Overcoming 5 Obstacles to Sell More Books

Monday, October 22, 2018

Expert salesman Zig Ziglar said, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Every sale has obstacles. You face these obstacles when marketing and promoting your book to entice people to buy it. Let's break these obstacles down and look at how to overcome each one so that you can sell more books.

1. No Need

The question you must answer with your marketing messages and sales pitches is, “Why should I buy this book?” In other words, your potential customer is asking “What will your book do for me?” You must answer this question for them. Show readers both the need they have and how your book meets that need. Many may not even be aware that they have the need your book addresses until you tell and show them.

2. No Money

Many Americans have disposable income. Often, they just feel like they don't have money to buy your book. One of the reasons people feel like they don't have the money is because they don't understand why they need your book. They also may feel like they don't have the money because they don't view reading your book as a priority. One way to help readers overcome the “No Money” obstacle is to inform them of what they continue to lose or miss out on by not having the information you offer in your book. For example, if you have a book on “Steps to Peace” you might point out to potential readers how not having peace in their life costs them in worry, anxiety, fretting, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and loss of enjoyment in life.

3. No Hurry

Most people are not in a hurry to part with their money. They may hear about your book and think, “I should read that,” but feel no pressure to read it or buy it now. You can create a sense of urgency by offering time-limited specials or discounts on your book. In fact, offering discounts also helps remove the “No Money” obstacle as well as the “No Hurry” obstacle. With a time-limited special, a sense of urgency to act now is created.

4. No Desire

To desire is to strongly wish for or want. How do you stoke desire? You fuel desire by making something enticing. It may be enticing because everyone else has it and the person does not want to miss out. It may be enticing because the consumer feels a strong need for it. You can create desire for your book through social proof. The more others are talking about your book, the more people will desire not to be left out or miss out, and their desire to buy your book will increase.

5. No Trust

People do business with those they trust. You must develop trust with your audience in order for them to buy your book. Trust is developed through credentials and delivering on what you promise. One way to help remove the “No Trust” obstacle is to highlight testimonials from influencers and readers on your book. Show your audience that others are saying your message can be trusted to deliver what you promise. Then, continue to grow your audience's trust in you by showing up and giving them information that adds value to their lives.

People tend to like and trust those they know, so make sure you help your potential readers get to know you whether on social media, your author website, author events, or speaking engagements. The more your audience feels like they know you and have the opportunity to connect with you, the more likely they are to support you with book sales.


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Sarah Bolme

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishers Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors marketing books to the Christian marketplace. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The fourth edition will be released in February 2019.