By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about increasing sales in your business by using your book as your hook.
Does having a book really increase sales in your business? Is it worth the time and energy? I get asked these questions all the time.
In the evaluation, you may find that having a book could just be what you need as part of your next sales strategy.
Here’s how it helps you:
1) Your Credibility Brochure – Oftentimes, you have but an hour to establish your credibility when you meet with a prospective client – sometimes less. It’s challenging to find out everything you need to know from them while at the same time telling them more about you and what your company can do to support them.
Stories, sales successes and your detailed approach to how you do business are often secondary to the fact-finding and problem-solving conversation. Instead, these are either found on your website or sent in a follow-up note, if at all.
Imagine, for a moment, doing what CEO and author Jay Myers does at his company, Interactive Solutions Inc., where he sends his book, Keep Swinging: An Entrepreneur’s Story of Overcoming Adversity and Achieving Small Business Success, to new prospects and clients. In it, they learn about Jay, his approach to business and the trials and tribulations he has worked through as an entrepreneur and committed business owner.
In fact, when Jay came out with his book, he not only got more sales for his business, he also got invited to speak at events and conferences. Now that’s powerful!
2) Deepens Relationships – Books deepen the relationship you have, not only with prospects but with existing clients, vendors and strategic partners. It has the effect of sharing your stories of the highs, lows and learnings from your business with others. It builds trust through transparency.
Oftentimes in these more transactional relationships, you may not find much time to tell your latest success stories or share what you discovered in another business situation because you’re focused on delivering your service, caring for the customer and getting business done.
Even sharing your book with your colleagues can strengthen your internal business relationships by revealing your experiences and sharing them with your team.
3) Built-In Referrals – It’s easy to tell someone about a business that did a great job for you. But sometimes, in many industries, there are so many people in the same profession doing great jobs for people. Competition is fierce and you need to leverage every opportunity you have to get referred new business while making it easy for others to refer you.
Imagine if your happy clients have a copy of your book and, while referring you, they tell the person that not only are you great at what you do but you’re also an author! Now you’ve got their attention! If your client is willing to share the copy of your book they have or refer the person to look it up online and find out more about it, that’s a powerful, MEMORABLE referral.
Books create credibility instantly. They make you an expert in your field. Others perceive you this way because if you were good enough to get published, then you must know what you’re talking about. Once they see your book, read the comments and reviews about it, see an excerpt from it and understand more about you, your book is your hook to more business and greater sales.
Referrals are easier and much more fun for everyone involved – because you’re an author and stand out from the crowd of other professionals being referred.
4) It’s a Bigger Better Business Card – There’s very little surface area on your business card to put your success stories, system and approach to your business. Sometimes when you meet someone, you only have enough time to exchange cards. Instead of just following up with a phone call, what if you sent them a copy of your book? It’s a bigger better business card that says so much more than you had time to say when you met. It also engages more interest.
By signing it and including where you met such as, “It was great to meet you at the networking meeting last week,” you remind them of who you are, where you met and then tell them so much more through your book. It’s your hook to engaging them in a follow-up phone call or meeting that could lead to more sales.
There are lots of reasons to consider using your book as your hook as the key ingredient for your next successful sales strategy. In the final analysis, the time, effort and energy you invest in your book could create a great return on your investment through better referrals, bigger opportunities and an increase in your bottom line.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.