How to Use the Book You Wrote to Close Sales It's time to dust off the proverbial dust jacket and put your book to work for you.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We've all heard that a book is the modern-day business card, yet many of us have put considerable time and effort into writing books with nothing to show for it. Well, it's time to dust off the proverbial dust jacket and put your book to work for you this year. Here are the top five ways to use your book to close sales.
1. Get past the gatekeepers.
Your book can put you in front of a prospective client far more effectively than an email or phone call. A book sets you apart as an expert, and bestselling status provides social proof. Send your book to a prospect with a personal note, such as, "I'd love to follow up with you after you've read chapter four."
Related: Should Entrepreneurs Write a Book to Become More Influential?
Doing this, your book accomplishes the following. For one, it's well-known that lumpy mail gets opened far more often than direct mail. Books, all the more so, do not get thrown away without being opened first. Second, a book that solves a prospect's problem is a welcome gift. Third, your book sets you apart as the authority who can help solve that problem. When you follow up a week later, even if your prospect hasn't read chapter four, or any other part of the book for that matter, she still recognizes you as someone who can help.
At a meeting with both the CEO and director of operations of a fast-growing financial planning company in Seattle suburbia, I handed each of them a signed copy of my book. They both were especially impressed when they saw that it was a "No. 1 International Bestseller." A few days later the CEO called me and asked for my help with marketing, interviewing him on webinars and Facebook Live, and launching his book.
2. Meet your prospects for coffee and give them a copy of your book.
When you meet a prospective client for coffee, hand him a copy of your book. By making the personal connection, and gifting your book, your prospects are more apt to know, like and trust you and therefore do business with you.
I met with a prospective client at my favorite coffee house. After I listened for about 45 minutes about what she wanted to write about in her book, which she wanted to give to her cousin, a film producer and director in Romania, I gave her a copy of my book (my marketing asset). She called me an hour after our meeting, and signed up to become my high-end client.
Related: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Writing a Book
3. Hold free workshops in which you talk about a few chapters in your book and either give it away to participants or raffle it off.
The best way to conduct a free workshop is to find places where people already congregate. Networking groups and mixers are always looking for speakers. Join one or two of these groups, get to know the leaders and get yourself on their speaking schedule. At the end of your talk, give away your book or raffle it off. And be sure to get referrals. Ask who else you can help -- who else could use your book.
4. Use your book to get speaking opportunities.
When looking to speak to larger audiences, your book is your foot in the door. It is far easier to get a speaking engagement with a bestselling book behind you.
After I published my book and it became a No. 1 international bestseller, I was contacted by the host of a radio show in the Denver area, who invited me on her show to talk about my book. Her operations manager reached out to schedule the phone interview, and the following week, the radio host interviewed me for her show.
I've even been offered speaking engagements by Facebook direct message, based upon the success of my book alone.
Related: 9 Tips to Stay Motivated When Writing a Book
5. Teach a class on your book.
Reach out to your ideal clients or a community college to offer classes based on your book. Knowing several real estate executives, I reached out to them asking to do a free series on how to use your book as a business card. You can do the same. Find people for whom your book solves their problem, and offer to teach them.
Even though the opportunity exists for anyone to write a book, few actually do, and far fewer know how to market the book once it's written. If you've taken the time and effort to craft your wisdom into a book, it's time to take your book out and share that wisdom with others. Use your book to get in front of your ideal clients, by reaching out to CEOs, landing speaking opportunities that further seal you as the authority and allow you to build instant rapport with your audience, and teach classes to people who need what you're offering. Your book, marketed well, is your vehicle to more clients, more business and more growth in 2018.