Not making many online sales? This may be why…

I read a quote the other day and it really stuck with me,

How to sell onlineI think it pretty much sums up where I , and a lot of people go wrong when it comes to making sales online. After all, that is why we do what we do right? We are trying to earn a living through our efforts.

Here is the quote – “When you sell it is all about you. When you market, it is all about the customer”. Pretty powerful stuff man. I wish I could remember who said this. Whoever it was, thank you. I wish I could properly give you credit for your wise words.

So what does this mean? Well, when you are just trying to ‘pitch’ something, you are basically only interested in closing the sale. What tends to happen is you focus on the features of a product. This will do this, or that. It has this option, or that capability.

What we should really be doing is solving a problem for the potential customer. Telling them how it can help THEM with THEIR problems.

It makes perfect sense to me. If we can tell our interested parties WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM, and then present them with the opportunity to buy, the sale will likely come as a by-product of that process (if we have really offered a solution that fits).

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I am trying to earn commissions from promoting a software service. If I only concentrate on the features the conversation would probably go something like this…

“Simply push one button and automatically generate a list of 50 local leads interested in your offer.”

That approach only tells the visitor what the software does. Not why it is important TO THEM.

How about this approach then…

“Instead of you having to manually search through local Business Directories, which would take hours of your precious time, you can instantly generate a list of 50 local leads for your Business with just one click, freeing you up to concentrate on more important things, such as customer service and relationship building. Let us do the repetitive, time consuming tasks for you automatically.”

Maybe not the best example but do you see where I am going with this. Instantly, you have given a problem (the time it takes to find local leads manually), and presented a solution (one click equals 50 local leads). You have also given a benefit (more time to concentrate on other areas of the Business).

Straight away, the person reading this is thinking about how the service could benefit them. What it can do FOR THEM. Not just what it does. Benefits versus features.

All you really have to do is to identify a problem your customers have, present a solution, and give them an opportunity to get it (through your affiliate link) so you can benefit from the exchange too.

That is what this is. It is an exchange. You are exchanging something of value to the customer (a solution to a real problem they have) for something you value (a commission).

Give them what they WANT and you will get what you want. It is a value exchange, not a sale. That is probably one of the hardest lessons for new marketers to learn. It certainly took a while for me to fully understand it. Concentrate on the VALUE that the product or service you are offering has to your visitors (what’s in it for them), and the sale will come as a by-product of the process.

Give before you ask (for the sale). Better yet, don’t ask for the sale, simply make sure the opportunity is there for the visitor to get what they want through you.

So, how do you find out what problems your potential customers have that need solving?

  • Ask them. If you have an email list, send an email and ask what they need help with.
  • Check out forums in your niche to see what people are asking for help with.
  • If you sell physical product, look at reviews to see what is not good and find something that fixes those issues.
  • Use social media to find out what people are struggling with
  • Use surveys (there are a lot of free ones) to gather information. Put up a question on social media, or your website to see how people respond.
  • Use your own experiences to identify things you had to do that you didn’t like doing, or things you struggled with.

Once you have identified a problem, you can find (or create) a solution. Then it is just a matter of presenting that solution to the right people.

Of course, this all sounds easy in theory. It is difficult to get used to at first because the notion of giving in order to receive has somehow been lost to us in this day and age. Once you get into the habit of thinking in terms of solving problems, and exchanging value though, it does become easier, and more natural.

Give it a go.

Here is a great way to find problems and offer solutions without spending hours doing research and  creating solutions. This will free you up to check out the latest memes on Facebook 🙂 (see what I did there).

Please share this post so even more people can learn how to ‘stop selling to make sales’.

Til next time,