Okay, maybe you wouldn’t go door-to-door…then again when I was trying to sell real estate we used some pretty bizarre methods, so why not?
Anyway, you might get an idea from Robert!
Sell Your Book Door-To-Door!
Sell your book door-to-door is an idea that has been tested and proven over time by many frustrated authors and publishers. This article will give you tips about the art and science of this version of direct, network sales and marketing. IF you follow these tips, you will make new sales to new customers, and expand your network!
Have you ever heard of the door-knocking encyclopedia sales person? How about the Bible being sold door-to-door? All kinds of books have been sold this way, from fiction to non-fiction.
The method of ringing a door-bell, and knocking on the door WORKS. Here are some tips for you to read, digest, and then use, and get busy makings some new sales, and some new readers of your books!
1) Make sure the book you are selling is top quality. All the important details are checked off:
- Front and back cover are attractive, relevant to the content, and look professional. I recommend a full-colour treatment;
- Obviously the content has to be excellent;
- Interior text layout MUST be crisp, clean, with proper sizing. DO NOT try and jam in text and fill the entire page. Carefully study the layout of successful books and get a feel for what works in the real world;
2) Create a “door-knocker” and or a flyer, something cool that you can leave behind to let people know you came by:
- Colour is best, but you can do a lot with black and white graphic interplay of text and form;
- Write a blaster headline for your door-knocker. Example: “Coyote Medicine… the Medicine of the Fool!”
- On your door-knocker, be brief and to the point. Point the potential new customer to the most essential few words that sum up your book;
- Make it clear on the door-knocker how they can contact you;
- Seriously think about giving them something for contacting you, like a reduced price on the book;
- Same idea to get them to keep the door-knocker. Offer them a further discount if they pass the door-knocker on to a friend;
3) OPTIONAL: Make yourself a sandwich board out of bristol board.
- Have big pictures of the front cover of your book on the sandwich boards;
- And really large font size for your headlines;
- Arrange the layout of your sandwich board so that people can read it from across the street, down the block;
- You are going to feel strange wearing a sandwich board, and it will drive awareness for your project;
- So it is important that it looks good, nice and clean on the layout, and not too busy, not too cluttered.
- Keep it simple and full of pow-wow;
4) Okay, you have the book, the door-knocker, a flyer, and the sandwich board. What next? You have you. And you are the most important part of this whole equation:
- Put on shoes for walking. I do not recommend high-heels for either men or women;
- Dress for success;
- Practice what you are going to say to the person who answers the door;
- Keep your pitch simple, to the point, and speak carefully, say each word clearly, NOT too loud, and definitely NOT too soft. See the sample pitch at the end of this article;
- Do NOT crowd the door. Stay far from the door. Look harmless, NOT shifty and weird;
- Put a smile on your face and in your voice;
- As you go door-to-door, remind yourself that you are offering a unique opportunity to your potential NEW reader. They get to buy from you directly, and it is something they will remember doing the rest of their lives;
- Give yourself a minimum number of doors to knock before you pack it in for the day. 100 is a nice round number. 1000 is also a nice, round number;
5) Get ready, get set, GO!
- Find a residential area that is prosperous and a bit trendy, and that you have access to the front door area;
- Remember, people are nervous about strangers, so do your part to send the right, harmless signals;
- Some people are going to be rude to you. It’s just the way it is. Don’t EVER get on your high horse, EVER. Stay out of arguments or any bad-vibe stuff what-so-ever;
- IF you are invited inside, which does happen, be very, very courteous, and stay focussed on why you are there; Be very polite, and steer conversation round to concluding the transaction;
- Do NOT turn the sale into something else, EVER. Be clear on this point. You can make friends, and come back at another time to get to know each other.
- Be very, very careful about mixing business and pleasure;
- ALWAYS offer to personally sign the book, and to make a brief dedication to someone of their choosing, either the new customer, or perhaps someone they are buying the book for;
You have to know that going door-to-door is going to feel strange, and it is NOT for everyone. This is why it is such a good idea, because very few people are willing to even give it a try, let alone make it a part of their regular sales and marketing program:
- You won’t have much competition;
- You will be memorable;
- You will make sales;
- You will start to expand your network;
- You can approach these people again, even the ones who said NO;
- You will be surprised how many people will say NO, and then wish you luck;
Remember to write down the name and address and email and telephone number of each new customer. Some will NOT want to give out some or all of this information. Consider these facts:
- You never know until you ask;
- The worst thing that is going to happen is they are going to say NO;
- IF you ask nicely, in a straight-forward, matter of fact style, and keep the pushiness out of it, you will get better results;
Here is the sample pitch for when you are at the door:
“Hello! My name is Super Great Fantastic, and the reason I am on your doorstep today is, well, I wrote a book, and it got published, and as part of the promotion for the book, I go door-to-door, and tell people about the book, and what I am doing, and, some people buy the book from me this way, and when they do, IF they want, I sign the book for them, and make a special dedication, IF they want. Here is the book (hand it to them) and it regularly sells for $47.79 and today I am selling it for $19.79 as part of the special promotional offer, and would you like to buy a copy?”
I hope you get the idea.
Okay, enough from me. Good luck out there! And contemplate this great truth: If a person says NO, it means you are just that much closer to your next YES!
Robert Farmilo is a published author of fiction and non-fiction.
He has sold books door-to-door, and continues to do so. He says, “No one else is doing it, so it really does work, and you can do a style of networking that is very rare these days. You build a new reader and customer network, one person at a time.”
He is a marketing specialist.
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