By k | June 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my books
is selling REALLY well.
This increase in sales is great.
I’m grateful for it.
I know how lucky I am.

But these sales
also come with costs.
I’m dealing with professional jealousy,
next book pressures,
crazy hate mail,
even death threats.

I can’t talk about these issues
with strangers
or even casual friends
because they’ll think
I’m ungrateful or arrogant.
I have the success they’re working toward.
Why am I complaining?

Thankfully, I belong to
a group of five writers,
the writers on the world domination plan.
We’re all at roughly the same level
and we’re dealing with the same issues.
When I brought up my challenges,
they all chimed in,
relieved that they no longer had to deal alone.

Success is a team sport
and that is even more important
as you become more and more successful.
Build your support group now.

By k | June 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I receive emails
from readers all the time
about how they can’t afford my stories,
about how romance novels are overpriced.

Then I promo a story they can’t resist
and suddenly they can afford it.
(They can also afford $5 coffees
and $50 manicures.)

It isn’t about price.
It is about perceived value.

As Andrea J. Stenberg

“In these troubled economic times,
price may very well be an issue.
objections about price
are usually code for
“I’m not really sure
I need/want your product”.

If someone really wants
what you have to offer,
it’s amazing how quickly
they’ll figure out how to pay for it.”

Price objections are
perceived value objections.
You can lower the price
or raise the perceived value.

(In my case,
I raised the perceived value
by writing better blurbs
i.e. marketing copy)

By k | June 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’ve been promo’ing
my mid-May release steadily
for a month now.

I’m sick of promo’ing
this book.
I’ve said all that I can say
about it.
The promo is repetitive and boring…

to ME.

And that’s the point.
It is boring to me.
Possible readers continue
to buy on the promo.
Every time I promo,
I see the story’s Amazon ranking increase.

Marketers often talk about how
prospects have to see promo 7 times
before they take action.

They have to SEE the promo
7 times.
This doesn’t mean we promo
7 times.
We have to promo
MUCH more often
for prospects to see it.

Just because you’re sick of your promo
doesn’t mean your prospects are.

By k | June 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Karen Kaplan started her career
as the receptionist
at Hill Holliday.
She’s now CEO.

Her advice?
“You can make your mark
in every single job.
I still run into people today
who remember me
from when I was a receptionist
who say,
‘You were the best damn receptionist
in the history of receptionists.’”

I also worked reception
early in my career.
Receptionists meet EVERYONE
from the delivery guy
to the biggest clients
to the CEOs of other companies.
They talk to everyone.
They see everything.

If you’re currently a receptionist,
take advantage of these perks
and be the best damn receptionist
there is.

If you know a receptionist,
be nice to him or her.
They know more about
what is going on
in your company
than you do
(even if or especially if you’re the CEO).

By k | June 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Small business owners,
whether they are artists,
widget makers,
are salespeople.
They represent their businesses.
They sell their products.
They deal with customers.

Whenever someone talks to me
about starting their own business,
I advise they first
take a sales class
or volunteer in a sales position
or work in sales for someone else.

Angie Mattson
Your Organized Guide, Inc.

“I wish someone had warned me
that “small business owner”
is the same thing
as “salesperson.”

I would have gotten
professional sales training
much, much sooner!

It would have helped me
figure out
what I was offering,
how I was offering it,
how to overcome common objections,
and to be more confident
about my rates/fees.”

If you’re a small business owner,
you must learn how to sell.
No buts
No excuses.
You must learn how to sell.

By k | June 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the series I’ve written
has four books in it.
I’ve told readers
there will only be four books.
Some readers bought the books
BECAUSE they knew the series was done.

The series is doing very well.
I get emails every day
from readers
asking me to extend the series.
My publisher has asked me
to extend the series.

I won’t.
I can’t.
The trust between writer and reader
is important
and I won’t break it.

Advertising scarcity is similar.
Legitimate scarcity is fine.
Artificial scarcity kills trust.

As Mike Michalowicz

“Be honest!
If you’re legitimately short of supply
on an item,
then advertise it,
and be authentically out of stock
when you are.
Don’t trade on false scarcity.
Consumers won’t trust a company
that lies to them,
and they will tell their friends.”

If you’re advertising scarcity,
deliver on scarcity.

By k | June 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I receive emails every day
from readers who say
my romance novels have made them
smile or laugh
or feel more hopeful.
I make their world
a slightly better place.

If we all tried to make
the world a slightly better place,
the world would be
a MUCH better place.

As Walter Isaacson,
CEO of the Aspen Institute

“it ain’t about your passion;
it’s about being a part
of something larger than yourself …
Because at the end of your days
when you look back
—it’s not just about saying
how successful you were,
how many toys or trinkets or
how much power you accumulated,
it’s about what you created,
about what you did to make the world
a slightly better place
because you were here.”

Make the world a slightly better place.

By k | June 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many companies hire
freshly designated accountants.

A major beverage company
I worked for
aggressively hires accountants
one final step away
from achieving their accounting designations.

All of the time and money investment
has already been paid
they have first choice of candidates.

I suspect one of the reasons
my New York publisher signed me
was because I’m a book or two away
from breaking out sales-wise.

I have almost 60 stories published
and my readership has been building steadily.
It is fairly easy to predict
that I will break out soon.

Yet other publishers didn’t bother
to make that prediction.
One of my current publishers eliminated
the entire line I was writing for.
Ironically, if my sales continue,
this dead line will become one of their bestsellers.

When you have a choice of candidates
for employees, business partners, suppliers,
look at the progression in their career/business.
Bet on the candidate positioned
on the edge of success.

By k | June 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Even a great product
needs a base of sales
to build word-of-mouth promotion.

That’s why
one of my publishers
has layered pricing.
My July releases were priced
at 99 cents for pre-orders
during May.
Once the stories had a base of pre-orders,
the price increased to $2.
Ironically, this price increase
also increased sales.
I suspect there will be another price increase
once the stories reach
the next level of sales.

Pricing doesn’t have to be
and often shouldn’t be
Use it as a tool to increase sales
(the pricing doesn’t have to be decreased
to accomplish this)

By k | June 11, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my editors
doesn’t like to say no
so she doesn’t.
She simply doesn’t respond.

I know if I pitch her an idea
and she doesn’t reply back
within a week,
she doesn’t like the pitch.
I then pitch her something else.
I’ll keep pitching her ideas
until she responds.

Many of our prospects
don’t like to say no.
There are hints, however,
that they won’t buy.

Mike Michalowicz
has a great post
on these hints or tells.

One tell?

“When you hear
someone is waiting on a deal
somewhere else
to happen in order
to close on your deal,
whether that’s true or not,
the chances are really good
your deal will fall through.

You see this happen in real estate,
where your potential buyer
is waiting on someone
to buy their house
before they can buy yours.
True or not,
the success of your deal
is contingent upon a third, uninvolved party,
greatly hurting your odds
of closing the deal.
If you experience this,
try negotiating terms
until that deal comes through,
or, even better,
try to make the third party
irrelevant to your deal.
If they balk, there’s your “tell.”"

Learn how to recognize
a dead deal.