Somethings in sales are simple, like being human. I think it’s especially important in what authors do. In my marketing class we are learning service marketing, which will be important when I open my own publication marketing company, but in being an author it states that the product is more or less you. Yes, there is a book involved, but readers really like to touch base with the author. I was able to see this last night at my first craft fair. When people bought my book (I sold four, which is impressive since the fair was at a school for children that are around 6-9.) they were thrilled when I asked if they wanted me to sign and dedicate it. I think it’s rare that people get to realize that the person behind the book is real. Therefore, I think it’s very important for authors to be human. Admit we make mistakes, write, and try to touch our readers. I know a lot of authors say they write just for themselves, the readers are just an added benefit, but really without the reader, where would we be? We would still be sitting, alone typing on our laptops with no one to listen to us. I realized this recently when I was able to participate in an interview that was interactive with several readers. It was one of the best moments I’ve had as author. It made me realize that the one thing I love the most is my readers. I love touching base with them, and the awesome reaction I get when they get to hear for me. I had one reader say “I’m obliged to have you as a friend because you are an accomplished, published author!”. In my first Sales Saturday I used an article from Life Insurance magazine, since then I am officially licensed. The same man I mentioned then, Brent Welch, demonstrates the concept of “being human” in his September article 5 Successful Truths by Drucker. He says:
“Being grounded with truth, honesty, generosity, love, care, service and other-centeredness, you build character that is seen before it’s heard. Marketing starts with you… Always be building relationships with those you serve and would like to serve.”
Part of any sales person’s success is based on the ability to create an admirable person and trust-worthiness AKA being human. Show the customer that they really are number one and that you really do care. For this you have to take yourself out of the picture, you have to really own up and genuinely want to do what is best for them, even if it doesn’t result in a sale. Now, you may be thinking that sounds counterproductive! It’s not, you know why? Because when you have something that is a match for them they will come back and they will bring friends, and they will become loyal. The best thing to do in service marketing is to do relationship marketing–build a relationship based on the foundations of reliability, assurance, tangibles, responsiveness and empathy. Not selling a product immediately to a customer is a risk, but if it doesn’t fit them it’s a risk with value. How does this calculate to being an author and selling books? It goes towards not making a sale, but maybe giving a book away and thus taking a loss. Welch goes on to say:
“Taking risks in your business will separate you from the competition… Think bigger about who you are talking to. Think bigger about the number of people you see. Think bigger about the things you can control.”
How does an author separate themselves from the pack, especially an indie author? It’s all in branding. Brand yourself in a way that is unique. I’m doing this by showing that I am human, touching base with my readers and genuinely caring about them and how my writing effects them. I respond to emails from people who have read my book. I open them to email me and ask questions. I’m being human. I truly do care about my readers, and that way I think I will create a loyal group of readers, bloggers, who respect me as a person and an author and will spread the word. READERS make an author’s career catch on fire, not the New York Times Best Seller List, not some big time agent–Readers!
I aim on proving this point, readers, will you help me?
- Sales Saturday “Owning VS. Selling” (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Selling Your Soul… (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)