Wanted to follow up on Diane’s post from yesterday, “8 secret reasons you hate marketing your writing.” More important, I wanted to echo her sentiments: It’s incredibly important for writers to break down the self-imposed barriers that can hold us back.
Sales gets a bad rap. Back in my editorial staff days, there was an extra measure of envy for the BMW-driving, expense-account abusing, exotic-traveling schmoozers.
But here’s the fact: They were the ones who paid the bills. Nowadays, that’s me.
So, to amplify Diane’s thoughts from yesterday, I came across an interesting post, “Reps Drop the Hard Sell and Discover How to be More Effective.” Dr. Robert Cialdini, whose site it appears on, is the author of several books about the power of influence and persuasion, all of which are worth reading. And the link to the Wall Street Journal article is a must as well. (It’s about pharmaceutical sales, but the same lessons apply.)
Bottom line, you don’t have to be a used-car salesman or a hard-charging drug rep. In fact, as the WSJ piece notes, it’s all about building relationships; and as the mp3 interview with Cialdini makes clear, that is a matter of establishing trust and authority. And, while we’re at it, a recent study in Nature concluded that overconfidence—not just confidence—has some counterintuitive benefits.
Indeed, we’ve got it much better than a used-car salesman. They’re selling lemons…We’re selling ourselves.
Photo courtesy of Hans Thoursie.