The New, Disruptive Process for Selling Books
The days of the hard-charging sales closer are over. Today's corporate buyers are savvy, informed people who know what they want. They search the Internet looking for the providers of those products and cal them in for a negotiation to get the best price. Our job as book salespeople is to work with buyers to let them know how to use our books as promotional items - a fact of which they may be unaware. Creativity and flexibility trump high-pressure selling. Here are the ten ways in which the sales process is changing.
- The new environment favors innovative and adaptable consultants who professionally challenge customers with disruptive insights into their business. And offer unexpected solutions
- Insight selling is flexible, in recognition of the many possible paths to a win/win solution; you are creating demand rather than responding to it
- Begin at the end. Find out what your prospect wants to accomplish and then describe how your book can lead them there in unexpected ways
- The path to the sale may vary from deal to deal
- One must not be a "born salesperson" to thrive under these circumstances
- The person managing today's book-sales representative should act as coaches, providing guidance and support rather than quotas and direction.
- Success is judged on long-term outcomes rather than short-term sales -- build more pipelines rather than increase the velocity through existing pipelines, shifting the emphasis from a focus on unit sales to a focus on increased revenue and profitability
- Shift the decision-making process from a choice among competitors vying for the lowest price to a choice among the various solutions that you propose
- Become a partner in the creation and implementation of a recommended path to reach your customers' goals
- Our job description changes from book salesperson to creative thinker able to exercise judgment and assume responsibility for long-term business growth
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."