Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What a Sales Conference Means to Your Book

So I'm sitting here at our annual sales conference, this year at the Ace Club outside Philadelphia, and I'm listening to one of my wonderful colleagues presenting a soon-to-be published nursing book to our sales reps.

It occurred to me that most authors and potential authors probably don't have a clue about the importance of this conference to the sale of their book, so I thought I'd explain.
Excitement starts here

Sales conferences involve editors describing, showing, promoting, and cheerleading just-published or soon-to-be published books to all the sales reps. The reps will then go out and sell the book, talking to faculty about the benefits of the books in hopes they'll adopt t for their classes.

This presentation is our last best chance to educate the reps about the book and, more important, get them excited about selling it. That excitement fuels the reps when they head out to campuses in the fall, and it's critical to the success of books out of the gate.

Short of parades and confetti, we'll do whatever we can to push books to the forefront of each rep's mind. When they really understand a book and have solid strategies for selling it, they feel more confident that when they talk with an instructor they'll be able to answer any question and resolve any concerns.
Camaraderie builds confidence

Underneath all those presentations lies a hugely important goal, to enhance the relationship among the reps, editors, and electronic development folks, and nobody does that better than F.A. Davis.

I've worked for a number of publishing companies and have attended and presented at a couple dozen sales conferences, and I can say without equivocation that this company does it right.

[caption id="attachment_500" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Some of our editors and sales reps at a recent sales conference"][/caption]

These meetings build, enhance, and cement relationships between the people who make books and the people who sell the books. The closer that relationship, the more effective both groups become at their jobs.

I've never worked with a sales force that knows their products better than our people. They pay attention to everything you say, focus on the main points you're trying to make, and then coalesce that information into clear strategies for managing their sales calls.

That ability gives them power to sell more books, and that's good news for every author.