Rambling thoughts took me back to the basics
By Abe F. March
I know that our economy is based on buying and selling. Commercials promoting products and services are everywhere. Billboard promotions
clutter our highways. TV programs are constantly interrupted with
advertising. Junk mail fills our
mailboxes. There is no escape.
Sales drive a company and sales people are critical to the company’s survival. Producing products that don’t sell will bankrupt a company. Creating a need becomes
part of their sales program. Many products
are produced with built-in obsolescence.
The short life cycle of some products is often related to new technology,
i.e., PC hard and software. Producing products that last a long time is not
profitable in the long term.
Our country is struggling to dig out of a recession. The cause of the financial melt-down creating much unemployment is
known. It is also known that when people
don’t buy what manufacturers produce, there is unemployment. The unemployed
don’t have the means to buy more products, but are enticed with easy credit
that often leads to financial ruin. The government provides stimulus packages
all intended to create sales, and by so doing, they increase debt by printing
more money thus weakening the buying power of the once almighty dollar.
Products that support basic human needs do little to expand the economy. The things not needed for survival are what drive the economy. Hard goods do not turn over quickly while
consumable products do. Some consumable
products, like cosmetics, are not a necessity, but are important for a feeling
In bad times, food consumption rises. Cosmetic sales increase. People attend the movies or
buy DVD’s for entertainment, and they also
buy books. Some seek an escape from
their misery with fantasy while others seek books of instruction or
inspiration. How to get a good book in
the hands of the consumer takes creative marketing since the competition is stiff.
An unemployed person who wrote a book has a job. The book will not sell itself. I remember the days when sales people went door-to-door selling a variety of products.
Show and tell with a good presentation resulted in sales. Telemarketing followed and became an
impersonal nuisance. Face to fact
contact is far better. Years ago one
often heard it said that the fastest means of communication were the three T’s
- Telephone, Telegraph and Tell-a-woman. Word of mouth is still effective.
What’s stopping an unemployed person from going door-to-door selling their book(s) and/or books of other writers? Or, what’s stopping
someone from hiring sales persons on a commission basis to sell their
books? Competing for advertising space
on the I-Net or media is costly while word of mouth is not. Filling a need
creates sales. Learning what a prospective customer wants or needs can only be
done by asking questions.
In the book, “To Beirut and Back – An American in the Middle East”, the author takes the reader on a journey from the USA to Canada and then to Greece. From Greece he goes to Germany and then
to the Middle East. It is the journey of an
entrepreneur seeking his fortune. The
reader travels along experiencing different cultures and mentalities. Having finally succeeded, the American gets
caught up in a civil war. He faces
financial ruin and survival. The will to risk is an integral part of this
story. Persistence and determination dominates.
It is a true story and enlightening. It can even inspire the unemployed.
Opportunities exist when things are bad. Doing the unusual and being creative often comes from frustration and even desperation. If I were young, unemployed and an author, I
would fill the trunk of my car with books of interest and hit the road. I wouldn’t promote just one title, but offer the
customer a choice. Having determined the
customer’s interest in genre, I would then give a synopsis of the book (or
books) that fit. A course in sales is not required. Belief in the product and the courage to
knock on doors is the only requirement. Since the sales person has read the
books he/she is offering they can give an exciting synopsis about the book and
the author. An autographed copy can enhance
the sale or even be used as a premium. If the book purchased is by an author
who has written more than one book, getting the name and address of the buyer
creates a mailing list for other books by this author. Requesting a reader’s book review builds
credibility and adds momentum for future sales.
Any idea must be implemented to work. For those not willing to work, there’s always the lottery.
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