Love to speak?
Hate to “sell”?
Here are proven elements to maximize book sales at your speaking events. I’ve coached bestselling authors with this process and seen measurable improvements.
Even “non-paid” speaking engagements can become profitable by maximizing product sales.
These tips also apply to courses, coaching packages, or any product.
- If people don’t buy at the event, you’ll probably see zero sales from the audience after the event. (It’s called an “impulse buy”)
- People will benefit from your book, right?
- Therefore, boldly encouraging them to invest in the book is a way of serving them (not selling them). It’s not about the money, it’s about helping them.
- Do you want to handle money or talk with people? Make sure the venue can provide one or more people to help run the book table (if possible). You can also bring a friend, or recruit a volunteer, in exchange for a free book. (If potential buyers see a long line at the table, they will keep walking!)
- Have plenty of cash for change: $5’s and $10’s (I’ve also had success with a piggy bank and the honor system when needed.)
- For credit cards, have a point of sale reader, like Square (https://squareup.com/us/en/hardware/reader )
- Create a special price. For example: $15 for one or $20 for two. Or for higher price books, $20 for one and $30 for two. Keep in mind that most people have a $20 in their pocket. Even if the book’s retail is $16.99. people are happy to pay $20 for the convenience (and savings from shipping).
- Make sure you can get to the book table quickly after your talk, to sign books and meet people
- If you’re bringing other books or products, have a special “bundle” price that includes a few items. (But don’t let too many items confuse people.) Some people would rather buy a $50 bundle than a $10 book. It’s all about value, and the impulse buy.
IMAGE AND VIDEO:
- Make sure the event host (and audio-visual contact) has a high-resolution image of your book, and make sure they know exactly when to show it
- Or use the image (or video) in your PowerPoint/Keynote presentation
- Have a book-trailer video? Consider playing it before you take the stage, or at an appropriate place in your talk
- Write out your book pitch.
- Be succinct and bold. (See “mindset” above)
- Don’t sabotage sales with statements like, “I’m not a great writer, but…” or “I know there are a lot of other books out there…”
- Create a natural and seamless transition from your presentation to your pitch. Warning: If your demeanor changes when you “sell” your book, the audience will notice. If the pitch seems disjointed from your talk, the audience will notice.
- Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch even more than you practice your presentation, because “selling” is probably uncomfortable for you.
- When do you pitch your book? Usually at the close, but it’s possible that the middle of your talk is a good time. (If you do pitch in the middle, remember to remind your audience at the end.)
An example of a solid pitch framework:
[Segue from presentation]
“As we’ve said… ” [some key point from your talk that just happens to align with your book or book title]
“And that’s why I wrote my book, [title/subtitle]”
[Important: Hold the book in your hand, and raise it high, with confidence.]
“I actually wrote it so I could send copies to friends and family as holiday gifts… ” [Yes, this is a terrible joke, but you get the point. A little humor in the pitch always helps – both you and the audience]
“If you’re interested in more about [subject] this book will help you: ” [list two or three bullet points from the back cover copy of your book]
“I have copies available in the back of the room, and special pricing today. And I’d love to meet you and sign your copy!”
[End with a closing power-statement from your presentation to tie everything together]
Plan your pitch, practice, and deliver with confidence.
Mike Loomis helps people launch their dream projects and books. Since starting and selling two businesses, he’s a strategic partner to bestselling authors, non-profits, publishers as well as startups, and aspiring messengers. He and his wife live in the mountains of Colorado with their pet moose. www.MikeLoomis.CO
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