In the old chestnut, Customers for Life: How to Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer, (Penguin RandomHouse), authors Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown talk about developing relationships with customers over the long run.
That sure beats the “drive by” sale. Anytime you can maintain a relationship with a consumer where they make repeat purchases of your products is a good thing, right? Unless, for some reason, you don’t want their business.
That said, here are a few suggestions on how to use your book to develop a long term relationship.
1. Capture Their Contact Info
Is there a way you can get their email address, their phone number and/or their Twitter handle? If you can get them to opt into your newsletter (you do have a newsletter, don’t you?), you are ahead of the game. See if you can collect:
- Who they are
- What they buy
- Where they buy
- How they buy
2. Engage With Them
Get them to trust you (if they don’t already). The better you know someone, the more you learn about them. You will find out their preferences and dislikes. It makes sense to utilize this information for their benefit – as well as your own.
Are you using Social Media to build relationships? If not, you should be. This is where the eyeballs are.
If your book lends itself to this, develop a training program associated with it. For example, if you address “how to’s,” think about creating an on-line training program. You can hire an instructional design and development consultant on an as needed, temporary basis to bring your thoughts to life. This can be added to your website and/or be part of follow-up to your speeches for your readers to continually learn. A company that you can work with and advise you in this area is www.esharplearning.com. Feel free to reach out to the founder, Faith Halpern.
3. Ease Their Pain
It was one of the famous lines from Field of Dreams (after “If you build it, he will come” and before “Go the distance”).
What needs do they have? We all have ‘em. Can you uncover them and then add value in that area? Perhaps you can. And maybe, just maybe, they would be willing to pay for it.
In other words, “Find a need and fill it.” Then, bottle it and sell it.
4. Create Strategic Alliances
Is there a way your book aligns with a product that already exists in the marketplace? Does your book tout a certain service or other remedy that you could align with? For example, if you have a top selling book on sales training, perhaps you could partner with Salesforce.com or some other CRM developer. It happens all the time, folks. Think about it. As I write this post, Twitter is looking to align with Salesforce.
5. Market to Them
Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of BlitzMetrics, said “For every hour you spend writing, you should spend 4 hours marketing.”
Jared Dees basically says regarding a book launch, that the customer or prospect goes through a series of iterations over the course of your relationship with them.
Here’s the process you want them to take:
- Know (the book exists)
- Like and Trust (the author)
- Try (the book)
- Buy (the book)
- Read the book
- Review the book
- Refer the book
Unite (with the mission of the author and buy additional resources produced by the author).
Finally, don’t give up. You believed in the manuscript in the first place and somehow got it into book form. Now isn’t the time to turn tail.
You can sell a book to someone and never see them again. Or, they can become a customer (and maybe even an advocate – and a friend) for life.
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