The Behavioral Advantage

The Behavioral Advantage is our follow-up to Winning Behavior, but in this book we focus on how business developers and companies can use behavioral differentiation to distinguish themselves during the marketing and sales process and win more business.  This book is intended for sales managers and others who are responsible for developing business in their companies.  Among the key concepts in this book is the idea that business development is like a chess game:  it has a distinct opening game, middle game, and end game.  The book describes what business developers should be doing in each of these phases of the BD process.

Author(s): Terry R. Bacon and David G. Pugh
# of pages: 308 (with index)
Publication date: May 2004
Publisher: AMACOM Books
Available at:
Relevant Research: Chapter 11 of this book presents the findings from a behavioral differentiation study we conducted at Lore International Institute.  One of the interesting findings was that respondents believed that traditional forms of differentiation are fading, but they are not yet doing enough to differentiate themselves during the business development process.
Reviews & Comments: Every page of this book is competitive gold. The book beautifully elaborates on the thinking processes that B2B companies use to gain competitive advantage in an ever-tightening market. It will help company leaders counter unproductive behavior, and function in highly competitive industries.Generally, I tend to rate business books on how well they help me understand the business and industry I work in, and using those guideline. I found this book to be extremely valuable. There are many original, great ideas presented in this book which stand alone on their own merit. However, Pugh and Bacon also build upon their previous book, Winning Behavior, which showed the paradox that well managed companies, like the Men’s Warehouse, have built successful business models that listen to customers and employ behavioral differentiation, and yet are not emulated by their competition.The authors draw on a large body of case histories and business theory to present a fresh and compelling case, reminiscent of Pugh’s earlier work in Proposing to Win, which has helped me a great deal. This work differs from most business books by establishing a model, and then making innovative predictions based on that model. For that reason alone, it is more valuable than the typical management book, which simply documents what was successful elsewhere, without a real analysis as to the reasons and limitations of this success.

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