Authors Should Have Conversations

Robby Sands and Jon Truss are both authors. They were invited to an event with other vendors ranging from computer software experts to financial advisors. Robby and Jon each set up their table with books, bookmarks, flyers, business cards, and a poster size picture of their front cover.

The event would last three hours and a hundred people were expected to attend. The vendor tables were set up on the outside in a large square. In the middle, were refreshments and several areas were people could mingle.

Robby stayed at his table and gave each guest his thirty-second pitch on his book. If the guest did not walk away, Robby then discussed his experience as an author.

Jon shut down his table for the first hour. He went into the middle of the room and mingled with the guests. The conversations were short, but pleasant. Jon let the guests do most of the talking. He discovered their occupation and why they attended the event. Some guests discussed their hobbies and family.

After an hour, Robby had not sold a book yet. And of course, Jon had not sold any either.

Quickly, Jon took a lap around the room, introduced himself to each vendor, and traded business cards.

With ninety minutes remaining in the event, Jon opened his table, but stood in front of it, rather than behind it. Most of the guests that came by, Jon had already met. He shook their hand again and mentioned them by name.

During the entire three hours, Robby did not sell a single book. He packed up and mumbled, “This was a waste of time.” Robby gave a few of the guests a dirty look on the way out the door.

Jon stayed behind and talked to some of the lingering guests and vendors. In fact, Jon made sure he was the last person to leave the room. After a cleanup crew arrived, Jon finally packed up his table. (Although, he did introduce himself to the cleanup crew before leaving.)

Jon Truss sold eighty-four books that day.

Ron Knight

Ron Knight

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