Programmer meets salesman

Recently I released my first technical book “Developing an HTML5 Brick-breaker game with Phaser“, and I couldn’t help noticing that something was missing from the equation. I need not only to think as a programmer and coder, but also as a salesman.

Before going further, let me tell you that if you visit the link above, you could get the book with a 50% discount 😉

It’s a little bit funny how it all started. After helping create the first game development course at Escuela Web, we observed that a lot of people got interested in the course but we had problems converting those interested people into actual students. That’s why we decided to promote the course by placing a simple game on its web site, and letting people know that the game will be one of the products they’ll have in their hands by the end of the course. And it worked 🙂

On the other hand, I’m the son of two biologists that earlier in their careers moved to the pharmaceutical industry as sales representatives. I always observed how they studied and practiced their sales pitches, how they talked, and the pieces of advice they gave me when I had to make a presentation for school and college.

My mom took advantage of those courses and training (now being a sales force training manager herself) and applied them outside the pharmaceutical industry. She has sold different kinds of goods; from linen goods to jewelry, always looking for new markets and opportunities in order to bring home some extra money. Deciding and getting to know her target audience, the things they’re looking for, payment options and deals, listening and evaluating the competition (if any).

I had a little product and wanted to play a little bit with it. I asked myself how could I take more advantage of it besides being a tool for attracting more people to sign up. Then I thought it would a great idea to share the experience of making a Phaser game (from start to finish) with other people overseas. I don’t know if it was chance, but by the time I was asking myself that question I learned about Leanpub and saw it as an opportunity. Developing part of the course as a book wouldn’t be a big deal and there’s always people eager to learn. “Being a blogger, writing a short book will be easy because it’s only a long tutorial“-I thought- and I couldn’t be more wrong.

Getting back to my mom, she was surrounded by a lot of people and almost everyday she visited different places. Besides, there are things called cycles where the sales representatives take shifts in different parts of the city/state in order to get more experience and avoid getting doctors bored with the same people. Doctors and nurses from almost every hospital, drugstore sales clerks, patients and even other sales representatives from different laboratories had the chance to meet my mom; and the opposite applied too.

Not only she had a target audience, she had the opportunity to engage and create a bond. A lot of selling techniques are based on feelings and perceptions, so the gift of being a great communicator and emphatic played a major role in her selling success. She had potential customers who will probably buy things not only for the payment deals, but because they knew her and trusted her.

That’s something I’m still lacking. It’s not only writing and publishing the book, it’s the fact that as an independent author I need to engage people to know and trust me. I’m sure there’s value on what I have to share, otherwise the team at Escuela Web wouldn’t had put their trust on me to start offering the course and the students I’ve taught wouldn’t have recommended the course to their friends.

This is kind of my first entrepreneurship project, and I’m happy that I’m starting to think in terms of business opportunities, and this “mistake” gave me an important experience. Let’s see how the salesman in me gets developed over time.

1 Comment
  • Chigüire
    May 22, 2015

    Why leave the tempting offer to the end of the post?

Leave a Reply