No one is good at everything. How’s that for stating the obvious?
I’m pretty good at most things that I tackle. Being a quick learner helps, as does having an eye for detail and a mindset for being precise. (Amazing how far those few skills can carry a person.)
There’s one thing, however, that I’m really lousy at … sales. I’m not sure I could sell water to a man dying of dehydration. (I’d rather just give it to him.) Forget something high-pressured, like automobile sales.
When it comes to selling things, I don’t want to bother people. Perhaps my reticence comes from not liking it when people attempt to sell me things. When I’m ready to buy, I’ll buy on my own terms, thank you very much. Maybe this is because I’m naturally an introvert, which is defined as being self-motivated on the Myers-Briggs test, and a bit quiet. Maybe it’s because I’m part of Generation X and we’ve had it up to here with advertisers trying to sell us stuff we don’t need.
No matter where this flaw comes from, I have it and I need to overcome it, at least a little bit. Having the ability to sell things in this world of creative online entrepreneurial endeavors is critical to becoming successful at those creative online entrepreneurial endeavors. As the publishing world changes (think e-books, audio books, & potentially fewer printed books), authors will be called upon to run more aspects of their business, including sales.
Where to start? The one thing I have noticed in regards to me and my buddy, Sales, is that I don’t have any trouble recommending a product or service if I think it will be helpful to someone. I can’t sell something I think is crap or unneeded. When I look at making sales in this way, the process no longer feels yucky (to put it scientifically). The question is how to convince people that a novel is helpful and needed.