Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Are You Selling?

According to What Clients Love, Harry Beckwith says that the best salespeople sell (in order):  "Themselves.  Their company.  Their service or product.  [Then] price" (106).   By contrast, ordinary ones sell (in order):  "Price. Their service or product. Themselves. [Then] their company" (Beckwith 107).

Weirdo me, that got me thinking on how that can relate to writers, and I came up with, for the first list: Author, Company, Individual Book or Story, and Price.  But I believe most readers don't care about the company.  So, I thought a better substitute might be Brand, what you, the author, is known for.  For example, if you think of Stephen King, you know what to expect from his stories.

Either way, going back to the list, Beckwith puts salesperson first.  In the case of authors, especially self-publishers, that means putting author first.  I never considered that before.  I always thought it was best to minimize the author's presence, such as on a webpage or even in a query letter.  It's kind of interesting to flip that belief on its head, but I'm not sure if I'm sold ;-) on the idea.

Even so, while I'm still on the fence about the idea of selling the author first, there is one takeaway of note:  price shouldn't be the first thing you sell.

What do you all think about it?  What do you sell first?

Cites:  Beckwith, Harry. What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business. New York: Warner Books Business, 2003.  Print.


Hiroko said...

With all the researching I've been doing, many say to be able to sell yourself--you know, getting readers to like and respond to you, which makes sense. Personally, I'd be more inclined to sell my book first (price is still last for me, though), but I suppose I could work on that.

SphinxnihpS of Aker-Ruti said...

That's what I thought too, book first. I also think one has to have several books to build a brand. So this order may not work for writing folk, but it does make me realize I shouldn't have little to no info about myself on my website. Once I get one up that is.

Thanks for the comment!


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