"We wanted to know what you thought before we hired you," was what an executive at Sony told me when I took her cold call, and another was even more blunt. "I thought you were like every other consultant until I read your book." The book royalties were insignificant compared to the consulting gigs that followed the publishing of the book.
Seriously. But don´t stop reading. This is a great, low-cost business development strategy. And it´s not going to take you two years to get to market. Think thirty days since this could be a handbook, a workbook, even a homegrown manual. And it doesn´t have to be a trade book published by a major publishing house. Lee Grant wrote a published a manual on entrepreneurship and found himself with a consulting gig within several weeks. Here´s how to use this strategic weapon:
1. Think up 8 chapters and a 125 page limit
2. Write, edit and publish (Kinko´s can perfect bind a book). BUT, you can always publish on demand.
3. List it on Amazon-if you haven´t done this before, Amazon nearly always requires 2 copies. So your total investment is 2 books worth for Amazon.
Now-for business development efforts:
1. Get a list of top prospects and call them up, offer to send them a book
2. If they don´t answer the phone-send them the book anyway. It nearly guarantees an initial discussion-and an in-person meeting
3. Send 2 copies of your book to existing customers or clients. Ask them to "send it on" to their best customers and/or clients. This is a referral from a trusted advisor! You can do the same with other vendors or service providers-such as your accountant, lawyer, dentist-you name it. You never know what people pick up and read in the waiting room where they have nothing but time to kill.
4. Post it on your web site-let people know about it-and then build off the content in the book to create newsletters. This then, builds up your database. Before you know it, you can build a database of people interested in your words of wisdom.