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Monday, March 25, 2019

Selling Yourself, Selling Your Book




Whatever success you have as an author/consultant/speaker will come down to your ability to sell yourself first. The most critical element in your sales efforts will be to convince others to want to do business with you. Sure they need to want what you offer, have an ability to pay for it, and believe you are the expert, but they will buy from whom they know, like, trust, or believe in. So how will you sell yourself?

1.      Come across with a clear persona. Like an actor assuming a movie role, you are to be seen in a certain role or light by potential customers. Figure out which persona you are to assume and then live it, speak it, be it.

2.      Gain traction and acceptance by doing your homework. The more you know about those you sell to, the less you have to assume or guess. Now you can reference these experiences in your conversation that shows you understand and care about them.

3.      You certainly have to look and sound a certain way to come off as appealing. Let’s face it: people judge others by things they should not. But people use these surface filters as a way to make decisions. They look at your clothes, your looks, your age, your body language.  They listen for accents, vocabulary, usage, confidence,  voice cracking and energy. They read what you write and look at what you offer as well as the visuals – the design of your solicitation, any photos, or charts, catchy headlines, color, space, and word selection. In order for them to invite you in, they must like your packaged book.

4.      You will need to address one’s reticence or fear of investing in an author – speaker – consultant if they have had negative past experiences. As long as they keep an open mind that you are not like those of the past, you’re fine.

5.      To make a good impression is to also avoid making a bad one. They don’t want you to discuss things that are off-topic. You don’t want to discuss politics and religion when you are pushing a health book. You can only get into trouble that way. Only look to discuss areas of common interest and relevance.

6.      Come off as knowledgeable, savvy, and educated in your area of expertise by offering unsolicited advice.

7.      Come off as likeable and easy to get along with by letting them talk, answering their questions with candor, and smiling often.

8.      Be seen as customer-centric rather than self-serving, by focusing on them and not on yourself.

9.      People like to hear a new perspective or fresh idea – offer some up.

10.  They like to feel you have your heart in the right place, so make statements that give them a good feeling about you.

11.  A positive attitude and avoiding statements that trash or criticize others is welcome.

12.  Reference a track record of success in a way that doesn’t come off as resume-rattling, but more as examples of things you have done and that can be done for them.

13.  Don’t immediately ask for the sale. What your goal is, at first, is to sell a connection, to solidify a relationship. The minute you bring up prices or negotiating a deal you will have disrupted the initial process of winning a second date.

14.  Seek to understand the buyer’s consumption criteria. Exactly what is it that they say they want or need to obtain. Then be clear to show you can deliver that.

15.  Use their curiosity to facilitate a sale. They need to want to know more or they will assume certain things and possibly dismiss your offerings without all of the facts.

16.  Simplify things. Show them you are easy to deal with and show how it is a simple process to work together. Avoid hurdles, complexities, or distractions that get in the way of making for a smooth working relationship.

17.  Reassure them they are on the right path, that they are going where they need to go. If they doubt their situation they will doubt you can help them. If you give them a sense of security, price, and accomplishment and show how you will build on that foundation, they will feel you share their vision and accept them.

What Are People Listening Or Watching For? That You:
·         sound authoritative.
·         sound resourceful and knowledgeable.
·         have a lot of relevant experience.
·         are connected to those in the know.
·         come across as reliable, credible, plausible.
·         care about what you speak of.
·         are living it and not just writing about it.
·         give historical perspective to your theories and approaches.
·         can appeal to their hearts.
·         ask vs. demand something.
·         address their concerns and show you can anticipate their questions.
·         think like them – that they can identify with you.
·         have explored the alternatives but have reason to dismiss them.
·         can show evidence and support for our assertions.
·         come off as unbiased and without a stake in the discussion.
·         find common ground and things we can agree on.
·         take a vow or make a promise.
·         come off as non-judgmental.
·         can empathize with them or even express sympathy.
·         are driven by some higher, noble cause or ideal.

Market for profit or for a cause, but keep your integrity intact by marketing with a sense of fairness, purpose, and honesty.

Sometimes the world of 200 countries and 7.7 billion people seems vast and impossible to get a handle on. Other times, it seems like it comes down to whatever goes on in the US eventually influences the world. Since each of us, as writers and marketers, has an impact on the media and public discourse, it is not a far stretch to say that we contribute to shaping the world to some degree. Of course, along with that ability to influence others comes responsibility.

We have some power to influence lifestyles, opinions, thoughts, politics and consumer purchases. We must always act truthfully, legally, and ethically. We live in one world – not you vs. me or us vs. them – and we each make it what it is based on what we say, think, do, write, and market.

The Book Marketing Spirit
·         Believe in yourself, your book, your marketplace.
·         Embrace your dream -- succeed, grow, build.
·         Lean on your passion and determination.
·         State your vision for the future and pursue it.
·         Create a supportive environment to nurture your writing/consulting career.
·         Your success will come when you commit to helping others.
·         Set high expectations and avoid complacency, mediocrity, or indifference.
·         Look to establish win-win relationships with strategic partners.
·         Cultivate a can-do spirit.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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