Salesmanship

In the 1940’s my grandfather was one of the highest paid salesmen for the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Southern California. He represented a reliable product, had a good way with people, and had a natural knack for sales. Some have said I look a bit like my grandfather. I inherited his sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, but I definitely did not get his sales ability. It was never a skill that I could call my own.

As I further my writing career, I notice that I cannot escape selling because essentially I am selling myself in the form of promoting my stories and articles. Unfortunately, when my grandfather was still living, I never asked him his sales secrets. I could definitely use some of his tips. But I have learned a few things that have improved my salesmanship through the years:

1.      Always deliver quality work – Your work is your best promotional piece, so make sure you are delivering your best.

2.      Meet your deadlines – An editor needs reliable writers to depend on. If you don’t meet your deadlines, they can’t either. I always try to get my articles into their hands several days to a week ahead of schedule. This has given me extra jobs since editors know they can rely on my prompt attention to their assignments.

3.      Keep working – It’s important to get your work out there to earn those all important publishing credits. Sometimes that may include writing for free or a smaller fee. I have made some great contacts this way that have led to good paying assignments.

4.      Participate in Group Lists and Blogs – Networking can open up many doors for work. Join online group lists in the genre you are interested in. Sign up for like-minded blogs. Sometimes you can hear about great leads that can open a door to an assignment. One current project I am waiting to get a contract for came via a lead from a blog.

5.      Develop a website/blog – As you begin to establish yourself as a writer, you want to develop an online presence so people can find out more about you. This is essential if you have a book published.

 

If you are pursuing publication, you must make yourself known by your work, your

dependability, and your presence. So, as my grandfather would have stressed, get out

there and work, because no one is going to do it for you.

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