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What Dr. Seuss teaches about Sales, Writing and Business

By: Dave Dee on: March 22nd, 2012 23 Comments

On March 2nd, people across the country honored the late Dr. Seuss on what’s known as Dr. Seuss Day.

The best-selling children’s author of all time, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss,” not only had a huge influence on children’s reading habits, but also on the way reading is taught.

The impact of one of his most famous books, The Cat In The Hat was so revolutionary it created a new kind of publishing for children—Beginner Books.

In the The Cat In The Hat, Dr. Seuss only used 236 different words.  They were all simple enough that young children could read them—yet told a compelling story which gave kids an incentive to read.

Response was so enthusiastic that it led Dr. Seuss to found “Beginner Books”, a publishing company specializing in easy-to-read books for children. You are probably familiar with the Beginner Books symbol that adorns this breed of books with the Cat in the Hat that says, “I can read it all by myself.”

This concept has helped millions of children discover what great fun reading can be.

An influential and phenomenally successful teacher, Dr. Seuss communicates more than reading lessons; he imparts wisdom about writing, business, life and even sales. Here are a few of Dr. Seuss’ best lessons:

What Dr. Seuss teaches about Sales:

In his book Green Eggs and Ham, the character Sam-I-am offers his prospect fourteen different ways to eat his green eggs and ham…

Including in a box, with a mouse, on a train, in a car…

Sam-I-am teaches you:

  • Don’t assume your prospect isn’t interested. When Sam-I-am begins asking his prospect if he likes green eggs and ham, his prospect replies, “I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham.”

 

By the end of the book, the prospect finally tries green eggs and ham and discovers that he does like them.  Your prospect may initially not be interested because he or she doesn’t have enough information or a false perception. Be sure to give your prospects enough information (as well as variety) to make an informed decision.

  • Make different offers. Sam-I-am gives fourteen different offers before the prospect finally tries the green eggs and ham.  Make different offers in order to find the one that may appeal to your prospect.
  • Offer additional purchase options. Because Sam-I-am gave so many options in trying to sell his main offer (green eggs and ham), at the end, his new “customer”  decided he not only wanted the green eggs and ham, but that he would want them in all the various options previously offered. For instance, he “would eat them in a boat.” As you make additional offers, consider highlighting additional products to help your consumer become familiar with all you offer.
  • Use assumptive language. Use language that is not “if”, but “when” type words and talk to your prospect as if they were already a customer. For example Sam –I-Am says, “Would you in a car?”  In your case you might say something like “Would you like it in blue or red?”

What Dr. Seuss teaches us about writing:

Dr Seuss’ advice for beginning authors is, “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

Dr. Seuss took care in choosing his words, constructing each sentence to be tight. Green Eggs and Ham uses just 50 different words, yet it still is able to tell a very compelling and interesting story.

What you can learn is:

  • Make it compelling. Dr. Seuss tackles topics and creates interest by approaching them differently than what everyone else. For example, in his story about the Lorax, he challenges kids to think about the environment.  But he didn’t go at it like everyone else  He wasn’t heavy-handed and used lovable imaginary characters to paint a picture of what could happen and encouraged hope by subtle suggesting that something could be done if you mend your ways and care. Think out of the box and approach your writing in a way that compels your reader to think differently.

 

  • Speak to your reader. The reason Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat In The Hat was because he was challenged by the director of Houghton Mifflin’s educational division, William Spaulding, to “write a story that first-graders can’t put down” and asked that it be limited to 225 specific words from a list of 348 words that were selected from a first grader’s vocabulary list.  Because he wrote to six and seven year olds using words they knew how to read, he was wildly successful. Are you using words and language your reader knows and understands?
  • Make it memorable and fun. You may or may not remember the series of books used to teach children to read from the 1930’s to the 1970’s, “Dick and Jane”. The sentences were simple, for example, “See spot run”, but boring. Look at your own blogs, emails, and websites. How can you spice things up and have more fun? For example, GKIC Member Matt Furey has fun with his writing by making up words (just as Dr. Seuss did).

What Dr. Seuss teaches us about business:

When asked what made him so successful, Dr. Seuss once said, “I don’t write for children. I write for people.”  He also told an interviewer, “Ninety percent of the children’s books patronize the child and say there’s a difference between you and me, so you listen to this story. I, for some reason or another, don’t do that. I treat the child as an equal.”

