Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What Building Business Lunches Have to do With Virtual Book Tours

I usually hate thunderstorms. Thunderstorms means computer goes off and I'm stuck here, twirling around in my computer chair and staring off into space.

While staring off into space, I thought I'd clean off the file cabinet I have here beside me that acts like a desk and in which held an odd assortment of clutter, papers and whatnot, and it is where I spied a friend's book that I had been meaning to read so that I could give her a review.

The book is called THE ART OF THE BUSINESS LUNCH and my friend's name is Robin Jay. Fantastic woman, witty and really a pleasure to know. I had procrastinated reading this book simply because reading meant no working on tours or anything else computer-related, so it sat on my filing cabinet for weeks. It stared at me, called my name of which I turned a deaf ear, but tonight, I heard my name called so I opened the book and started reading.

The book is about how to build better relationships with clients through business lunches. Something I really didn't think would pertain to an over the hill chick who does all her business transactions online. I have to admit, I've never even had a business lunch but I always wondered what those guys and gals in suits were talking about as there was obviously a business lunch going on.

As I have gotten to the second chapter, I realized what a gold mine of information is in this book. Robin's philosophies of how to build better business lunches can pertain to tour coordinators as well!

As every paragraph was devoured, I found myself relating her words to my own life and I have to admit, she's a real smart chick. But the real eye-opener was a paragraph in the first chapter which dealt with businesses in general and what business owners can do to find out what their customers want so that they can expand their business to suit them. Happy customers mean repeat customers and customers who will tell other customers.

I often wonder how small businesses did it. I hear there are services out there for small businesses - or any type of business - that will help you learn what your customers want so that you can provide it for them.

I then started wondering...what do my customers want? What do the authors want out of these virtual book tours? The first thing that came to mind was that they wanted sales. I had someone email me about my tours recently and he asked me how do my virtual book tours relate to sales?

I told him that my mission is not to sell books. My mission is to make the author available to make those sales. I hope he understood the meaning. It's like a machine. If all the parts are in tip-top shape, the machine works. If any of its parts do not work, that machine may not perform 100% or at all. By teaching these authors what it takes to keep that machine working, and they do what I tell them to do, that machine is going to perform 100%.

Ask any of them. These tours involve a lot of interviews and writing guest posts. They barely have time to work on their books with the tour preparations, but once they have done their part and the show begins, they are in a better position to make those sales because of it.

Robin's book is an eye-opener. I was thinking it was going to be on a subject that didn't apply to me. Oh, was I wrong. I will be giving it an official review when I'm done, but so far, this book is a perfect must for even small business entrepreneurs! If you want to visit Robin's website to learn more about this dynamic woman, visit http://www.robinjay.com/. Tell her her mean nasty tour coordinator sent ya!
BTW, Robin will be touring again in November. If you'd like to host her for an interview on your blog, email me at thewriterslife(at)yahoo.com.

Dang, here come the thunderstorms again! Back to reading!

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