Book Review: Book Yourself Solid

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I came across a famous book by Michael Port: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling.

Instantly I knew that I had to review it. There was just one potential obstacle: I didn't want to read the book. So-called academics proclaim that one cannot provide a worthwhile critical review of a text without having read it. Do not listen to these pundits! I reject conventional wisdom and choose to evaluate books solely upon their titles.

Mr. Port's title no doubt proved enticing to many of his customers. After all, who wouldn't want to have "more clients than [he] can handle?" Well, I can think of one person right now: me.

A long-term oversupply of clients does not necessarily imply a successful business. It merely demonstrates a fundamentally mismanaged business.

As I described in Sell Cream Not Milk, not all projects (or customers) are equal. There is always a spectrum of desirability, with some being significantly more valuable than others. Therefore, an oversupply of customers means that a business is unable to filter its leads properly.

One obvious means of filtering leads is pricing. A service in great demand has significant market power. This is why excellent lawyers at established firms are able to charge more than mediocre lawyers who have hung their own shingle. Would a lawyer billing 1,000 hours a year at $1,000 dollars per hour be jealous of a lawyer billing 2,000 hours a year at $50/hour? The latter has booked himself solid and is on track to earn $100,000 in revenues, while the former will earn an income of $1,000,000 with plenty of time to relax!

I'm not suggesting that Michael Port's book doesn't do what it claims. As far as I know, Mr. Port's opus delivers on its promise in the title. I am suggesting, however, that the book's goals are completely misguided. Anyone following the advice contained therein is likely to optimize for the wrong metric. He will work harder than necessary and earn less than he could with the assistance of proper customer filtering.

Michael Port must have forgotten to consult me when creating his product. Don't make the same mistake! Contact me for a pricing consultation or grab a copy of The Software Pricing Handbook. It doesn't have a flashy title, but if you want to learn how pricing can improve your business, you'll certainly want to read it!