Book Sales Success Secret #5: The Sales Mindset Shift that Changes Everything
So you’ve written your book, it’s published, and you’ve started getting the word out about it… but no one is buying. What’s going on? The good news is that it’s probably not a reflection of how good or bad your book is, but rather how you’re approaching selling it. It’s about your sales mindset.
In part 5 of the Book Sales Success Secrets Series, Coach Tam explains the real problem holding you back from making sales – and what you can do to fix it. It’s not easy, but with the right commitment and shift in your sales mindset, it IS possible to make people feel excited to buy your book.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- The difference between features and benefits – and why it matters
- How to avoid falling into a “tag sale” mentality
- The sales mindset shift that changes everything
- What’s at stake if you don’t work on changing your approach to book sales
- Tips for focusing on benefits instead of features
- An additional FREE training to walk you through exactly how to write a book description that screams, “BUY ME!”
Be sure to read all the way to the end for a link to the free training!
Here’s the reality: If you’re an author, and you’re not selling books, there are reasons why. Reasons that have nothing to do with your writing talent or the quality of the book.
So, Christian authors, it’s time to get real about why your books aren’t selling. It’s time to be honest with yourself, so that you can move forward and make the impact that you have been called to make – no more excuses.
Throughout the Book Sales Success Secrets series, we’ve been taking a close, hard look at some of those reasons and walking through strategies to overcome them. This next tip is simple, but to be honest, it’s not easy. It requires a shift in your sales mindset and in how you talk about your book.
This secret is to focus on benefits, not features.
When it comes to marketing, features are the characteristics of a product or service, while benefits are the advantages that the customer will experience by using it.
For example, a feature of a new car might be that it has four-wheel drive. The benefit of this feature is that the car will be able to handle all types of terrain, giving the driver more confidence on the road in various situations.
Too often, we Christian authors try to sell our books by focusing on the features of the book, instead of the benefits that it provides to the reader. As a result, we hurt our own sales. So let’s talk about why this happens and how you can avoid it, so that you can sell more copies of your book.
Avoid “Tag Sale” Mentality
So first, let’s talk about why this happens. Like many things in life, it comes down to having the wrong sales mindset.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this is not intentional on your part. Most of us have been guilty of this destructive sales mindset at some point in time. But the good news is that if you’re serious about moving your book and your business forward, it is possible to break free and stop letting this mindset hold you back.
So what is this destructive sales mindset? I like to call it “tag sale” mentality. Put simply, it’s expecting people to buy from you just because your book exists.
Many aspiring best-selling authors make the mistake of thinking that simply putting their book out into the world is enough to guarantee sales. They assume that people will somehow discover their work, become interested in it, and buy it. That’s a “tag sale” mentality: the belief that we can just put our work on display and expect others to clamor to buy it without any real effort on our part.
I’ve done it myself. I would make a post promoting my book – mostly focused on features and not benefits – drop a link in, and then I brace myself for all the sales that didn’t come in.
As painful as those memories are now, they’re also great reminders of where I used to be and how far I’ve been able to come over the years with God’s grace. That’s why I’m so passionate now about helping others make this important sales mindset shift, too.
There are far too many authors just slapping their book link up on social media, or throwing together a book description without any real strategy behind it, and hoping and praying that people will buy it simply because they want the support.
If that’s the extent of your marketing efforts, it ends up being very self-serving. All you are doing is asking people to do something for you – and you’re not demonstrating how you are going to add value for them.
The Key Sales Mindset Shift
So what’s the solution? You need to have a shift in perspective so you can really have an impact on the people you are called to serve.
The sales mindset shift is this: Stop focusing on yourself, and start focusing on the person you want to reach. Even if you believe your book will help transform their life, that doesn’t matter if it’s being presented in a way that feels self-serving to your prospective buyer.
But let’s be clear: this is a massive shift. I’ve personally been working on it since 2017. It has been a journey, and I’m still challenging myself to perfect my messaging and always be thinking of the audience versus myself. This is not something that you can become great at overnight. Listening to one podcast episode, reading one blog, or binging for a couple of hours on YouTube isn’t going to fix it. But if you commit to getting started, and you stay committed to the journey, it’s only a matter of time before you become fluent in this new, better sales mindset.
Think back to the last book that you bought. Why did you buy it? Chances are, there was something on the cover, in the book description, or in the introduction that spoke to you personally and made you feel like you would really benefit from reading and buying the book. The author made you feel like the book was created just for you and your situation, and that’s why you bought it.
It is possible to promote your book in a way that draws in your ideal audience. It’s not just random thoughts or moments of inspiration; it’s a strategy that aligns with a goal of building an audience, creating trust, and then earning customers. Not just asking for customers, but earning customers – customers who are now taking in and sharing the message that God has given you.
