Use Sales Techniques to Sell More Books

Often the word “salesman” conjures up an image of a less- than-ethical, pushy, used-car sales-man. In poll after poll, survey respondents typically rank sales-people above only members of Congress on trust, honesty and competency. Poor salespeople have left many people with a distaste for selling.

Sales Techniques

Selling can be good. Good selling involves true empathy and a desire to solve a problem. It creates value for the customer while overcoming the obstacles to a sale. According to Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

As an author, you can use effective sales techniques in your marketing messages. Selling with integrity is possible. Good sales techniques focus on developing trust, meeting a need, and cutting through the obstacles to help people make a purchasing decision.

You can use the following three sales techniques to improve your marketing efforts and sell more books.

1.  Make a Connection

A popular saying in business is “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.”  Studies show that people buy books from authors they “know.” Building trust requires making a connection. All connections have an emotional component.

You can create an emotional connection with your audience by being transparent and real. A study by Stackla found 86% of people reported that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.

Instead of just pushing your book, be relational. Make a connection with your audience whether that is in person, on social media, or in your marketing messages. Remember, first make a connection, then draw attention to your books.

2.  Always Follow Up

Always, always follow up with people you meet or who show an interest in your books. Studies show that only 2% of sales happen at the first meeting. Instead, 80% of sales prospects report saying “No” four times before they finally say “Yes”.

After making a connection with someone, follow up. Send them an email, a message, or even a postcard reminding them about your books. Remember, it takes multiple exposures to a new product before most people decide to make a purchase.

3.  Create a Sense of Urgency

One sales technique to increasing chances that interested parties will decide to make a purchase is to create a sense of urgency. When people feel that they will miss out on a good deal if they don’t act now, they are more likely to act then to put off acting. Putting off buying something is easier when there is no sense of urgency.

So, offer time-limited promotions and specials to your audience to create a sense of urgency. One study found that promotional emails that included a sense of urgency had:

  • A 14% higher click to open rate.
  • Twice as high transaction rates compared to average marketing emails.

While you may not see yourself as a “sales” person, the truth is that using effective sales techniques in your marketing efforts will increase your book sales.

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Three Under-Used Book Marketing Techniques

The book 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer lists that many ways to market a book. There really are thousands of ways to market a book.

Not every marketing technique can or should be used for every book. However, there are a few marketing techniques that work well no matter the theme or genre of a book.

Under-Used Book Marketing Techniques

I have found that many independent authors fail to implement some easy techniques for marketing their books. The following three are just a sample of a larger list, but I think they are a good starting point.

1.  Inviting Readers to Connect with You in Your Book

Inviting readers to connect with you is an effective way to build a loyal following of readers and fans. Don’t make it hard for your readers to find you. Give them information on how they can connect with you.

A quick perusal of the last 10 title nominated for the 2021 Christian Indie Awards—a good random sample—revealed the following:

  • Only 5 out of these 10 books even listed the author website either on the back cover or in the “About the Author” section in the back of the book.
  • Only one out of these 10 titles included an invitation for readers to connect with the author in the book. This author listed his social media profiles (Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram).

If you are not inviting readers to connect with you in your book, you are missing out on connecting with your audience and building a loyal following for repeat sales. A study by Goodreads found the following:

  • 82% of authors that included an invitation to sign up for their newsletter or mailing list in their books see an increase in subscribers.
  • 73% of authors who invite readers to follow them on social media see an increase of followers.

Don’t forget to invite readers to connect with you in your books. You can invite them to send feedback to your email address, you can invite them to sign up for your newsletter to hear about future books, and you can invite them to read your blog or follow you on social media. Be sure to include all the necessary URLs and links to make it easy for your readers.

2.  Asking for Reviews in Your Book

Of those 10 nominated books, only one sported a request in the back of the book for readers to write a review of the book. This request was titled:

“If you’ve enjoyed this book, please tell others…”

Then it listed six ways that readers could do this including writing a review of the book on Amazon, sharing about the book on social media, and recommending the book to others via word-of-mouth.

Reviews help sell books. Many readers don’t think about writing a book review. Asking for a review is a great way to lead people to do what you want them to do.

The Goodreads study found that 84% of authors who ask in the back pages of their book for a review see an increase in reviews. So, ask for reviews in your book.

Collaboration

3.  Collaborating with Other Authors

For the most part writing is a solitary activity. However, publishing a book and marketing a book are not. It takes a team to publish a book—editors, cover designers, book designers, printers, etc.

Marketing—while it can be done in solitude—is much more effective when done in collaborative efforts with others. Joining together with other authors with the same target audience reaps more exposure and sales. When authors piggy-back on each other’s audiences, the reach is augmented.

On rare occasions, I stumble across Christian indie authors engaging in collaboration and doing it well. Yet, your marketing reach is greatly enhanced when you collaborate with other authors in creative ways like:

  • Creating boxed sets (a set of ebooks all sporting the same genre or theme)
  • Conducting a newsletter swaps (promoting each other’s books to your respective email lists)
  • Hosting combined author events (like a multi-author book signing)

If you are not using these three book marketing techniques, I encourage you to do so. In addition to helping you grow your audience, they won’t cost you a cent to implement.

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Book Marketing Advice

Earlier this year at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention, I was asked to do an impromptu interview for The Book Publicist Podcast.

The Book Publicist Podcast

During the interview, I covered a number of different marketing ideas and tactics. I invite you to listen to the interview to glean some book marketing advice!

Listen at:

https://recast.simplecast.com/01d0a534-4f0e-4063-93e7-ad4874b6c661
or
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-publicist-podcast/id1503562889

By the way, Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) receive a discount when signing up for Jason Jone’s Local PR Toolkit service. You can join today for just $120 for Membership through December 2021 with our Summer Membership Special!

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Nine Tips to Improve Your Marketing

Everyone wants a formula. Just like 2+2 equals 4, we want to know what to add or subtract from our book marketing plan to sell the most books.

Sadly, no formula exists. Much of marketing is trial and error. It’s finding the message or the vehicle that best connects with consumers in your target audience. However, there are a few tips from psychology that can help push consumers toward buying a product.

Check out this infographic by Connext Digital that shows How to Use Psychology to Improve Your Digital Marketing Campaigns.

infographic-how-to-use-psychology-to-improve-your-digital-marketing-campaign

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