the first time I had filled up five pages of moleskin notebook with quote after quote. For me this book solved a huge problem in that it completely reaffirmed my acknowledgement that the old way of doings things is not always the best way.

Quote After Quote

Since reading the book I’ve found myself calling out quotes one after another in office discussions. The profound statements found littered throughout the ‘twelve proclamations’ or chapters of this book you’ll find many “ah-ha!” moments which will be different for everyone. Blair has a way of speaking through word with conviction yet in a simple enough manner that the concepts seem like they should have been obvious although they never were until read within the pages.

Here are 10 of my favorite quotes I wrote down from the various proclamations (chapters):

“we do not win by cutting price… we charge more.”

“We are optimistic, enthusiastic people but it’s time to admit that our enthusiasm has not always served us well.”

“Be the expert practitioner…”

“Requires the patience of a farmer, not a hunter.”

“Client relationships should not be life sentences.”

“Claim of expertise should be a lot narrower than the sum of our capabilities.”

“We do not sacrifice our mission and be dragged into competing for work that is outside our expertise.”

“Passion can be a tiebreaker… do not overuse.”

“Put passion in its place and walk away from those opportunities where he is not viewed as the expert.”

“Profit improves service.”

The Seventh Proclamation

We Will Build Expertise Rapidly

In my notebook I described this 7th proclamation as “Gold!!!” so I think we can say this was the most moving chapter for me although they are all gold really. This chapter focuses on a few concepts including the power of processes, writing, focus in positioning yourself as an expert practitioner. Blair sort of hits the apex on this chapter in my opinion by doing a great job of weaving the previously expressed ideas into one moving proclamation. I really did not want this post to be a list of quotes so I’m sorry for listing a few more from this proclamation. I narrowed it down to my 3 favorites:

“Nobody attacks the unthreatening generalist.”

“We must take control & we must write.”

“In almost any of our repeated endeavours it is the strength of our processes that drives the consistency of our outcomes.”

“Nothing reassures the client more than little variability in process equals little variability in outcomes.”

OK sorry I lied that was four quotes but that 7th proclamation is gold right?

Our Best Year Yet

One of the main reasons I found this book so moving is because of how it showed up on my desk. This book was given to me as a Christmas gift from my business partner after he read it he knew I would find it inspiring so he bought me a hard cover. He left a hand-written note on the inside cover which I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing:

Gift Note from Business Partner
Thank you Robb!

Read the Manifesto for Free

I was bummed out that this book is not available yet for Kindle but good news is that you can read the whole book online for free here. You can also buy the hardcover or PDF version on that site as well. I required my employees read the online version which was fine for them but as I mentioned this book is more like a bible and might be worth it to pick up a hard cover copy to have around your office or in your bedside drawer.

I highly encourage everyone to consider reading this short book and I guarantee that you will have at least one realization that will justify your reading time. Afterward or if you have read this book before please leave a comment here with your perspective on it.

Update: I encouraged a HubSpot VAR agency owner to read this book and this is what she had to say “@Raliegh I did read the Win Without Pitching. A very good read. It is perfect complement to the Hubspot Partner sales training — so, it worked very well in this situation in not wasting more of my time or the prospect.” So if you are on the fence about reading this don’t just take my word for it!

By Raleigh

I am really fortunate for my work that allows me a flexible enough schedule to live my life in a way that affords me much happiness.

2 replies on “The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns [book review]”

[…] It doesn’t take much to see the problems with Upwork, just post a task on there and you will see. Sure, you’ll likely get a much cheaper estimate than most service marketplaces but that doesn’t come without a greater cost down the road. Have you ever heard the saying “Price buyers are twice buyers.”? Well that holds especially true with Upwork because many clients will simply choose the lowest bid that looks good to them. This results in a “race to the bottom” for developers on who can post the lowest bid the fastest gets the job. As a developer who focuses on quality above all else I’ve vowed to never compete on price because I believe developers are expert practitioners.  You can read more background on my beliefs about this in a book review of The Win Without Pitching I wrote here. […]

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