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Confessions of a Master CD Sales Woman

by Sharon Wothke & Marc Gunn, Bard
January 14, 2002

A couple months ago, I wrote The Rogues to ask them directly what it is that makes them so successful at selling CDs, and why they are one of the top 10 bands on CDstreet selling CDs. Sharon Wothke wrote back:

"As head sales person for the band, I think that I would be the one to talk to. The Rogues are definitely unique in what they do, and if you will indulge me, very good at what they do.

As a sales person, I know that the way the guys play their music definitely is the biggest factor in their sales quotient. When the music, which can be described as infectious, is smoking hot, and everyone is having a good time, the sales are usually pretty good. Most people who come to a Renaissance Festival, where the band still does the lion's share of their gigs, do not come
expecting to buy a CD with bagpipe music on it. The Rogues have converted many people to this form of music. So in other words, they create a unique atmosphere which is conducive to sales.

If the guys are doing their job (making great music), it makes my job a lot easier. I just have to be available and approachable to people and looking like a I am a part of the show for people to feel comfortable in coming up to me. We started from the very beginning employing the use of a roaming basket. It is very effective and other groups have successfully copied our approach.

Our sellers walk around holding up the product so people can see them. Our sellers try to blend in with the show and not be pushy, just visible. I personally enjoy interacting with the crowd, spoofing off of what is being said on the stage and telling jokes to make the audience laugh. And I will talk and be nice to everyone, even if they don't buy a CD simply because I enjoy people and I am trying to be an ambassador for the band. They may not buy today, but chances are they will think about it and buy a CD at another time."

Straight from the Master's mouth. What does it take?
1. Great music
2. Great live performance
3. Roaming sales people with baskets of CDs
4. Sellers hold up product DURING the show
5. Sellers blend in an interact with the show

The Rogues use CDBaby to sell their CDs. Why? See for yourself?

Read Part 2

Bard Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards has helped 1000's of musicians make money with their musical groups through the Bards Crier Music Marketing and Promotion Ezine and the Texas Musicians' Texas Music Biz Tips. Now you can get personal advice by visiting http://www.bardscrier.com for FREE "how-to" music marketing assistance.

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