By Zach Painter
If you’ve ever worked in sales, then you’re all too familiar with the process of delivering a successful sales pitch. As a skill you cultivate and hone over time, creating a strategy that has a high rate of success is no easy feat.
The fact is, pitching is a necessary skill set that professionals in every industry need to perfect — and the same goes for self-publishers pitching their books to libraries or independent bookstores. To convince anyone to sell your work, you need to be able to first describe your demographic and then convince who you’re pitching that your story would resonate with their primary customer. If you fail to catch the interest of your audience, then your chances of getting your work out there diminish fast.
A lot rides on your pitch, and that’s a reality you’ll have to accept. So how can you improve yours so that you stand a chance of cutting through the noise? You have to understand your target audience inside and out.
How to Convince Your Target Audience With Your Pitch
For a self-published author, your target audience is most likely a local independent bookstore, bookstore franchise, or library. That said, you’ll likely be delivering your pitch to the owner or someone of that caliber. As the primary stakeholder, they’re the ones you need to impress and persuade with your pitch. Here are a few things to look out for so that you do just that.
- Know your audience: As mentioned earlier, it’s critical to your success to understand who you’re pitching. In this case, you need to be familiar with the bookstore and develop a rapport with the people that work there. This means being a “regular” who purchases their books and cultivates relationships with the employees. It takes time, but it pays off when your community is willing to support you!
- Understand how they sell books: Bookstores will usually purchase wholesale, but some are also willing to buy on a consignment basis from authors. For bookstores that prefer the former, you need to make sure your books can be found in prominent wholesaler databases like IngramSpark or Baker & Taylor.
- Show them you have a plan to sell your books: To convince a buyer to put your book on the shelf, it helps to come correct. Provide a marketing strategy to show you’ve put thought into creating a buzz around your book; this will help you both achieve your goals.
If these elements are present, you have a good chance of catching the interest of a buyer. To do so, though, you’ll need to pull them in. As we mentioned, there’s a lot you can glean from anyone whose worked in sales. Car salespersons, in particular, have a knack for reading and speaking to their audience.
Think about it: The minute a potential buyer walks into the lot, a car salesperson must assess their needs and intent. Do they plan on buying a car, or are they just looking? If they do intend to buy, how pushy should you be?
It’s a true balancing act, and one that you can only perfect with time and a lot of botched pitches. To help you learn more about the pitching process and you can improve yours, The Zebra has compiled six insightful business lessons in the infographic below.
Infographic from thezebra.com.
Zach has worked as a blogger and freelance writer for the last three years. When it comes to writing, his passion is helping companies like The Zebra share their content with other likeminded bloggers and readers. When he isn’t writing, you can catch him reading at a cafe, running on a trail, or enjoying a cold beer while listening to live music.