Review: Shel Horowitz's Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Yes, you can create profits in an ethical customer-oriented manner without the risks highlighted in the Enron-Worldcom-Anderson scandals. As the title suggests Shel Horowitz brings us a practical marketing and sales strategies that are people oriented, truthful, respectful, and in each customers best interest.

An authoritative list of contributors made this book possible. At 160 pages, the depth of content and value of information surprised me. Horowitz uses an informal but authoritative style to present tested strategies with relevant facts; organized into three parts Principled Profit addresses "The way of the Golden Rule," "The New Marketing Mindset," and "Hands-on with cooperative, people centered marketing."

The first part explains methods and principles behind Golden Rule based sales and marketing strategies. Next, he details a new marketing mindset of abundance (less emphasis on market share and fighting competitors) which is oriented around strategic collaboration in areas of customer effort. The final part of Principled Profit provides hands-on methods for acquiring buying customers who are profitable, and touches of the social context of such marketing behaviors.

Shel Horowitz earned his stripes marketing for grass-roots community organizations with zero budgets as a teenager. Now with significantly more experience he provides strategic marketing for clients in Europe, Asia, and across the United States. While this is primarily a marketing strategy book, it is appropriate for anyone responsible for bottom-line results in technology industry companies.

Principled Profit is accurate and provides real-world applications in an inspirational nature that make it enjoyable to read, even for companies deadly concerned about economic and competitive pressures. Horowitz's strategies are consistent with what I share about profitable customer, and include more examples for your marketing/sales team.

A strategy you will find especially useful works from your investment in a specific customer base, with methods for networking this resource to complementary businesses. It focuses on seven tactics to turn competitors into allies, including:

  1. Get to know others in your niche. They can help you reach customers you do not already have and can add value to your own products.
  2. Collaborate with those reaching the same audience. Even your competition interacts with customers more interested in buying from you, work together, and reduce acquisition costs.
  3. Subcontract with each other. Very big in the software engineering part of our industry, bring competitors in as partners as they enhance your value to the buyer.

The result is more value to your customer, while generating auxiliary income from individual transactions of the joint venture. Horowitz packed Principled Profit with detailed strategies and examples you can use--no filler like other books on the topic.

It was refreshing to read a book that provided cost effective methods to increase profits, but did not rely on heavy-handed cutthroat tactics found in other recent releases. (If you have read Angel Customer and Demon Customer by Larry Selden and Geoffrey Colvin--then you need to read Principled Profit for practical strategies that build business relationships instead of broker them!)

I highly recommend Shel Horowitz's Principled Profit, even if you just read it then pass it along to your sales and marketing staff. It can help your team gain positive relationships with customers that will serve your bottom line for years to come, while providing customers exactly what they want and need.

© 2003 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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Justin Hitt is a consultant who specializes in growing relationships for executives in technology companies who want greater profits. For a copy of his newsletter Inside Strategic Relations visit

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