Let’s be real: if you don’t dedicate the time, energy, and effort to learning the skills we’ve been discussing in this series, then the message that God has placed in you will come short of the impact that it could make. Not because it could not reach more people, but because the skill set wasn’t there to ensure that your message went further.
So if you’re struggling with this “tag sale” mentality and are ready to come out of it, but you don’t really have a solid approach to shift your sales mindset, then it’s time to change that. It’s time to admit that success as an author requires much more than writing a book – it requires an understanding of your audience and creating tailored marketing strategies to reach them.
When selling the benefits of the book, it’s important to keep the customer first and foremost in your mind. After all, they are the ones who will be reading the book and deriving value from it. So it’s important to be able to articulate not only what the book is about, but also about how it can benefit the reader on a personal level.
Only by selling the benefits to the customer can you hope to make a sale. And when you do this – when you focus on the customer and their needs – you ensure that you’re able to offer them something they will truly appreciate. And that opens the door for something else that you really want: positive book reviews.
But that can only happen if the customer truly believes your book can help them. So you’ve got to commit to putting in the effort of adopting a customer-first sales mindset. And until you do, you should not expect anyone to buy from you or take your book seriously. Because you can’t just rely on the book’s existence.
As amazing and awesome as it is that you wrote and published the book, you are not done. You’ve got to focus on effectively building awareness and excitement for your work in order to truly engage with potential buyers. Only then can you truly hope to succeed as a published author.
So as a community, let’s say no to the “tag sale” approach once and for all. Focus on the benefits of your book, and sell the reader on what they will get from reading it, not on what it is. That means highlighting the most important points of your book without sounding like a salesperson. And that makes it easier for readers to understand why they should buy your book over others – because, remember, you have competition. And if you only focus on features, your book is going to sound like everyone else’s. But when you emphasize the benefits of your book, you can encourage more people to read it and buy it, because they will have a reason to do so.
How To Focus on the Benefits
So once you’ve started shifting your sales mindset, what’s next? How do you highlight the benefits of your book? There are a couple of different ways to go about it.
1. Talk about how your book can help them solve a problem or meet a need.
Maybe your book will help people get more consistent with their prayer time. Or maybe your book will help them get out of debt in 12 months. That’s a very tangible benefit; there’s a very specific outcome that the reader will be able to achieve as a result of reading your book.
Instead of just saying what your book is about, you must help the prospective reader understand what your book will allow them to do that they can’t do today. In other words, how will your book transform their life for the better?
It’s similar to how we talk about fitness programs. In fitness, you get to see a “before” picture of someone and then an “after” picture. And it’s that contrast that motivates and inspires us. It makes us say, “Wow, I’ve got to do this! I’ve got to get in shape, too. I need to lose a few pounds. Because they look amazing!”
The same thing happens when you’re able to paint that picture for your prospective reader. They realize, “This is where I am. I’m not where I want to be. But this person is giving me hope that I can actually be in a different place.” And it is that vision of hope that motivates them to buy your books.
And it doesn’t always have to solve a problem, either. You could also describe how your book makes their life easier or more enjoyable by adding more pleasure into their life.
2. Focus on the unique aspects of your book that no other author offers.
There are some things that God has uniquely blessed you with. And when you share those unique things with your audience, they will benefit in a way that they wouldn’t if they read a book on the same topic by another author.
Often, in any given space, there are already established belief systems and ways of doing things. But maybe God has given you fresh, new insights that you can bring to the audience to help make their lives easier or solve a common problem.
Lean into that. Help the audience understand that what didn’t work for them before will work this time around because of the new insight you’re bringing to the table. If you can do that, you’ll show them that:
- Things can be different
- Life can be easier and more enjoyable
- The problem they have can be solved
- There are unique ways of looking at their situation
And when you show them your book can accomplish those things for them, they will be excited to buy it.
Free Training: Make Your Book Scream, “BUY ME!”
It’s time to ask yourself: Are you still holding on to a “tag sale” sales mindset, or are you putting in the effort to focus on the customer and emphasize the benefits rather than the features?
If your answer is an honest “I’ve got work to do,” you’re not alone. But the next question is: are you ready to change that? Right now, you are at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make a different decision.
Ready to begin? I’ve put together a free training on exactly how to create a book description that screams, “Buy me!” In this training, I walk you through a “before” and “after,” so you can see exactly what changes you need to make to your book description and other things to really connect with your audience and focus more on benefits instead of features.
So many people have shared that this training has been a blessing to them, and I believe that it will be a blessing to you, too, and open up the door to generate more sales. Access the training completely FREE in the Christian Authors Network, and then come back here next week for more Book Sales Success Secrets.
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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