Today is a special, Sunday Edition of the Converse Digital blog to celebrate my next big experiment -- The #ivs4charity Book Tour. Sure it's a book tour to announce my new book, The Invisible Sale and raise $10,000 for 10 deserving charities... but it's more... it's an experiment in the power of Propinquity to build meaningful relationships that can convert to clients or future business opportunities.
It's OK to Prospect for Sales at Charity Events
Some folks might think "that's icky" when they hear me say the #ivs4charity tour isn't just about raising money for charity. I get that... but here's why they're wrong. For them, charitable giving has to be pure to be right. Well I disagree. There is nothing wrong with creating a very cool event that benefits both a charitable organization AND the creator of the charitable event. Having motives that may be considered selfish isn't impure. Especially when you consider all charitable acts are at their heart selfish in nature...but that's another post. In fact, if more charities would approach their event design with this in mind -- versus just offering up naming rights or other advertising awareness oriented sponsorships -- they'd probably raise more money.
How To Create a Charitable Sales Prospecting Event
First, for this to work, you have to actually be committed to helping. If you just create an opportunity to place your business card in a bunch of peoples' hands, you're doing it wrong. Your motives will show through and people will resent it. Thus you'll end up meeting a bunch of people that will never want to meet you again.
Second, pick a cause you truly care about. This will ensure your passion and "pureness of intent" shows through.
Third, focus the event on the charity as much as possible. That isn't to say that you shouldn't have any corporate branding or product mentions, just don't lead with that message. For the #ivs4charity events (which are book launch parties) notice that we used the word Charity in the title and hashtag and shortened the book title to IVS. We even constructed a hashtag that conveyed the book tour was a vehicle ivs FOR charity.
Fourth, recognize the goal of the event isn't to sell or make sales. The goal is to create Propinquity with prospects and customers via social sharing, content marketing, and ultimately, face-to-face interactions during the event. Your goal is to increase the frequency of positive interactions between prospects and your brand.
Fifth, make others the star of the show. When I was planning the book tour, I knew I wanted it to be about the charities, the party hosts and the brand that made it all possible by underwriting the entire tour (donating all meeting space, staffing, food and in most cases, 50% of the party bar tabs to the 10 local charities) DoubleTree by Hilton.
So when we created banner ads, landing pages and talking points, we made sure we featured everyone else versus focusing on the book.
Interesting Note: towards the end of the promotion period we began focusing more on "hey come meet and talk with the author" at the bequest of a few hosts because they thought it would drive more ticket sales resulting in bigger donations to their favorite charity. Even though I tried not to make the book the focus, in the end, the hosts were asking me to push my brand (book) to the front because they felt it might help their cause (raise money for their charity).
Yep -- Karma -- she's got a funny way of rearing her head.
Notice, there isn't even a mention of me, the book or an image of the book in the above banner ad because the events aren't about the book. They're a means to an end. Everyone that comes gets a book -- so great, I sell a bunch of books. But more importantly, I get to meet a bunch of people!
Will all of those people be prospects? No. Will some of them be prospects? Maybe.
But ALL OF THEM can be or become Social Agents (Chapter 6 of the book) and THAT has incredible short- and long-term value for me and my company.
How Can You Learn From #ivs4charity?
If you're interested in learning more (at a very how to tactical level) follow me for the next 10 days as I make my way through the tour. I'm going to be demonstrating how you can use events like these to create more Propinquity Points with your prospects. I'll show you content tips and marketing hacks so you can see how events can serve as incredible content generation tools. I'll be sharing the story in real-time and providing my thoughts on what is working (and more importantly) not working. I'll share the successes AND the failures of the idea.
And you'll get a ringside seat to my latest adventure in learning so that you can apply the insights I'll discover before your competitors!
Follow along at TheInvisibleSale or follow me on Twitter (@TomMartin). I'll be posting daily recaps on the blog and Twitter is where all the in-the-moment insights will happen.
Most of all -- if YOU or a FRIEND live in any of the #ivs4charity cities -- BUY A TICKET and come to see me in person. It's a hell of a deal (now that Amazon has my book selling for $21), you'll meet some great people and we'll get to talk shop.
The week is finally here -- the official launch of my new book, The Invisible Sale and I want you to buy it TODAY!
It's a small ask on my part -- but if you've enjoyed the information I share here or learned a thing or two that you've applied to your company or career -- then I'd ask you to help me out by buying the book.
I'm going to keep providing a ton of free, helpful content here and in our Insight & Information and Painless Prospecting newsletters, but this one time I'd really appreciate if you'd trade a few dollars to get some of my best content ever.
Or if you live in Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Austin or New Orleans -- attend one of the private happy hour parties to celebrate the book's launch. You'll get a copy of the book and I'll be there, so I can sign your book and we can talk shop -- over cocktails of course. Best of all, 50% of all ticket sales are donated to one of 10 worthy charities and we're even providing free food and in most of the cities your first drink is on me!
Click Hereto grab a ticket to any of the #ivs4charity book tour events.
What You'll Learn In The Book
I wrote the book as a tool not a trophy. My goal was to make sure you learned at least one new idea, tip, trick or marketing hack in each chapter. Judging by the early reviews, folks are getting that and a whole lot more. But just to help you see if this book is right for you... here are 15 things you'll learn.
You'll get statistics to support the argument that buyers today are conducting research online versus calling your company for materials.
You'll find case studies from companies that are using digital tools today to grow sales and increase market share.
You'll get a strategic framework that you can replicate to leverage your content marketing efforts for improved sales conversions.
You'll learn how to create helping content that your prospect invites into their world.
You'll learn the principles of Social Selling so you can use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to prospect and nurture leads without looking spammy.
You'll learn how to create Propinquity and why it should be the #1 goal of every sales and marketing program.
You'l learn how to create a strategically focused digital footprint designed to help you or your brand come into contact with prospective buyers.
You'll learn how to find and leverage the power of Social Agents to hear about sales opportunities you'd otherwise miss.
You'll learn how to create high quality video content on your own -- including tips from professional video producers and insight into the tools and applications you need.
You'll learn how to create better photographic assets, including advice on camera selection, mobile photography apps and tips for shooting better photographs.
You'll learn how to create more textual content -- blog posts, white papers, and ebooks... including content frameworks, apps and hacks to simplify the creation of text based content.
You'll find out why everyone is all excited about podcasting and how you can quickly and easily add podcasting to your marketing toolbox -- including practical advice and "how to" tips from professional podcasters.
You'll learn how to create recorded product demos and webinars, including suggested applications and approaches that work best.
You'll learn about how to use Cornerstones & Cobblestone as a content creation framework to simplify the content creation process helping you to produce and distribute more content without more people.
You'll learn how to convert inbound leads with Aikido Selling techniques specifically designed to close self-educating buyers.
How The Invisible Sale Is Different From Other Business Books
There are plenty of books on the market that tell you what you need to do and why you need to do it.
But you need a book that doesn't just tell you what and why, you need a book that tells you how. You need a book that gives you a step-by-step blueprint to build and activate a digital prospecting program. And that book is The Invisible Sale-- a field guide to building a digitally powered marketing and sales system that will let you prospect while you sleep.
Recent Reviews of The Invisible Sale
Still not convinced - don't take my word for it. Here are what current readers are saying:
I loved the book as with each chapter you walk away thinking differently and sparking some ideas on how you can master the invisible sale.
Excellent book. I own a marketing company and some of trends and events that Tom talks about, I have experienced, but I thought they were anomalies. I'm realizing now that Tom has officially labeled this new type of marketing as the invisible sale. The radar is a great resource. I couldn't put the book down.