I’m a writer (in case you didn’t know). When I began this “life” I thought being a writer meant that you wrote. Whether it was stories or articles or books or whatever, but in the end, you wrote. I had no idea that you also needed to be an editor, a critiquer, and in the end a salesman. Who knew?
So, first I have to say, that I am not a salesman. One of my part-time jobs when I was a teenager was to try to get people to RETAIN the services that the company I worked for provided, at the small price of $50 a year. What I didn’t know when I took the job was that it was a sales job. I hated that job. I sucked at that job. I didn’t hold it even a year before I resigned my post and ran screaming somewhere else. It took a few years to figure out that the reason I was so bad at that job was because I thought the service I was trying to sell was a stupid waste of $50. I couldn’t sell, aka retain, people to the service because I didn’t believe in it.
The other problem is that I am not a social being. I know most of you reading this would never realize it, but I’m not. I’m a shy introvert. Surprise! My comfort zone is behind a computer where I don’t have to see facial expressions or try to interpret body language. A “no” in writing is so much easier to take than a “no” to my face.
What does this all have to do with writing? Well if I was only trying to write for myself that it wouldn’t matter at all, but because I am trying to write for the public it does. Yes, I have to write a good story, no a great story, one that I believe in. If I don’t believe in it, who else will? How can I sell it, if even I think it sucks? Then I need to get out of my comfort zone and sell it. Sometimes by computer, but sometimes over the phone or even face to face.
I’m struggling very much with this part of it. I know what I need to do. I do. Really. I will walk into a bookstore in which I want to try to get my book shelved. Then I get in front of the manager or whoever and I just smile and then………choke. Its terrible as then I’m so upset at not getting the shelving and at myself for failing and then trying to work myself up to doing it again….horrible.
However, this is not all bad news. I’m getting better. I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I am forcing myself to move forward because I want something more than my fear can hold me back. If they say no, to my face, then they say no. There are other stops, other avenues, and other stores to try. I focus on that, instead of the failure.
So anyone struggling with sales in any way, shape, or form, my advice? Get out of your comfort zone. Force your fears back and do all that you can for yourself. You are the only one that’s going to.