The Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – The First Rule Of Sales

Were you ever in a scout group as a child?  If you were, do you remember selling cookies or candy as an annual fundraiser?  I do, and I remember that people had many reasons for not buying.  Some were diabetic, or had other medical reasons for not consuming candy, while others didn’t consume candy because they felt it was unhealthy.  Some claimed they couldn’t spare the few dollars it took to make a purchase, and others gave no reason at all.

Why trying to sell to everyone is a bad idea

The scouts who sell their cookies and candies are like the door to door salesman.  They ask everyone they come into contact with if they will buy a box of their candy or cookies.  The problem with this method of selling is that most people will say no.  There is no specific target market to sell to.  Everyone is asked.

Every product has only a small segment of the general population that will be interested in purchasing that product.  Even products that everyone uses, such as shoes, are broken down by category and each category has it’s own specific market.  In the case of shoes you have three main categories – men’s, women’s, and children’s.  And then each of those categories has sub-categories: sports, casual, dress, and so on.  A 65 year old man probably is not going to be convinced to buy a pair of toddler girl’s dress shoes, unless he is buying for his granddaughter.

The Exception To The Rule

Sometimes people do buy something outside of their specific market, as in the case of the 65 year old man above.  When they do, they are usually making the purchase as a gift.  There were times in my childhood as a scout, when I was selling candy and cookies door to door, someone would tell me that they didn’t eat candy, but that someone dear to them did and they would make the purchase for them.  But, this is the exception in sales, not the rule.

Getting people to buy your product is difficult when you are approaching everyone.  Someone once said that you have to go through alot of “no’s” to get to one “yes.”  If you are approaching your sales this way, and offering your booklet to everyone, this is true.  But, if you do your homework, you can get far more yes’s than no’s.

The First Rule Of Sales

The first rule of sales is to know your market.  If you don’t know your market, you’ll end up trying to sell to everyone and the majority will not be interested.  The world may be small, but the world of sales is a very large place.  Only a small percentage of people will be interested in your booklet, and it’s far more efficient for you to find the ones who are likely to make a purchase than it is to waste time asking every one who crosses your path whether they would like to buy.

To do this you need to know who your booklet is for.  You need to create a profile of your most likely buyers.  How old are they?  Are they men or women?  Are they blue collar or white collar?  College grads?  Professionals?  Homemakers?  Married?  Do they have a family?  And the list goes on.  The goal is to have an idea of who your buyers are so that you don’t approach the people who don’t qualify as potential buyers.

Know your market, and you’ll know who your buyers are so you can offer them your booklet.  When you do, you’ll get far more takers.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman


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