In the olden days (the 80s), most of us were forced to keep track of our business contacts on anything from 3x5 cards to those little spiral bound address books. The introduction of the Franklin Planner was a major revolution. Now, we have a whole bunch o' neat stuff to choose from.
I mentioned on Friday that part of your marketing plan should include picking up the phone and getting your name out to all those bookstores. Again, coordinate with your publisher on this. First of all, he'll be thrilled that you're willing to take on such a task. Of course, he'll already know it because you included it in your proposal (didn't you?). Second, he'll want to make sure that you understand who you'll be talking to and what you can promise them. Funny thing about sales, often the salesman forgets what a profit is in the excitement of making the sale. Your publisher will not be amused if you do that. That information is between you and the publishing house. I'll leave it at that. Just let them know your intentions.
How many calls can you make? That depends. But an average cold call should last about two minutes. If you get someone willing to chat, by all means, chat. Remember, you're building relationships. It takes time. Be patient. If you spend an hour a day making calls, you should expect to make twenty or thirty per day. That won't even scratch the surface if you want to reach every bookstore in America. Start locally and work your way out. If you're novel is set in another city or region, put that area on your "A" list.
Now, organization. Here's your marketing term for the week: Customer Relationship Management Software or CRM. We use Maximizer where I work. This is how sales companies keep track of you. It's "the list" you always demand to be taken off of. Now you'll be putting people on yours.
I don't expect you to go out and pay thousands of dollars for good CRM software. I'm still looking for a personal version. But for now, Outlook will be fine. You're going to use all those "other" boxes in an Outlook contact. Especially the one titled "Notes." You'll track date and times of your call, what was said, what kind of interest level you received, the booksellers favorite ice cream, his kid's dance recital, anything you can use to grease the conversation the next you call.
You have to THINK LIKE A SALESMAN. I know, it's scary. You'll get people who don't want to talk to you, lie to you and say they're busy, tell you to call back again and again and again, and some who are downright rude. By this point, you've gotten a book contract. I assume you're thick-skinned. Thicken in further.
By the way, those little headsets are great. Get one. Next we'll talk about scripts.