As Becky mentioned on Wednesday, Barbour held sales training yesterday. Various folks from all departments of the company gathered to discuss our new releases for the fall. In case you’re wondering what our day was like, here’s a little recap:
We arrived at 8:30AM for a light breakfast and mingling time with our road reps who fly in from all across the country. Many of us fought for space around the fireplace, as the beautiful rustic lodge where we met was still a bit nippy from the single-digit temperatures outside!
Our meeting began at 9:00AM with Tim Martins, CEO, presenting sales figures from the past few years and projections and goals for the next five years. He led us in an exercise to remind us of Barbour’s mission statement and encourage us to think about what the passion of the company is. We also brainstormed some new product ideas.
Mary Burns and Rebecca Germany talked about Barbour’s fiction strategy and our commitment to fiction--proven by our recent signing of five new authors to exclusive multi-book contracts and the launch of Heartsong Presents Mysteries.
Then the new product presentations began. The way this normally works is that editors present the products along with cover images, samples layouts, and excerpts. This gives our sales reps the info they need to sell the books. Then the floor is opened for any questions, discussion, and feedback from everyone attending.
Paul Muckley, Kelly Williams, and Annie Tipton presented our upcoming non-fiction releases including great devotionals, Bibles, reference books, perpetual calendars, and gift books.
Around noon we enjoyed lunch catered by a local deli and time to just sit and talk books and business and life with our colleagues.
In the afternoon, Becky Germany presented our fiction releases for the fall including hardback reader collections of some of our best full-length series; our new romance and mystery romance collections; and new full-length titles from Wanda Brunstetter, Mary Connealy, M.L. Tyndall, Kelly Eileen Hake, Marcia Gruver, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. We each got a set of the “one-sheets” Becky talked about on Wednesday to get to know our exclusive full-length authors better. (I personally think these are a great idea!) And we even enjoyed “visits” (via video) from several of these authors. What fun to have them join our sales conference to tell us a little more about themselves and their books.
I really enjoy sales training days. My Heartsong corner of the Barbour world is a great place to be, but it’s good to get out of it once in awhile and learn more about what the rest of Barbour is doing. I’m thrilled to be a part of such a great company and wonderful team of people. And I’m so excited about the great lineup of fiction and nonfiction product coming to you this fall! Be on the lookout for more great books from Barbour in stores and online!