When our client, a sales trainer, wrote his first sales training article for Entrepreneur, a reader reached out to him and asked him if he had a book. While the first instinct for many may be “Yay! A book sale!,” the sales trainer politely asked why he wanted a book. Guessing correctly, it was the client’s instinct to want to stay in his insular world of emails and quiet learning.
The sales trainer suggested that this was, perhaps, why the reader in question had been experiencing lagging sales: it was reflective of his desire to stay behind his computer, instead of getting on the phone. Pressing harder, he asked if he provided potential clients with quotes by email, rather than over the phone. Soon, the sales trainer had a new client and, within six weeks of coaching on the phone, that client had sales totaling $60,000. Was the new client happier and more successful than he would have been by reading a book and setting it aside, perhaps implementing a few tips from the book? Absolutely. The beautiful thing about providing your coaching services is that you are able to tailor your knowledge to a client’s specific needs and, in the meantime, hold them accountable for achieving the results that you promise, whether you’re promising weight loss, improved sales, or a better leadership strategy.
Sometimes, by providing interested with the quick and easy answer—a copy of your book—you are doing them a disservice and, in the meantime, missing out on sales. While selling more copies of your book is always a good thing, don’t miss the bigger picture. Ask yourself if the interested party needs your coaching or your book more. Most often, the answer is your personal coaching. As a coach and author, reevaluate how you are treating leads.
Are you fixing their problems and really thinking about how to help them, or, in your excitement to sell a book, are you missing out on sales for yourself and the opportunity to help others with your knowledge? While there is a great deal of knowledge to be gleaned from books written by coaches, nothing compares to one-on-one coaching. Reevaluate your sales process and your goals, and you will most likely find that you are not benefiting yourself or your leads as much as you could by taking the time to have a conversation with them about coaching. Send them a free copy of your book as part of their training.