Case Study: Sam Sellers Outflanked His Competitors with His Book

Sam_SellersSam knew this was going to be a tough appointment.

He had sat down in the prospect’s living room, only to realize that multiple competitors’ brochures were already sitting on her coffee table. She was shopping around, and making sure he knew it.

But everything changed when Sam handed her a copy of his book, Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care. She took once glance at his name on the cover and said,

“Our decision is made. You wrote the book on home care!”

Ever since Sam became an author, such experiences are commonplace. His prospects see him as the expert on home care, which removes the resistance he used to feel during his sales presentations.

Sam discovered that he needed a brain surgeon a few years ago.

Examining his private-duty home care company’s marketing, Sam realized it was causing him to blend in with his competitors—not stand out from them.

“I came to the conclusion that most all home care agencies—my competitors and myself alike—we basically all say the same thing in all our marketing materials. We’re practically shouting that, ‘We’re all the same!’ And I knew that wasn’t the truth. So I wanted to publish a book that would give families the information and resources they need as they explore their home care options.” …

Finding Freedom at Home is not a long sales brochure. It’s a genuinely helpful and informative book that answers the questions his prospects are asking. Sam finds that prospects who have read his book come to trust him, and are better equipped to make the right decision for their home care needs.

Handing out copies of his book differentiates Sam from other local agencies. He likes to use this analogy:

“We’ve all eaten at a Mexican restaurant. As you sit down, the chips and salsa are set there as a free appetizer. It’s the norm. But imagine this: As you sit down, in addition to the chips and salsa, you get the guacamole, the queso, some drinks, a couple of free tacos—you know, something different. That restaurant would stand out in your mind. In effect, that’s what we’re doing. We specifically and strategically use the book to position ourselves as the expert in our market.”

Sam employs a variety of marketing strategies to get his book into his prospects’ hands. He distributes copies to his referral sources, who hand it out to their friends and family. Sam’s prospects “get my book and everyone else’s brochure. Which do you think gets thumbed through and read at night? We wanted to provide value. That in turn pointed to us as the people who could build on that value through our services.”

At health fairs, Sam puts copies of his book out on his display table. Competitors are stunned to see a line of eager prospects at Sam’s booth, willing sharing their contact information in exchange for a free book. Every other booth has some sort of giveaway too, but Sam has found his book to be the most effective of all.

“Through the years, we’ve given away coffee mugs and calendars and emory boards—you name it, we’ve given it away. Without exception, the return on investment on all of those marketing trinkets is negative. The book is a giveaway with value. When prospects are armed with valuable information, they’ll make better choices. And we know that oftentimes that decision points back to us.”

Publishing his book wasn’t laborious and tiring. In fact, Sam says that working with Paperback Expert “made the entire process entirely painless. Easy.”

In a conversation after his book was published, Sam called Michael DeLon the book brain surgeon:

“You were the brain surgeon because you were really just extracting my knowledge and putting it on paper—while at the same time empowering me to continue with my focus on my business.”

If you’ve considered writing a book before and are still on the fence, Sam has a simple piece of advice for you:

“Quit thinking about it and do it.”