How to get people lining up to do business with you, by Daniel Priestley. Review by Giles Lury.

Daniel Priestley’s strategic recommendation for creating an over-subscribed business comes in a number of stages, one of which is “You must give away information freely or cheaply and then charge for the implementation work” this book clearly falls into that category.

The next stage is to collect buying signals and with a final section in which he asks readers to see if they can spot which chapter he nearly didn’t give away and let him know their views, he follows his own advice again.

Priestley is a successful entrepreneur. He founded his first company in 2002 in Australia, at the age of 21. Before becoming 30 he had built more businesses each turning over several million dollars. He has gone on to set up and run more successful businesses. He is currently CEO of Dent Global, an entrepreneur accelerator.

Along the way he has published a number of books and become a public speaker. He clearly has the credentials to write a book on how to help your business become oversubscribed.

The book has a lot of interesting content from the 7-11-4 formula to who you need to create a successful core team to the story of the story telling brand Bremont and how it broke the mould for high end watches. (It isn’t based in Switzerland and isn’t over a 100 years old) 

The 7-11-4 formula is about building bonds with people and potential customers. In particular, it relates to you having 7 hours worth of interesting content available - blogs, videos, articles, interviews, books, etc – so people can spend time with you. 11 is about the number of interactions you have with those people. It is based on some research that people who had about 11 interactions with a brand are considerably more likely to buy from that brand. 4 relates to locations and suggests that you connect in at least 4 different ‘places’ – face to face, blog, as an author of  a book, seeing a presentation or meeting socially then levels of trust increase.

Priestley’s Core Team has four members; 1. the Key Person of Influence, someone who is known, liked and trusted in the industry who sets the vision and defines the culture, 2. Head of Sales and Marketing focused on attracting and converting customers, 3. Head of Operations and Products who is “responsible for delighting customers” and 4. Head of Finance, Logistics and Reporting who is on top of the money, the numbers, purchasing and logistics.

There is a lot more content which rang true and though it was not always new, it reinforced important ideas – the importance of having a distinctive philosophy, that’s it’s okay to say No and to be contrarian, the importance and power of data and the crucial and different role of Sales.

Priestley spends some time talking about being ‘remarkable’ which chimed well with me, perhaps because he describes it in much the way I do – the importance of creating something so good that people comment – remark – on it. It can be a tough challenge for a marketer to create and/or deliver something truly remarkable, but it will help create demand.

I do have a couple of reservations about the book.

The first is that as he mentions himself a lot of his advice is best suited to particular sorts of businesses; small business, start-ups, personal professional services, consultancies and agencies so may not be relevant for you.

The other I recognize is much more personal. It is clear that Priestley is a confident public speaker and a very good salesman and the style and tone of the book reflects this. It just isn’t to my taste. It may or may not be something you like and appreciate. For me, ultimately, I won’t be lining up for one of his events but as he says you don’t need to appeal to everyone to be highly successful.

Giles Lury is a Senior Director at brand consultancy The Value Engineers.


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