Monday, February 10, 2014

No One's Too Good To Be A Salesman

Rejection sucks. 

We all want to go through life believing the words of Stuart Smalley (otherwise known as Senator Al Franken) "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me."

But when you're trying to find a job, or a publisher for your book, or an investor for your business, it doesn't take long before you believe you'll never be good enough or smart enough. And no one likes you.

Job seekers are told not to take rejection personally, but it's awfully hard not to. The whole process can be very demoralizing and for that reason, so many of the unemployed just give up.

In her new book “The Upside of Down, How Failing Well Is The Key To Success,” Megan McCardle addresses how to combat the fear of rejection by using the strategies of successful sales professionals.

From the lowly telemarketer to the senior sales manager, every day means dealing with rejection over and over and over again. It can take hundreds of calls to get to that one sale. It doesn’t get any easier, either. Making that first cold call of the morning is just as daunting for the seasoned pro as it is for the rookie. They all hate it.

How do they manage?

They have a system, McCardle says.

First, they concentrate on input rather than output. Get in there and make those thirty calls. Success is a completed call list, not a completed sale. That will come if you just keep making those calls.

They have a set routine--start calling at 9:00 A.M. sharp and get it out of the way.  They also follow a script so they know exactly what they’re going to say when they make contact with a lead.

Finally, they surround themselves with people going through the same thing.  Sales people make a point of getting together after a long day of hearing “Sorry, not interested.” They find support and encouragement from each other, gaining the strength to get up and do it all again the next morning.

It works for writers too. Books do not fly off the shelves or get downloaded en masse to Kindles on their own. They need to be marketed to readers and these days, that task falls to the author, much as we hate it. We see ourselves as creative souls not salesmen.

I will be incorporating these ideas into my marketing plan. Write the emails. Make the calls. Follow the script. Keep track of my output. And make a point of hanging out with independent authors doing the same thing.

A great place to start is The Alliance For Independent Authors, which offers advice, connections and forums for all of us who are trying to get our books noticed. 
Because it takes a lot of no’s before you get to yes.

Judy Nichols is the author of several books available on Amazon

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