Here, your next installment in the lead generation book!
Simply by creating a book related to your business, you establish authority and expert status on your topic. As you become known as “the person who wrote the book on…,” you add a touch of celebrity to that, too.
And yet, we’ve already taken that one step further.
By following the directions in the last chapter, you can create an ideal education-based selling tool. Mapping the narrative of your book to the Problem, Agitate, Invalidate, Solve selling formula gives your customer a tool that helps them make their buying decision. And because you outlined the buying criteria in a way that shows how your solution is superior, you’ve helped them make a buying decision that favors your product or service.
If you were to stop here, you would have an incredible marketing and selling asset for your company.
And yet, by adding just one more element to the book itself, you can get your most-valuable, most-engaged leads to reach out to you to move forward in buying your product or service.
This secret to effective advertising is also critical to getting sales from your book.
As I mentioned before, many of my clients have no sales force. They live or die on marketing that generates sales results, on its own.
This is a well-refined field, with over 100 years of best practices derived from testing and tracking what works.
Compare this to branding or institutional advertising, which does not rely on response. For a branding ad to be deemed successful, the executives of the company must like it. Perhaps it wins advertising awards.
But for a direct response ad to be successful, it must bring back at least $1 for every $1 spent putting it in front of a customer. Preferably, it either brings that $1 back with a new customer (when acquiring customers), or with many more dollars (if selling to your current customer base).
Nearly every single successful direct response ad has one thing in common. It has a clear call to action and response mechanism.
That is, the ad tells you what you’re going to get, and what you need to do to get it.
This is a foreign concept in books — including most books written for business purposes.
In most cases, a book is written to entertain and inform. In some cases, it’s written to establish authority and position the author.
If you want a book to be a highly-effective selling tool, however, you must add a call to action, with a response mechanism.
This means that by the end of the book…
— The reader (your prospect) should have gotten the content and value they expected to get from reading the book…
— The book should have presented the content in such a way that your product or service is established as an ideal solution to the problem addressed in the book…
— PLUS, your prospect should know exactly what to do next, as a result of reading the book…
This last (and quite uncommon) step is where you really accelerate the selling power of your book.
Your book needs an offer, a call to action, a next step — and here’s what it should look like…
Remember, very early in this book, I told you my big sales breakthrough came when I found a way to offer the very best ideal customers with a consultation regarding our IT training solutions?
In most cases, this is exactly what you want to offer here.
The exception would be lower-priced products or services, where the customer is ready to purchase now. If that’s the case, your call to action in your book should point them to whatever product or service makes the most sense.
For most folks though, you need to develop an “offer” that is essentially a consultative selling presentation. And in the process, you want to ensure that the folks who are moving forward at this step are ideal prospects for your service.
I imagine, if you’re like most businesses, you have a pretty good idea of the key bits of information you can find out about a prospect that determine whether or not they’re a good fit for your product or service.
In very generic terms, you want to focus on those prospects who are ready, willing, and able to move forward with you. Or at the very least, will be, once their final questions are answered, and their final objections overcome.
— You might want to know if they have the money to invest in your solution.
— You want to know if they see this as an urgent enough problem to justify moving forward now.
— You want to know if they’ve come to the conclusion you pointed them toward, that your solution is the single-best option available to them.
— You want to know that they are actually capable of giving you the order (and that there aren’t other decision makers that need to be persuaded).
— And you want to know if moving forward with your product or service fits into their overall plans right now.
At this point, your prospect is very invested in your sales process. They found you, through whatever advertising channels you were using to offer your book. They acquired the book (whether free or paid, we’ll talk about that in an upcoming chapter). They dug into the book, to investigate what you have to say, and your solution.
And yet, you’ve largely been the one doing the selling at this point. You sold them on checking out your book offer. You sold them on getting the book. The book itself sold your solution as the best one for their problem.
Yes, you did a lot of this selling through marketing — not directly. And by offering the content via book, rather than one-to-one, your positioning to make the sale is strong.
Still, if you move forward from here and continue selling hard, you won’t do as good of a job as closing the sale as you would by taking another approach.
Rather than chasing the prospect at this point to try to qualify them, you want to get them chasing you, and trying to SELL YOU on taking them on as a customer.
The way that you do this is by making them apply for the free consultation.
You should have a relatively straightforward application, designed to help you qualify ideal prospects, and weed out anyone who simply wouldn’t be a good fit.
Because they’re already so invested in your process at this point, it’s easier to get them to fill out a more in-depth application. Including, sharing information they might consider too sensitive to give to just any sales person who reaches them through other methods such as cold calling (for example, revenue figures, etc.).
While you can do this by email or paper-and-ink, it’s generally better to build a web page or website with the application. It should not be easy to find for the general public, but it should be an easy URL for your prospect to type in (after reading it in the book).
Along with the application, I recommend using a service like TimeTrade or Calendly to offer automated appointment scheduling, for the consultation phone calls.
The customer should be able to fill out the application, submit it, and immediately schedule a call with a sales person (or, the term I like to use, “advisor”).
By completing this process, the prospect has passed important information to the sales person, and actually scheduled a sales call to take place.
From here, your sales person has talking points for this consultative selling call with a pre-qualified, pre-educated, and pre-sold prospect.
At this point, they simply have to answer any lingering questions, address any final objections, and take the order.
A little bit more about presenting this offer in your book…
As we wrap this chapter, I want to address a couple quick questions about where this offer may fit within the book, and what it looks like.
In general, because you’re using the book as a selling tool, it’s smart to put it where your prospects will find it.
In an ideal scenario, your prospect will read every page of your book. But it’s not realistic to expect every prospect to do so. For this reason, you should actually place this offer throughout your book.
You can include the full text of the offer in the front of the book, where the prospect will find it as they look for where the book content starts.
You can also include the offer in the very back of the book, where they’ll find it as they finish reading, or any time they pick the book up to flip through and see what’s in it (this is very common behavior the first time someone picks up a book).
I also recommend working the offer into the main content of the book, where it makes sense.
And finally, you can write mini ads that direct readers to the offer in the front or back of the book, that you stick between chapters, at the bottom of pages, or wherever else they may fit alongside content.
In the offer itself, I recommend you address this handful of important points:
— What big benefit do they get by responding?
— Who is this a good fit for — that is, who is your ideal customer?
— Who is this NOT a good fit for? (This reassures the folks who are a good fit, disqualifies some you don’t want to work with, and causes folks on the fence to shape up to qualify themselves.)
— Where do they need to go to respond?
— What should they expect when they get there? (Application, scheduling of the consultation, etc.)
Once you’ve done this, you’re really on the home stretch in terms of creating an automated lead generation and selling system for your business, based around this book.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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