Authors, publishers, book marketers, and store sales people should learn how to sell a book from Jimmy. This guy makes you feel like you count, like your interests are his, like your opinion is important. He is the warmest, friendliest guy I know. He works in Larchmont, NY at a sandwich joint and enthuses every customer he meets because he:
Hustles. He’s always moving the line along, and tirelessly works faster than most deli clerks. He has a hop in his step and gives off a sense of energy and excitement that transfers over to his customers.
Asks questions. Not just: What can I get you? but he asks where you are off to, how the kids are doing, etc. He takes an interest in what you do.
Remembers names and things about you. He can connect with you quickly and then recalls information when it’s relevant. People think he really cares.
Is humble. He makes you feel important and valued.
Can talk about things most can relate to—sports, music, politics, family. What he doesn’t know he’s all ears to hear about from you.
Acts like no one is a stranger. He really knows his community and makes newcomers feel welcome.
In a commoditized business (anyone can sell bagels, soda, and turkey sandwiches), he has found an edge. It’s his personality. All things being equal, I want to buy from him and not a competitor. He can’t compensate for an inferior product (his food is great) but he can turn a mundane moment into a fun one. I enjoy talking to him. I buy from him because I like him.
So remember these traits when you promote or sell a book—or anything. People do business with those they like, those they feel connected to. Personality and character count for a lot in the service industry.
Experiment. See what happens when you engage another and connect on a personal level rather than throw them a canned pitch. If all else fails, Jimmy can probably mentor you. Just come by and buy a sandwich and you’ll get all of the advice you need.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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