If you’re not using your website to increase your sales, then you’re not using it properly. A website is more than just a venue to let people find you online. It can be an entirely new sales tool altogether. Obviously, there are some technical matters you have to think about, such as SEO and web development, but the more important things to focus on have got to do with how you can use your website to persuade people to buy your products.
Let’s face it. How many small business owners right now can say that they’re getting the most from their online presence? Probably only a stark few can raise their hands and say I’m taking full advantage of my website. It’s bringing in the massive profits I’ve never seen before. And how many businesses out there have websites that really do nothing but sit pretty on the Web. Shame on you for not monetizing your website! You’ve spent quite a bit on hosting on domain names too, you know, so you might as well get back what you’ve invested.
In short, yes, you can sell on your website, and you should. Whether you’re selling physical goods or services or digital products such as music and e-books, it’s no different trying to sell online from pulling people in to your brick-and-mortar store to buy your products. The same persuasion techniques work, whether you’re selling online or offline. Let’s have a little review.
Give something away.
Whatever this is, it has to be something valuable. You don’t have to give away your best and most expensive product. Just give your customers a taste of what it feels like. Say you’re selling an online self-development program composed of CDs and books. You can give away the first CD of your program or the first chapter of your book. Literally show your customers just how amazing your product is instead of making unsupported claims. You know why this is effective? Because it compels people to give back to you in return. If they’ve used your product, went on a free trial or learned something from you that solved one of their problems, they are much more likely to pay for it in return.
Show proof of your awesomeness.
People tend to like what other people like as well. It’s hard to trust a website that doesn’t have a single positive review or comment from a satisfied customer. On the other hand, when you’re able to gather rave reviews from people who were absolutely, positively enchanted by your product or service, you can almost sit back and let these happy customers do the selling for you. Never, ever go the desperate route of creating fake reviews and posting them yourself. The best way to get great reviews is to sell a great product. When people come to you to thank you for how you’ve helped them, don’t hesitate to push your luck and ask for a review. Trust me. They’d be more than willing to do it for you.
Be one of your customers.
Research shows that people are attracted to people whom they think are similar to them. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are actually similar to your customers, as long as you give them the impression that you’re pretty much just like them. For example, if you’re trying to attract people who think of themselves as intellectuals, talk about high-minded subjects that aren’t the usual fare for people of ordinary minds. Or if you’re selling clothes, bags and shoes, exhibit the qualities of being attractive, confident and fashionable that so many women aspire to have. Some women might think they don’t have these qualities yet, but who you are (or at least who you are portraying) is what they’re aiming for.
Be the authority.
These days, people question authority more than blindly follow it. Once authority has been established, however, it’s not hard for you to say anything that your customer’s aren’t apt to do. So how do you build unquestionable authority? Don’t sell. This can seem counterintuitive since what you’re actually aiming for is more sales. But openly bombarding your customers with hard-sell messages will only make you look like a desperate wannabe who is trying a little too hard to close some deals. Educate, don’t sell. Teach them how your product can help solve their problems. Show them how they can use your product to solve their problems. You can even go the altruistic route by not talking about your product at all. Talk about free ways they can solve their problems, but don’t build them up too much. Tell them these free items are effective, but they’re nothing like this product you know that… You know the rest.
Play the scarcity card.
People like it when they have something that other people don’t have. Some may say it’s a psychological by-product of an overly materialistic world to constantly try and keep up with the Joneses, but it’s definitely one good marketing strategy you can use on your website. What’s a good way to emphasize the scarcity of your product? Tell your customers that time is running out. Your product is just too good that people are scrambling to get their own and if you don’t go ahead and get yours, you just might not get one at all. Try it and see for yourself.