And this is how thriving as a columnist is similar to selling

My column in the Business Daily, Sales Pitch, turns three today. Today’s piece is the 151st. This makes me reflect. Did I know what I’d write about today, 150 articles ago? Of course, not. Was I skeptical I might not have something to write about? Of course, yes. Yet, here we are today.  And in reflection, I choose respond to those who’ve shared a desire to write a weekly column and how similar the journey is, to selling itself.

 Patience, discipline, persistence and rejection

First, start by assuring yourself that you can write. And not just randomly, once, or twice; but consistently, weekly, and on time.  Do a 700 word piece for twelve consecutive weeks all for yourself. If you cannot come up with a fresh idea every week and meet the deadline for turning in the final copy, you will struggle as a prospective columnist. Your grammar may be impeccable and your message resourceful, but this is not a school composition. Writing weekly is more than grammar and content; in fact, that’s the easy part. The difficult one is the discipline.

And when you submit an application to be a columnist, this discipline is what any editor (buyer) will test before he grants you a column (sale). At least that’s what happened with me.  The last thing he wants is to have a blank space to fill because you failed to come through. Worse, is what your inconsistency does to his publication’s brand (product). This does not mean that securing a column is a science; it’s not-it’s an art. I’m not an editor of any publication, but I can tell you from a writer’s perspective that it takes persistence and patience before you ultimately do secure a column-if at all you do.  Hmm…patience, persistence and rejection-sounds familiar to selling?

Being and remaining useful to the buyer

Make no mistake about it though. Consistently writing a fresh weekly column about one topic is not a cup of tea. You already have the wind behind your back because you are a natural. Or, you have gone for training and feel equipped. Again, that’s the easy part. This doesn’t exempt you from racing though. And the race in writing is done through research and personal experience. Research can be through reading and observations. Self-pride has no place in writing-you cannot be the repository of all knowledge.

Others have written better, others worse. Reading widely enriches your repository and allows you to enrich your readers’ repository. And this is the purpose of writing in the first place. You are writing (selling) to a customer (buyer). To be useful to them, you cannot see yourself as the sole wherewithal of information.  Neither can you share what is obvious. I’m deeply encouraged when readers tell me they find this column practical. I like the sound of that. Practical.


In my view, this is the most neglected aspect. Why do you want to write (sell)? It is the failure to address this purpose that many fall along the way. Like anything else worth doing, it cannot be for the money. As was shared last week, don’t write for the money-you’ll be sorely disappointed. Writing cannot sustain a lifestyle. Write because you have a passion for the topic; write because if you don’t, you’ll explode from the craving to; and write because you want to create a brand for yourself. It is purpose that will keep you going when you have moments of blankness (and they will come) for what to write.

Otherwise, the pressure for meeting the deadline will not be enough to jumpstart you. Likewise, the pressure for meeting sales targets is good for motivation but falls flat on its face when it meets a purposeless salesman. A purposeful one is driven by something else, and no it’s not just to make loads of cash; it could be recognition; a desire to help buyers thrive; perhaps competition; even a better lifestyle.  Purpose is internal; external factors only kick start it.

Thank you for being a part of Sales Pitch third anniversary! And enjoy your Easter holidays.

If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 360

About Author

Related posts

Bye-bye 2023. Out with the old, in with the new. Here’s 3 ways how.

“Bye-bye 2023. Welcome 2024.” 2023 is gone. It’s never coming back. So, quit driving looking at the rear-view mirror of ‘should have’ and ‘could have.’ Look, instead, at the windscreen of “Can do” and “Will do”. Otherwise, forget the mishaps you had in 2023. In 2024 you’ll be rushing headlong into a crash. As you

Read More

5 ways to successfully sell in difficult economic times

“The problem is the economy.” “The economy is bad; that’s why we can’t sell.” “Buyers aren’t biting because they have no money.” Hmm! Is the problem the economy or you? Are you doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results? If so, you may want to shift from such insanity and

Read More

Get your salespeople off the path of least resistance

Salespeople default to the path of least resistance. The easy path. It’s in their nature. Internalizing this sales psychology is critical to business owners and sales managers. Especially given that, in the quest to solve this challenge, the tendency is to throw money at it. “We will just increase the commissions,” you’ll hear it said.

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.