Adarsh details an important fact in this guest post. If you want to succeed online, you need to know how to sell. Read this article to learn how to improve upon this invaluable skill.
If you are into online business, you need to sell. No exceptions. Period.
I’m going to assume that you either blog with the hopes of making money or have a business that will make profits. Whichever the case is, you need to sell. We are all salesman in the “internet lifestyle” world.
Some professions, no matter how important they are, always tend to have a negative aura surrounding them. Marketing and sales is one such career where you tend to be perceived as a person trying to cheat the buyer in any way possible.
When people hear the word salesperson, they think that these people only care about the commission they make as a result of the sale. The image of an average sales man is that of a crook trying to steal the hard earned money from an innocent buyer. There are no tricks per se. Every salesperson must aim at selling effectively and in less time.
When I told one of my friends that I am going to start online business and start selling online he laughed at me. He advised me, “Man. Don’t spoil your life. Go for a regular job with a stable income.”
Now, if everyone became a doctor, or an engineer, or an IT pro, who would serve the primary function of taking the economy forward by making sales? Besides, selling is one of the highest paid jobs, if you know what you are doing.
There are two ways in which people can look to their job as a salesman.
One, they can see this as a regular 9-5 job. If you look at it from a career perspective, this is an excellent field to make a name and some money. I know quite a lot of people who sell to make a living. Some just make enough money to scrape through. Some cannot make money to meet even the basic needs of food and shelter. Then there are some who make more money than a glorified MBA guy. What does this mean? You can choose your destiny with the profession of selling.
How People Sell Online?
If you are into internet marketing, no doubt you might have come across many online products. Some claim to help you make millions, some teach you SEO skills, some teach you other aspects of marketing and so on.
Carefully observe what people in the online world do to sell. Just make sure that you analyze a handful of successful internet marketers. Darren Rowse from problogger.net, Brian Clark from copyblogger.com, Yaro Starak from entrepreneurs-journey.com etc are fine examples of people you can learn a lot from.
Here is what they have in common
- A loyal audience
- A product/Several products of their own
These are not the only people making a killing online. There are lots of others too. But, if you watch closely, everyone follows the same principle
- Provide value
- Build Trust
- Build a loyal audience
- Give away more value
- Sell products that solve a problem!
- Rinse and repeat with new products/blogs
Comparing Selling Online to the Offline World
To become a better salesperson, you need to understand about something called intuition or your gut feeling. Imagine the case when you go to the local store and you are offered two toothbrushes. They are almost similar in quality, price, looks and reputation of the brand. Which would you choose?
Difficult choice, I’d say.
However, if one was suggested by your friend and the other by someone you barely know, the answer is obvious. You are more comfortable with the person you know. You think that you can trust him more than the other person whom you hardly know. This is what every salesperson should strive to achieve. Try to build a strong emotional feeling between you and your client. This will almost guarantee a sale. When was the last time you rejected a dear friends recommendation to buy a product?
Understand the reason why people buy a product or solution. Is it because they can get better ROI? Is it because your product is 10% better than our competitor? No… The answer is, most of the time, emotions. People buy based on their emotions rather than thinking logically. If you can capitalize on the buyers emotions, I can guarantee you that you would have a better chance of selling your product.
How I Switched Insurance Company Because of One Salesperson?
I was planning to take a life insurance cover. There was this guy whom I met at a party. He overheard my conversation of planning to get a life insurance from a top leading insurance company. It so happens that this guy used to work for that company. He came up to me and we met. He took down my number and gave a short sales pitch about his company and why I should take the policy from him. I patiently listened to him and said that I would call him when I make up my mind. Counting 30 days from then, I must have had at least 100 calls from this guy asking me the status of my decision. What do you think happened then?
I ended up taking insurance from another company even though I was about to go with this company at first. When we are not comfortable with the salesperson, we don’t buy. No matter the quality, reputation or value the product provides, I simply did not choose to buy. That is the power of emotions and the comfort level with the salesperson.
How Can You as a Salesperson Be Rewarded?
There are often different reasons we all choose a career. If I choose to be a doctor, sometime I might have the aim of helping people, sometime I may have the aim of getting fame and respect in the society and sometimes the driving force can be monetary rewards. It all boils down to the individual’s personal choice. There are often many types of rewards people can get being a salesperson. If you ask me, the broadest classification would be one which gives you benefits which can be measured and the other one which cannot be measured.
Measurable and non measurable rewards
Here is a scenario.
You noticed a fellow passenger dropping his wallet. You take it and give it back to him. There are two types of reward you expect knowingly or unknowingly. Either you can expect the person to say a thank you and appreciate you for your honest and mentality to help others. Otherwise, you could expect a monetary gain as a reward for returning the purse.
If you wanted money then you are expecting a measurable reward and if you expected appreciation then you are expecting a non measurable reward.
For an average salesperson, the non measurable rewards can include:
- Satisfaction that he has sold a worthwhile product to a customer
- Confidence that he can sell more products
- Derive happiness from the fact that you have helped a customer get rid of a problem
- Feel secured that your job is not at stake since you are making sales
- A position in the society where you are respected (Most people who make money gain respect automatically
The list can go on depending upon the individual.
In case of measurable rewards it can be:
- Increase in profits
- Promotion if you are employed by someone else
- A glamorous lifestyle. Dubbed as “internet lifestyle” by some
To become a better salesperson, all you need to do is believe in yourself, sell the right product to the right customer and explore new opportunities.
Quick tips to sell online
You don’t need all the marketing advice to sell online. You really don’t.
All you need is some basic advice and the rest comes from personal experience.
- Try to do some market research before you try to sell a product. If there is demand, then there should be supply
- Value your audience more than your product. They must feel they are getting a bargain and not losing money. That doesn’t mean hyping the price 75% and then giving a discount of 50%
- Build trust before you sell
- Building hype works wonders for sales. Make sure the product lives up to the hype. Else, you are probably going to see a long list of returns and chargeback’s
- Don’t undervalue or overprice your products. Learn to strike the right balance. Again, if you did market research correctly, I’d assume you already figured this out
- Most importantly, stop trying to soak up all the advice on the net. Start taking action. If that means quitting reading articles over and over again, go on a “information diet” for a while
After all, a great footballer who doesn’t play is only as good as a person who doesn’t know to play at all.
Over to you. What kind of rewards motivates you? What is your strategy to make online sales?
Steve’s Note: Adarsh Thampy is an independent marketing consultant for small business who blogs at Conversion Rate Optimization Blog and helps small business get more customers and improve their conversion rates.Take Action. Get Results.