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,
Chief Marketing Officer
Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle™
The PLACE For Prosperity WithOUT the Bull
P.S. If you’re interested in more “best of” wisdom, check out The Best of Dan Kennedy which assembles the best library of closely-guarded secrets Dan’s ever recorded for his clients. And when you enter promotional code 322 and order by this Sunday, you’ll get it at half off!