I worked as a book seller in Cleveland after graduating from college (that early 90s recession looks so cute now!). Working retail like this got to be a bit dull after a while.
To entertain myself on a slow day I would pick one book with at least three copies on the shelf and try to sell it out. I thought of it as David’s Book of the Day. This was great fun, in that I tried to come up with a good reason, a good hook, for anyone to read it no matter what they were looking for. Not everyone bought a copy but I was usually able to find enough people to sell it out before my shift was over. It made the time go faster and I helped a lot of people discover genres they wouldn’t have considered before.
A few lessons from this:
- You really don’t know if someone will value your product until you offer it to them. Those who ask tend to get.
- The customer will often judge a book by its cover. Be sure to educate them on the full value inside so they can make an educated decision.
- The process of turning down one product or offer can often provide a lead to sell something else. Whenever I encountered someone who absolutely, positively, did not want to buy my book of the day, I usually knew enough about them from that conversation to offer them another book that they would buy.
- Marketing and sales should be fun! There is no reason you can’t inject a little levity and personal challenge goals into it just to see if you can do it.
Push your market. Twist it. See what happens on the edges.