Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The fine art of RPG selling - Part 2

Mikael Andersson, who runs an awesome local convention called Hammercon, linked to the first part of The fine art of RPG selling and had a really salient point that he made, which was:

"your pitch should make it clear how the game fits into my life."

To me, this is important but it comes into the next section which is the middle part of selling an RPG. If you don't get your pitch down to the point where it doesn't catch the interest of the person then the rest of it is pretty moot. The pitch is the most important part of selling your RPG, right up there with all the other parts.

It's true. Because this next section is how you listen to your customer, and find out how your game is a fit for them. You're going to talk about the book, but this is where you get into their concerns as well as how your game fits well into their lives. If you read any books on selling, they say this is where you'll deal with your customer's concerns, and you will be to do that you really only need to do three things:

1. Listen

Listen to what your customer is saying. If they're saying if they don't have a lot of time in their lives you're going to want to talk about how your game saves time. If they really like to share narrative control, talk about the ways your game does that or if it doesn't what might interest someone who does like to share control like that.

The worst thing you can do is just plow ahead with a pre-planned bit of dialogue that doesn't fit with what the customer is saying. I hate it when it happens to me, because then I know that I'm getting a spiel and I just tune out what I'm hearing. Know your product, be prepared with some of the questions that come up time and time again (you'll know what they are because you're listening to your customers) but be ready to modify your answer to fit what your customer is saying.

It's like any conversation really, if you aren't really paying attention to the conversation the other person is going to know and it will do nothing but annoy them.

2. Love your game

I've said this before, but you have to love what you're selling or else it comes across as bullshit. Love the games you make, love the games you sell. It will help you understand what's great about them, and why other people will want to play them too. Love is infectious and if you display it in what you do, then the more people are also going to excited about what you do.

3. Be Honest

Yes, you want to adapt what you're saying to fit what the customer is saying. Yes you want to make sure what you're saying fits into the customer's interest and life, but don't lie. Don't misrepresent your product, because that customer has the chance to be a repeat customer. If you want them to come back and buy the rest of your products, then lying to them is a sure fire way to make sure that they never do that again. Lying in sales doesn't work. If it's not going to be a fit for the customer, then it's not going to be a fit for a customer. If that one particular product isn't going to work for them, find another one. If you only have one product, then no matter how hard you try to push it on the customer it's never going to end well.

There's an example, and I'm not going to be specific because the industry is small and I don't think it was malicious, of something that happened to me with a game. The person had an amazing pitch, and I picked it up their game (or swag traded for it, which made me regret it a little less) and took it home to read. I got home and it wasn't what they said it was at all.

I got rid of the game, and I can't really find it in me to recommend it to anyone. Why? Because I was really disappointed that it didn't really deliver on its promises. It could have been a really good game, but I never got over the initial disappointment at all.

Like I said above, this is going to be the longest part of your sale. This is where you'll do the talking, hear about personal stories, and it's a lot of fun.  Next we'll talk about the thing a lot of people have problems with, which is the close.

No comments:

Firestorm Ink's Fan Box