By Ron Pramschufer, President, Self Publishing, Inc – Helping Authors Become Publishers Since 1995
As luck would have it, SelfPublishing.com recently sponsored our first webinar, Cold Calling for People who Hate to Cold Call, featuring the “Queen of Cold Calling”, Wendy Weiss. This hour long event sold out in only two days, which tells me that there are more than one of you out there with the same problem. If you count yourself among this group…
I started selling when I was 9 years old. My product back then was boxes of soap for YMCA World Service. In theory it should have been an easy sell… everyone took a bath or shower, at least on Saturdays. The hitch was that this soap sold for twice the price of what could be bought at the store. My original sales presentation was in my play clothes with holes in both knees and my sales pitch was, “Wanna buy some soap?” As you can imagine, this sales presentation didn’t yield many sales, even though I probably knocked on fifty doors. I don’t even think my mother bought any. Do you think I wanted to give up? You bet I did. I was 9, and there were other things to do. The problem was my dad worked at the YMCA and had signed me up to sell 5 cases of soap and the cases were taking up room in the closet so there was no chance that they would be returned to the Y. If I was ever going to go out and play again, I had to figure out a way to sell my soap.
Insert your name in the above paragraph and replace the word soap with the title of your book… does this sound familiar? I had my soap and you have your books. Neither are going to disappear on their own.
My next trip into the neighborhood on a soap selling mission, instead of wearing my dirty play clothes, I talked my mom into letting me wear good clothes… knees still in the pants and all. I think I was even made to take a bath before I put the good clothes on. Off I went with a wagon full of soap. I changed my sales pitch from “Wanna buy some soap?” to “Would you like to help World Service?” This simple change helped me go from doors being shut in my face to “Sure… how can I help?” Wow… I had them. Unfortunately, I still had the problem of the expensive soap… by the end of that day I had sold a few boxes but still had a long way to go. I had the prospect’s attention, I knew I had a product that they would actually use, but I was still having a problem with the soap being so expensive. The answer to this came the following Saturday night.
By sheer luck, I was getting ready to take my Saturday bath and, as I was about to get into the water, realized there was no soap. I looked quickly and didn’t see another bar anywhere close so instead of hollering downstairs to my mother I ran across the hallway to my closet and grabbed one of the bars of soap from my YMCA “inventory”. I jumped in the tub and started my bath. Like most other families back then, we used Ivory soap. As a kid I liked it because it floated. I’m sure my mother liked it because it was cheap. Those of you who have used Ivory before know it has a distinct smell. Not necessarily a good smell, but that Ivory smell. When you finished your bath, you better have that smell or you were sent back to the tub to start all over. Well, as soon as I started using this soap it became crystal clear…. this was no Ivory soap. Even a 9 year old could tell the difference. You should have seen the look on my mom’s face when I went downstairs for the after bath “sniff” test. “My don’t you smell good”… well that was it…. I was not selling soap; I was selling the best smelling soap in the world. I believed in my product.
My next trip out on the sales circuit, I not only took a bath with my own product and wore clean clothes; I opened a bar to let people feel it and smell it. My pitch had changed from “Wanna buy some soap?” to the 9 year old version of “ Would you like to help World Service and treat yourself to the best bathing experience you have ever had?”…. and really mean it. Well it didn’t take long to sell those five cases and I actually sold five more before it was all over!
There is not that much difference between my soap selling and your book selling. If you were unable to attend the Wendy Weiss webinar you should take an hour and listen/watch it now. Wendy won’t be telling you any soap selling story but she will help you better understand the entire sales process. I guarantee you that after the hour is complete you will be all revved up and ready to go out and sell books. Remember, there are no born salespeople… it is a very learnable skill that improves with practice. Take the first step now and listen to Cold Calling for People who Hate to Cold Call, featuring the “Queen of Cold Calling”, Wendy Weiss.
Webinar – Cold Calling for People who Hate to Cold Call, featuring the Queen of Cold Calling, Wendy Weiss. Watch Now