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During the latest Sheridan Books webinar How to Sell More Books to Non-Bookstore Buyers, guest presenter Brian Jud was asked “what are the typical steps in making a large quantity sale?” as it relates to non-bookstores. Below is the response given that is worth sharing:

Large Quantity Sales to Non-Bookstores

Sometimes the only way to get from here to there is not a straight line.  Sales people/distributors learn their prospects’ needs, propose solutions, make multiple presentations, negotiate the terms of each sale, and service the business once the order is placed. This takes considerable time, if for no other reason than that the buyer’s risk of making the wrong decision is considerably higher since the purchases are not returnable. Here is a description of the typical process for making a large quantity, non-returnable sale to a professional buyer, perhaps in a corporation, association, or school.

1. Search for new prospects.

2. Qualify and prioritize the prospects.  This is important so you can concentrate your efforts where you will get the greatest return.

3. Meet with each prospect to set purchasing criteria and campaign objectives.  Find out what their needs are.  Are they trying to increase their sales?  Are they trying to introduce a new product?  Motivate employees?

4. Product search.  Look at what you have in your current product list and search for those that best meet the criteria defined above.

5. Create your proposal.  This is your recommendation about how your book could be used to meet that need.

6.  Initial presentation.  Present your proposal/recommendation to the decision makers.

7. Due diligence.  The prospect will investigate its impact on sales, customers, and marketing plans.

8.  Follow-up presentations.  You may have to return multiple times to meet with higher-level people who can influence the decision.

9.  Negotiation.  Most of the time they won’t accept your initial recommendation because they want to negotiate.  Negotiate quantity, delivery time, pricing based on quantity, etc.

10.  Close the sale and follow-through.  You have to make sure the books are received on time, in the right places, they are of the proper quality, and that the process goes well.  Then you start selling your next order.  Start working with them for return business.

Interested in learning more about how you can sell more books to non-bookstore buyers?  View a recording of the webinar by clicking here.


Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, speaker, seminar leader, television host, and a partner in Premium Book Company that sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission basis. He is also the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (formerly SPAN).

Brian is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns). This is the ultimate do-it-yourself guide to selling your books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He also wrote Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly® book), a primer on non-bookstore marketing.