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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

Explaining sales is hard to do

Where did that come from?

Explaining sales is hard to do

As a wise marketing agency executive once said, “I know that half of our advertising works, I’m just not sure which half.”

I have the same impression of my own efforts at sales and marketing. Something’s working, I’m just not sure what.

So how do you keep doing what’s working, if you don’t know what’s working. You keep pushing, testing, monitoring and adjusting to continue getting better results. It will never be a straight line between cause and effect.

When you toss a message bottle in the ocean the ripples ricochet and send it in many different directions. It may touch the shore miles away or bump a passing boat at sea before it’s picked up and the message is read. And that person may not even care. Will they toss it back or send it to someone you intended it for? I hope you threw a lot of message bottles into the ocean. (It’s a metaphor. Please, no more plastic bottles in the ocean.)

It’s worth remembering the mysterious magic of The 4Ps of Effective SalesmanshipPatient, Persistent, Polite & Persuasive and applying those principles yourself.  They still work for me.

As you may have noticed, I’ve published several books recently for entrepreneurs and about entrepreneurs and I’m trying to follow my own advice. Be Patient, Persistent, Polite & Persuasive in applying the sales and marketing tactics that are most appropriate to the product and the target customer/reader. But it's strange how sales work.

Here’s an example.  My royalty statements recently showed a sale of 152 E-Book copies of my novel, Merger Maniac. That was unusual, so I drilled down into the details.  Apparently a bookseller in South Africa bought them from my U.S. distributor for re-sale to an online education site in the U.K. I hope they didn't think it was a text book on mergers. It’s a novel! About crime and corruption in the international computer business of the 1980s. I haven’t seen the reviews yet. And I haven’t been able to track down the buyer or the 152 new readers.

So I don’t know what buttons to push to make it happen again. I’ll just keep pushing the same buttons and hope I’m hitting the ones that seem to be working. Reviewing results and tracking down the details to improve performance wherever I can.

You should continue to apply the same tactics to your own sales and marketing efforts.  And enjoy the results even if you can’t explain them.

Be better. Do better.

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

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