Every B2B company wants to grow.
So we do what we think will help us get there: read posts about growth hacks and new experiments on LinkedIn and influencer blogs. Go to webinars, conferences, and follow the B2B stars we admire on LinkedIn and Twitter — hoping that someday we’ll discover the silver bullet that’ll reveal the path to success.
The problem with all of this?
All your competitors are doing the exact same thing. They’re listening to the exact same people, reading the same influencer blogs, and trying the same growth hacks you are. And it creates a huge B2B echo chamber, where the same stakeholders offer the same old business advice and no one is wiser for it.
So, why do you keep listening?
If you really want to drive growth, you can’t listen to everyone else — you need an outside perspective that’ll help you zoom out, and apply common sense learnings from other areas of business.
In a recent episode of Seeking Wisdom, Dave Gerhardt and David Cancel touched on this very same topic and offered plenty of advice for liberating yourself from the B2B echo chamber. DC also shared the three books that could help you do that.
Bonus: DC and DG kick off the first session of #AskDC, where you can ask our CEO just about anything, from growth to advice, or the lessons he’s learned about marketing and product over the last twenty years.
Check out the full podcast here👇.
But in the meantime, let’s chat about the three books (and two unexpected mentors) that DC and the entire Drift team obsess over.
The Three Books Drift’s CEO Gives to Every Member of The Management Team and Why
“There are three books that I constantly keep going back to,” explains DC, “they’re Made in America by Sam Walton, The Everything Store by Brad Stone, and Built From Scratch by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank.”
The weird thing? None of these books have anything to do with B2B, marketing, or sales. Instead, they’re all about consumer brands like Walmart, Amazon, and the Home Depot.
So why read them to get better at driving B2B growth?
“The one thing that’s common in all three of these books is the obsession around customers, which is the thing that we live and breathe here at Drift,” explains DC.
Here are DC’s favorites:
- Made in America. In 1962, Sam Walton opened the very first Walmart store in Arkansas. Decades later, it’s one of the most successful chain stores in history. So, how’d he make it happen? In Made America, we get a behind the scenes look at how Walton operationalized Walmart’s success by putting customers first, caring about employees and partners, and giving back to the community.
- The Everything Store chronicles the life of Amazon’s visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, and gives an inside look at how he has forever changed the way people shop by placing customers closer to the product.
- Built From Scratch is an entrepreneurial success story about how Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank built the Home Depot from nothing to $30 billion in sales by combining low prices and extraordinary product selection with excellent customer service.
What Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger Have in Common With Your B2B Growth
One’s a rapper and comedian, and the other is a bodybuilder, politician, and actor — so what do these two figures have in common with helping me take my business to the next level?
Answer: They’ve both put in the hard work to do anything they set their minds to and have been able to continue to grow and learn — both important facets of B2B growth.
“Arnold did the thing we always talk about, he found a mentor, he found some role models, and he put his head down and did the reps and sets that were needed to achieve his goals. He wanted to be a real estate developer. He did that. He wanted to be the governor of California, which he was. He wanted to be a successful actor. He did that. Everything he has thought of, he has manifested,” explains DC.
Similarly, Will Smith has been able to grow while conquering multiple disciplines.
“He became a rapper, then a famous actor, and he continues to grow and learn. If you follow him on Instagram or YouTube, the stuff that he talks about and how he’s been able to be funny, as a comedic actor, and still able to grow throughout his career is super impressive,” says DC.
Listen to the Podcast For a Peek Inside Drift
The echo chamber effect is real and you need to break free. Listen to the full Seeking Wisdom episode to hear DC’s take on each of his favorite books, learn why Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger are important role models for your B2B business, and hear DC’s off-the-cuff answers to the new #AskDC series.