By Sarah Bolme
All set to sell more books in 2020? Sarah Bolme shares four sales strategies to use to help you be successful. Enjoy the post and leave any questions you might have in the comments below.
Selling with integrity is possible. Instead of convincing and coercing buyers into believing they cannot live without your book, good sales techniques focus on:
- developing trust
- meeting a need
- cutting through the obstacles to help people make a purchasing decision
Following are four sales techniques that, when employed, can help you sell more books.
1. Grab Attention through Curiosity
The average person is exposed to 5,000 ads each day. That is what the marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc., found in a study they conducted. As a result, our brain tunes most of them out to focus on daily life. With so many competing marketing messages, it is hard to stand out and grab people’s attention.
One tool available to help grab attention is curiosity. Curiosity is one of the strongest human incentives. We are curious creatures. Snag a person’s curiosity and you have their attention.
Your titles, headlines, marketing copy, and sales text should all be designed to raise curiosity.
One popular phrase for grabbing people’s attention that marketers are using is “What if I told you…?” Don’t give away everything right away. Use curiosity to grab people’s attention and draw them in to want to know more.
2. Make a Connection
A popular saying in business is “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” As a result, those authors who engage with people through speaking, media interviews, and content usually sell more books than those that do not engage in these activities. 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. This is especially true for younger generations with 90% of Millennials saying authenticity is important.
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
People fear loss and missing out. They fear losing their money by making a purchase that is not worth the money they spend. You can help people move past this fear of loss by creating a sense of urgency.
According to behavioral psychologists, urgent situations cause us to suspend deliberate thought and to act quickly. Many of the problems that keep people from making a purchase are because people think too hard and wait before making a decision. Creating a sense of urgency cuts through these thought processes and helps move people to action.
Scarcity is one of the most powerful sources of urgent behavior. The scarcity bias states that when a person thinks that something is running out, they want it more. In other words, when an item is perceived as being scarce, its perceived value increases. This is why limited-editions often have good sales.
Amazon frequently uses the scarcity technique on its website. You will often see these or similar words on a book’s page:
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way)
If you are a Prime member and want the book tomorrow, the message is that you better act now, or you might miss out on getting it right away.
You can also create urgency through tapping into the fear of missing out. Phrases like “time is running out” or “limited time offer” creates an anxiety within the buyer that makes them feel like they might lose a benefit if they don’t act right away.
4. Include a Call to Action
Nothing is sold until you close the deal. Sales people know that they have to secure a commitment to make the sale. A call to action is a statement designed to get an immediate response.
A call to action helps lead people to making a decision now. It tells your reader to “Do Something.” It grabs the reader’s attention and gets them to respond.
Make your calls to action a strong command. Start with a verb, be clear, and concise such as “Purchase today” or “Buy now”. Only give one action to take in any given marketing material. If you give people more than one thing to do, they are less likely to act.
Your call to action should stand out from the rest of your message. Use white space the statement and make sure it stands out for the reader to clearly see.
Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishing Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors publishing and marketing Christian books. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books, now in its fourth edition.