As a first post on my brand new ghostwriting website, it feels like I need to write something epic. After all, that’s what you’ll be hiring me to do on your behalf.
But what can I really say that doesn’t sound like some bland, overused sales pitch?
This may sound funny, but I’m probably the world’s worst salesman when it comes to “closing the deal” with new clients. I absolutely hate it when people try to sell me, and I think it’s ingrained in the back of my skull to never do that to others.
For instance, I was at breakfast with my wife the other day at our favorite local haunt- a restaurant called Grapevine in Boiling Springs, SC. They make these greek home fries that will make your taste buds explode with delight- it’s sliced potatoes that are sauteed with onions, tomatoes and feta cheese.
If you’re ever passing through the area, it’s a must-have meal. Seriously.
Anyway, back to our breakfast. We were sitting there discussing something dumb one of our kids did recently when I spotted these four businessmen in suits out of the corner of my eye at a nearby table. All four of them were staring our way and making subtle hand gestures towards us.
When I looked at them directly, I received four huge smiles in return. Then one of them stood and approached our table.
“Aww shit,” I thought to myself. “Here we go.”
This late-forties gentelman walked up to our table with a grin the size of Kansas and a confident outstretched hand. And before I could even say a word, he was in full sales presentation mode.
“Hey folks, how are you doing this morning? I’m Gary. Is that your beautiful Cadillac SRX out in the parking lot?”
Since the restautant was pretty full, it was obvious that Gary and his friends watched us pull in. That means he already knows it’s my car…unless I happen to be a bandit on the run with a stolen vehicle. My first thought was to actually tell him that.
Now, I try to be a Southern gentleman as much as anybody, but I didn’t want to shake Gary’s hand. I already knew he was a car salesman, or a window tint salesman, or some other type of salesman that I definitely didn’t want to deal with at 8:14 in the morning before my first dose of caffeine.
But Gary wasn’t deterred. He just tucked his hand back in his pocket and rolled right back into his sales pitch.
And guess what? Gary’s Cadillac dealership was having a sale! In fact, it was the biggest sale that they’ve had in years, and fine folks such as us deserved to have a brand new 2017 model parked in our driveway. Then without even missing a beat, Gary asks how many miles my older SUV had on the odometer.
This definitely wasn’t going to be a quick sell.
Fortunately, the restaurant’s owner Dimitri came to our rescue before I started throwing the sugar packets- he wrapped his arm around Gary’s shoulder and led him right back to his table; smiling and laughing the entire way. And at that moment it dawned on me-
Dimitri was 10x the salesman as any of the sharks sitting beside us.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a great career as copywriter with excellent conversion rates for my clients. I’ve also landed some dream assignments as a ghostwriter that I never should have had a chance at. But I’ve never been able to sell people face to face- I just don’t have the heart to convince you to do something you don’t want to do. It bewilders me that people build careers from doing that.
Let’s get back to the point.
When I sit down with a potential client for a ghostwriting project, my only focus is on them. I want to hear their story, picture it in print and visualize how that type of book would sell. Then I’m thinking about all the angles- how to frame the story, the best place to start the first chapter and where the reader’s interest would be. All these thoughts are rushing through my head, but never once do I think, “How do I sell this person?”
That’s just not me…it never will be.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have confidence- I believe that I can spin a tale better than just about anyone in the industry. I’m just not the type to bombard you with an over-the-top sales pitch about why you absolutely have to have me as your ghostwriter.
If you can’t see that for yourself, then I’m probably not the right choice. It’s as simple as that.
The point I’m trying to make here is that I genuinely appreciate all of my clients and I go out of my way to take care of them. I am pretty selective these days because I can afford to be, but deep down my philosophy has never really changed.
I want to help awesome people tell their stories in a fun, relatable way.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the most epic thing about me is my old-school mentality in business. I am a ghostwriter because I love the process, the writing experience and hearing great stories. I also genuinely enjoy helping people before wondering what’s in it for me, which is probably the main reason why I’ve been so successful in life.
That’s just who I am- it’s in my DNA.
So if you end up reaching out and asking me to help you with a book idea, I think you’ll be genuinely impressed that I’m a horrible salesman. My main tactics are listening, offering free advice and converting you into a lifelong friend…then we might discuss a little business. But that’s why people say I’m epic. =)