There’s always talk about what makes a good salesperson, but let’s be honest, when you think of a salesperson what do you think of? Google it, it’s partially humorous what photos come up…
Yeah, that’s right every single creepy, desperate, overzealous person you could think of. As an author, you are a salesperson and let me tell you that is not how you want to appear. Another hint of the truth, yes that is what we are doing in our heads (minus the super creepy, almost devil like, I’ve deceived you looking guy in the first picture–that’s just scary) when you ask us about our books, or when we look at our sales reports and see that there was another book bought; well, at least that’s what I do.
Now, being a salesperson can be a challenge for authors who have attributes of introvert like personalities. It’s lucky for me that I don’t have that attribute. I am innately private, but that doesn’t mean I’m an introvert, and even introverts can be excellent salespeople. Many of you are aware that I coach sales frequently in the banking world because of my own successes there, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t obstacles. In banking the obstacles tend to be related more to revenue VS. customer service. I can tell you one thing, often times these two things do not go hand in hand–what is right for the company may not be right for the customer. This happens when a target market is misconstrued–everyone is the target, but there’s one product we want to sell. It’s much like putting a circle into a smaller square box. What’s wonderful about being an author? There isn’t this obstacle. Tell the audience the genre, your major genre in it’s nature defines your target market be it juvenile, young adult, new adult, or adult. There are challenges there, don’t get me wrong, but there’s no circle/box conundrum. Unfortunately, as an author you may not put the circle in the square, but the circle puts itself in the square creating what I’ve called “The Genre Gap”. Learn more about that HERE. Then what makes a good salesperson, even if you’re an introvert?
I believe it’s three P’s:
Personable, Passionate, Professional
- Personable: I think this is the number one thing that a person has to have. You may be thinking you have to be willing to speak up to be personable. I don’t believe this is true. My husband is a shy, private, introvert type person, but he is very personable. You know why? Every person who has ever met him feels comfortable around him, even if he isn’t. He is a nice person, who invokes kindness subconsciously. The characteristic of being personable to me simply means you care about those people around you, and you make them feel comfortable. You are pleasant. It’s simple, be yourself and those around you will accept that as long as there’s no ego to get in the way.
- Passionate: These characteristic often goes hand in hand with being personable. If you are personable than you will certainly be able to ease into being passionate. I, as a writer, am very passionate about what I do and about my readers. I try to convey that with each interaction with a reader, with each blog post, with each promotion and interview. It’s easy for me, and I don’t really have to try because I ardently love what I do, and I know that I couldn’t do it without readers. Passion can be misconstrued for arrogance, but I can tell in that arrogance will give the exact opposite effect that I am speaking of. Arrogance will make readers run in the other direction. You’re opinion isn’t God, nor is mine. My novels aren’t perfect, and I don’t think Jane Austen would claim perfection either. You know why? It doesn’t exist, period. If you think you are that worthy than your passion, in my opinion, is misplaced on yourself instead of those that will make you successful. Passion must be coupled with humbleness to create an affective salesperson. One must realize that although you control your success by your determination, those that you sell to ultimately decide your success or failure. Yes, you wrote that book with your passion, great job! I don’t mean to lessen that in any way, but readers are an all important factor in success. Show them your passion for writing, and in your writing show them your passion for pleasing their minds.
- Professionalism: This is one of the most important things being a salesperson. It’s important to know that you must drawn a line with your passion and personable traits for success. Your readers are your clients, sure some are your friends and you will create lasting relationships with them, but they will hold you in a certain light and it is up to you to uphold it. This isn’t to say that you can’t have fun and throw a joke in here or there, but it is to say that anything you say can and will be held against you at some point. Consider your target market, for example mine is mostly young adults (average age 12-20), but because I am aiming at those that sometimes are influenced by say, older adults, like parents, I need to still act like a mature adult. I want to be a role model in the parent’s mind, and in the eyes of the young adult, I want to be that cool author that has passion for writing and me as a reader! I also want to broaden my appeal to new adults and adults who enjoy this genre, so I also need to uphold the standards of a professional in that capacity. This isn’t a hobby, this is a job, so I have to act like it’s a job. I believe that’s the only way that it will someday (please, oh, please) pay the bills and help create a successful publication marketing firm. Let me throw this in, you need a cover, blog tour button or advertisement made? Message me–I’m looking to start the new year with new clients for my new company!
In a nut shell–
You don’t like people? Well, do they like you? Then you might be personable!
You’re a writer, right? So you must have passion, give some of that passion to your readers!
You want to sell, right? Create a popular professional image by knowing your target market and their influences!
A Suit with a heart
- Sales Saturday “Owning VS. Selling” (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sales Saturday – Err…Sunday (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sales Saturday: Being Human (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sales Saturday: The Results (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)