One of many lessons you can learn, here are a few more…

  • Be persistent. Dr. Seuss once said that he had a hard time finding someone who would pay any attention to his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In fact, this book was rejected between 27 times before he found someone to publish it. Imagine if he would have given up?
  • Network and let people know what you’re up to. On Tuesday Dan talked about the power of “acquaintanceship”. Dr. Seuss’ first book was finally published when he spoke with a former classmate, Mike McClintock, who was an editor at Vanguard Press. McClintock signed Dr. Seuss to a contract.

 

  • · Never stop learning. Who can forget the Dr. Seuss quote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” The one thing you will find in common with ALL successful business persons is that they read. Be sure to set aside time to read your GKIC member material each month and you’ll go far in your business.

 

Incorporate even a few of these Dr. Seuss lessons into your business and you’ll not only impact your business in a positive way but you’ll find you and your customers having more fun too.

Dedicated to Multiplying Your Income,

Dave Dee

Chief Marketing Officer
Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle™
The PLACE For Prosperity WithOUT the Bull

P.S. Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

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    About The Author: Dave Dee
    Dave Dee is one of Dan Kennedy's most successful students. Dave saw Dan speak over 16 years ago at one of the Peter Lowe Success Events when he was a struggling magician. He bought Magnetic Marketing and as you will hear when he tells you his story, his life changed in less than 90 days. Dave became a very serious student of Dan's by attending my seminars, joining his coaching group and most of all from implementing what he learned. Dave has become a top flight mentor and expert and is the GKIC Chief Marketing Officer. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

    23 Responses

    1. DeeDee Zambito says:

      My children all became avid readers thanks to Dr. Suess stories. I enjoyed reading the books to them and having them read them back to me.

      Thank You Dr. Seuss!

    2. Roger Boneno] says:

      Excellent!! That’s all I can say, but I had to say it!

    3. James Early says:

      Great article. And to Think, I Saw it on the GKIC link.

    4. Lyn says:

      Great article, thanks. I just shared it on Facebook

    5. Ruth says:

      THANK YOU! I always think “Would a 4 year old understand this?” When I write, and you confirm my assurance I’m on the right track!

    6. I taught reading with Dr Suess books for many yaers as aspecialist teacher. But only nhave learnt his secrets that apply to his magic. And can now use it in my business Thank you for sharing the concepts. Fantastic!

    7. “You are so smart
      You won my heart!”

      Very clever, on-point example. It’s like a 2X4 to the back of the head reminder that I need. Thanks.

    8. Leon Romeyn says:

      Wow! I must read some stuff Dr. Seuss wrote.

    9. stevo says:

      Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr. Seuss

    10. Benjamin says:

      Nice Dave!

      “‘Nothing’ I said, growing red as a beat, ‘but a plain horse and wagon on Mulberry St.!’”

      I have been a fan of Dr Seuss since childhood… and though much of his work is an obvious place to model personal development, this is the first time I’ve seen it applied to marketing.

      Though I have missed many of these hidden lessons, I’ve got the ‘persistent’ part down… and I’m confident my persistence will pay off.

      keep smiling,

      Benjamin

    11. Gordon Rowland says:

      The more I heed the need to read, the more I succeed, and the better I feed.

    12. Nate says:

      Further to the examples in the article, the Dr. Suess book “scrambled eggs super” is another good one. It’s about a boy who decides that everyones makes scrambled eggs with hens eggs and that other more exotic eggs should be explored and he creates the best scrambled eggs ever because of it!

      It echoes some parts of Dan’s mantra. (I will do the opposite of what the majority do) and (I will find breakthroughs outside the majority)

    13. Teresa says:

      Great article Dave and I would like to ask you if you speak spanish.
      Teresa

    14. Thanks so so much for this information. I have been a teacher for adults and kids and I still remember doing Dr. Seuss books witht he kids as it was so much fun and easy to read. These tips are going to be invaluable for all of us so I am grateful for your email today. It will enlighten me a lot .
      Warmest Regrds
      Riyah

    15. Dan Kowalsky says:

      Great Article, especially for my business (Back To Basics) !!!

    16. Lois Eubank says:

      How glad I am to read this from Dan!

    17. A great reminder that marketing lessons are all around us. Dr. Suess was a master story teller – he pulled you in at the very beginning of the story and made you read till the end. Wish all my copy was that good ;-)

      BTW- A little known fact about Dr. Suess is that he was deathly afraid of meeting any of his children who were fans because he could not live up to their expectations – he imagined that they all saw him as one of his characters in his books and he was just a normal looking guy. He didn’t want to disappoint the kids when they saw him!

    18. rio rita says:

      Great inspiration! I promise I will buy these books for my four kids

    19. Ulysses Tapp says:

      Hi everyone! Thanks for the post. Looks good….

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