A business book is a great marketing tool for people in the business of selling their expertise and know-how. Instead of thinking about it as just a book, however, you should be thinking of it as a product your ideal clients will want to buy.

Lately I have been helping several business owners create a business book product and have come up with a series of questions to help them clarify their thinking. Having already published a book and been through the whole process helps. But you could quite easily apply the questions to any service product. It’s a very similar thought process you need to go through.

Below you will find 10 questions that will help you gain clarity around your business book product idea. I have given example answers using my next book (due out at end April 2013!!). Why not cut and paste the questions into a word document and work through your own business book product idea?

What is the working title of your book?

Soft Selling: How to close more sales without being pushy

Why are you writing this book?

To use as a door opener to Sales Directors in large IT consultancies and software companies
To use as a basis of getting more professional speaking gigs
To use as a basis for a range of products and training courses for small and medium sized service businesses
To sell back of the room

Who will buy the book?

Sales Directors of Large IT consultancies
Heads of consulting in software companies
Heads of channel sales in large technology companies
Business owners of service businesses

Why will they buy the book?

They will buy a copy for all their business developers and consultants to read
To feel more confident with sales
To better understand their clients and usp

Who will read the book?

Initially the Sales Director, then their business developers
Business owners
Business developers struggling with sales

What are the top 5 qualities about your ideal reader?

A reader can have one or more of the following qualities to be considered an ideal reader in the order given:

Job requires them to do business development
Ambitious and want better sales results
Secretly feels uncomfortable with selling
Works for a technology company

Why will they invest the time to read the book?

Because they want to win more sales and they currently feel uncomfortable with sales
Because they want their business developers and consultants to sell more

If they were to recommend your book to a friend, what would they say about it?

It really helped them understand sales, feel more comfortable about selling, and they are winning bigger and better clients
They gave it to their business developers and it made a difference

What do you want your readers to think, feel, be, and/or do as a result of reading your book?

To gain clarity about their ideal clients, usp, and ultimately feel comfortable enough to do more selling

If you were to sum up the message of your book into one sentence what would it be?

You don’t have to be pushy or dishonest to be effective at sales