I'm going to focus on consumer book sales as my example for the day. Here is the tip for authors who sell books or products directly to consumers at events (book festivals in my case): find the tagline. It's the one way to make the reader (consumer) stop in his or her tracks. My approach goes like this:
Michelle: Do you read thrillers?
Reader: No (keeps walking)
Reader: Yes (stops)
Now have a marketing promo piece or giveaway (your way of thanking them for their time to stop and talk to you).
Find the pitch (tagline):
Michelle: You'll never guess the killer (for the 3L Publishing book Vengeance is Now)
Reader: I'm pretty good. I might.
Michelle: I edited the book, and I swear I didn't guess. The author is right over there and he will sign your book.
Send them off to the author to sign the book. You have to find the "hook" or the temptation. Challenging readers who pride themselves in being able to identify the killer gets them every time. If you have to sell, find hook no. #1 (identify your prospect) and hook #2 (grab their attention) and then close them.