Replace Your Business Card With A Book

Replace Your Business Card with a Book

Did you know there are roughly 10 billion business cards printed each year? And of those 10 billion, a whopping 88% — or 8 billion — are thrown out within a week of being handed out?

But still, business cards continue to be a standard in the professional world.

The biggest reason business cards fail is because people often don’t need the service of the person offering them at that exact point in time. Most people don’t want to save business cards for months and months just in case they might need a particular service in the future.

This is why we recommend using Authorify books in place of business cards.

Why? Because books hold intrinsic value and aren’t likely to be thrown away.

Even if they’re placed on a shelf and collect dust, they still have a continuous presence in someone’s home. And when your leads do decide to buy or sell, a lightbulb will go off in their heads about “that agent who gave me a book on home sales.” They’ll dust off the book, check out your number on the back cover, and give you a call.

But to use your book as a business card, you have to keep copies on hand at all times. A lot of our agents keep a stack of books in their cars, purses, or briefcases. That way, even if they aren’t specifically out doing business, they can grab one if an opportunity presents itself.

These are just a few of the ways you can use your book in place of a business card:

  • Keep copies of your books in your office for when you meet with potential clients.
  • Drop your books off in waiting rooms of local doctors’ offices or auto mechanics.
  • Hand out your books at networking events or forums.
  • Hand out your books at community events.
  • Bring your book to all of your listing appointments.

Any way you would use a business card, you can use your books.

And besides simply giving out your contact information, your books provide value to the people who receive them. Business cards are 100% self-serving. People know you’re giving them out for one thing only — to gain their business.

But when you give someone a book, you’re providing them with unsolicited value and a wealth of information that could help them whether they choose to work with you or not.

The bonus is that it provides all the same information you would share on a business card but speaks volumes more (no pun intended).

Results in Action

Fred, a veteran Realtor, told us about his results shortly after he became a member.

“I’ve been in this business for about 30 years, and I cannot remember ever having someone walk into the office looking for an agent.”

That is, until a guy who had moved from Pennsylvania walked into Fred’s Virginia Beach office

“He had been trying to sell a home himself, here in Virginia Beach. He said one weekend he came here to cut the grass and to just check on the house. He got tired of it and wanted to talk to an agent. We just happened to be the first real estate company whose sign he saw on the road, and I just happened to be the only agent in the office.”

Fred, who had just started with the real estate firm, was still waiting for his business cards to be printed. “I said, ‘I don’t have a business card, but here’s my book. It gives you all the information you need to sell your property.’”

The walk-in looked at Fred’s photo on the book cover, then looked at Fred, who said, “Yep, that’s me.” The visitor grinned and wanted to talk more. The two men sat down in the office. Fred shared some tips about the neighborhood, then got on the computer and showed the guy recent sales in the area. The guy learned that he had overpriced his property.

“We set an appointment to go out and look at the property with him and his wife because she was actually the decision maker,” Fred said. When they all met at the house, Fred walked through and gave the couple some ideas on how to make the home more attractive to potential buyers. “By the time I was finished, they were both ready to put the house on the market with me.”

You never know when or where you’ll find an opportunity to present one of your books to a prospective buyer or seller. Fred related another story about a recent trip to his local YMCA, where he plays basketball Tuesdays and Thursdays in a pick-up league.

Until recently, he had not thought of these games as opportunities to connect with potential clients. Then, on a recent Tuesday, as teams were being selected for the evening, he was introducing himself to the other players. Fred happened to have a couple of his books in his gym bag, so he decided to take a bolder approach than usual.

As he and another player introduced themselves, he said, “Hey, I’m Fred. I’m a real estate agent. By the way, do you know anyone that is looking to buy some real estate?” He was surprised when his new teammate replied, “Yes, I’m looking to buy some investment property.” So, Fred gave the man his buyer book and got his information for a follow-up. After they finished the game, Fred set up an appointment to show the man a $450,000 multi-family property.

The guy ended up passing on that property but is thinking about buying a larger home for his family and a multi-family property for an investment, provided he finds the right deal. So, because Fred was bold and gave away his book, he has two potential sales.

“I’ve been handing out business cards for years, and people just throw the cards away. They have no reason to hold onto them.”

The Author Advantage

As Fred demonstrated, his books provide more value than a business card ever could. Why? There are a lot of reasons.

  1. 1
    People respect authors. A book reflects the time, effort and care needed to publish it. Unlike a flimsy printed business card, a book has “heft” — its weight implies a tool or a possession. People have business cards. They own books. A business card is more likely to be perceived as an advertisement for your services. A book, on the other hand, is more likely to be perceived as a lasting resource, a reference material to be studied, saved, and consulted over time. Some books might get tucked away, but most people won’t throw them in the trash.
  2. 2
    A book provides instant credibility. Your name on the cover tells everyone you meet that you’re an expert. Remember the walk-in customer who looked at Fred’s picture on the book, then glanced up at Fred? That prospective client wanted to verify that Fred was the same person as the expert on the cover. Books are worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
  3. 3
    Your book is engaging. After all, your leads might spend hours — even days — reading your book. Just try getting that kind of engagement from a tiny business card! If readers come back to you with questions, that’s even better.
  4. 4
    Books build your confidence. Fred indicated that in the past, he had hesitated to hand out business cards. He felt more confident offering someone a substantive object that appeared to be informational, not merely self-promotional.
  5. 5
     A book builds rapport. It’s easier to give people something if you know it will help them. It’s also easier to ask them whether they are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property. Many Realtors — and other professionals — feel awkward using scripted introductions. A book does a lot of the work for you — it’s a great conversation starter.
  6. 6
    A book gives you ultimate referral power. In addition to providing value to the initial people you give them to, books serve as a powerful referral tool. The likelihood that someone will keep your business card and hand it out to someone else is low. But your books have staying power. They have a high likelihood of being passed onto other people after they serve your initial leads. We recommend giving several copies of your books to your friends, family and best past clients to hand out to people they know who might be interested in buying or selling in the future. 

Few of us have met the authors of our favorite books. And yet at the same time, we feel like we know and can relate to them. A helpful, friendly, authoritative, yet light-hearted book tells readers that the author is helpful, friendly, authoritative, and a pleasure to work with. People will take your book home, read through it, then come back ready to do business with you.

Giving someone a free copy of a book with your name on it will give you instant credibility, start building immediate rapport, and separate you from your competition. That’s why our system works for Fred — and so many others. The key is to find the best way to use them for your business.

To Summarize:

  • Any way you use your business card, you can use your book.
  • Unlike business cards, which are easily thrown away, books hold value and will stay in peoples’ homes long after they receive them.
  • When you hand someone a book, you’re giving them something than can actually use, rather than just expecting them to do business with you.

Take Action:

We’ve all had moments where we felt like we lucked into something just by being in the right place at the right time. But luck is really where preparation meets opportunity. If you prepare by keeping copies of your book nearby at all times, when the right moment comes along, you’ll be ready to seize opportunities.

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