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.

Related Posts:
Are Your Book Sales Discouraging?
How to Become a Best-Selling Author
13 Pricing Hacks

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How to Become a Best-Selling Author

I recently listened to the audiobook version of Rich Dad, Poor Dad by best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki. In the book, Robert tells the story of being interviewed by a newspaper reporter in Singapore. During the interview, the journalist told him that she wanted to become a best-selling author but that the few novels she had written had not garnered much attention.

Sale Quote 1

Wanting to be helpful, Robert advised her to take a class on selling. The journalist became offended. She told Robert that she had a Masters Degree in English Literature and did not need to become a salesperson. Robert gently told her that he was a best-selling author, not a best-written author. He told her that his books did not reach the best-seller lists because they were well written, but because he knew how to sell.

Maybe you are like many authors I meet. You have written a book and now you just want to find a publisher to produce and sell it. You don’t want to have to take on the task of promoting and selling your book yourself. Or, maybe you are like this journalist; you have a distaste for “sales people” and don’t want to become one. Thinking about sales people conjures up an image of a less-than-honest used car salesman.

I think Robert Kiyosaki is right. Barring a supernatural move of God, authors must engage in the process of promoting, marketing, and selling their books to reach any significant sales level. Engaging in commerce is not an “unChristian” or “unGodly” thing. After all, Paul was a tent maker. He had to sell the tents he made to someone. Jesus was a carpenter before starting his ministry. He, too, had to sell his furniture to people. You and your book are no different.

Remember, your book meets a need. Maybe not a physical need like a tent or a table, but it meets a spiritual need. You are not so much selling your book, as the help or solution your book contains. Selling does not have to be pushy, annoying, or lack integrity. In fact, good sales people ask questions first, then listen before offering a solution. After all, a good sales person is a good problem solver.

If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to promoting and selling your book, I suggest you follow Richard Kiyosaki’s advice: educate yourself. There are many resources for you to educate yourself on how to promote, market, and sell your book.
If you are selling a Christian book, consider the following:

  1. Subscribe to this blog and read the posts.
  2. Read my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.
  3. Listen to online seminars. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) has recorded sessions of our Publishers’ Institute seminars you can listen to.
  4. Become a member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) and receive on-going monthly information on marketing and promoting Christian books.

Information is power. Get the power you need to sell more books!

Related Posts:
Are You Selling or Connecting?
Are Your Book Sales Discouraging?
Are You Using This Book Selling Technique?

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