ABM: Always. Be. Marketing.

By Lori Culwell

Today’s title references the classic scene from the movie version of Glengarry Glen Ross, where super-salesman Alec Baldwin gives this harsh motivational speech to his group of sales guys.   This clip definitely contains language and is definitely not safe for work, so I would recommend turning down your computer’s speakers if you are in the office.

I put this clip up today to illustrate an important point: as an author, it is your job to get yourself out there and talk to people with the intention of a) selling them a book, or b) getting their email with the intention of selling them a book in the future. Is everyone going to be in your target audience? Nope. But, you need to talk to people you don’t know (whether on social media or in person) like they could be.

Here is a classic example of an author who puts themselves out there WITHOUT the “Always Be Closing” mentality: an author whose name I will not use, but who had a booth set up at BEA. I want to make a proper example out of this person because she made a mistake so simple yet so fundamental, it made me sad and angry for her all at once.

Here’s the scenario: a friend of mine who is a fellow author and blogger stops by this woman’s BEA booth and chats with her about her book. My friend is interested in the subject matter of the book and has a huge Twitter following, so if she likes the book, this might be a big opportunity for the author to sell some books or at least to expand her audience.

After a few minutes of chit-chat, my author friend asks for a book, and the BEA booth-having author, who is clearly NOT in the “Always Be Closing” mindset, takes one look at my friend’s badge, sees the word “Author,” and says “No….you can’t have my book.  I’m not giving copies to other authors, only to people who have influence.”

Wowzers.     So now this author has alienated my friend (author with a huge Twitter following), and has made herself the subject of a BookPromotion.com post where I implore you to please, PLEASE go out into the world with the mindset that anyone could be a potential reader/ customer for you, and that you should “Always Be Closing” until further notice.  Everyone you talk to might not be a member of your exact target audience, but you won’t know that unless you give them a chance.  Besides, what was that author even doing with a booth at BEA if she wasn’t interested in gaining exposure for her book?    I find it sad that she made it all the way to BEA with a published book, then was thwarted by a limiting mindset.

Go forth and network, and remember– you never know who you’re talking to, so ALWAYS BE MARKETING.

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