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The other day I was browsing the internet and I came across an image by Anna Vital about how to sell. It got me thinking.. how does this relate to online businesses?

1. Let them trust you

Sounds simple right? The old anecdote being that trust takes forever to gain, but a moment to lose… GREAT!

So how can I get my visitors to trust me?

There are many tools you can use to build trust with visitors –

  1. Let them know who you are – don’t be this big company without a face, people buy from people
  2. Use videos on your homepage to engage your audience
  3. Offer guarantees – 30/60/90 day money back
  4. Be flexible – does someone want to buy hundreds of your product, allow them to contact you to discuss a deal

2. Let them talk 90% of the time

Now this one might be difficult to achieve with an e-business, but if you think about it, it’s becoming much easier. Social media and third-party software is making this very simple for businesses to achieve.

Firstly, get on social media, allow people to reach out to you when they need to, it gives a sense of personality behind the company. You need to accept that some people just like to bitch and moan about things, but, it gives you a chance to deal with these issues and improve your services for future customers.

Secondly, utilise “chat to an assistant” software. This is a very good way to increase your conversion rates, it allows customers to ask questions at the point of sale. It simply pays for itself!

3. Be Transparent

If you’re selling web hosting as a reseller, then don’t try to pretend you’re bigger than Eleven2 or Hostgator. You won’t fool anyone. Do you make bespoke furniture from your own house? Why not show visitors to your site how their products are being made.

The more transparent you are, the more the user will trust you. If people think you’re using smoke and mirrors then your brand will suffer, and people might set out to show you up.

4. Don’t sell ice in the Himalayas

Know your market!. Let’s say you’re selling online car parts. Advertising this on a games site where 90% of visitors are too young to drive is a total waste of money.

Think about the benefit to your target market, and how you can best access that market. Advertising online car parts for Ford’s on a Ford fan website would get you a great conversion rate and great access to your target market.

5. Be Optimistic

This doesn’t mean lie! Simple word changes can make the world of difference between peoples perceptions of your company.

Apple are great example of this. During keynotes they promote iPhones and iPads as xxgrams light, not heavy. Ask yourself these two questions –

  1. How heavy is 100lbs of bricks?
  2. How light is 100lbs of feathers?

It’s an old school example but it’s effective. They’re both the same weight, all that’s changed is your perception of the weight – heavy or light. Is the glass half full or half empty?

A simple way to apply this to your website is an “Out of stock” notice. That’s just not helpful. How about, “Order now – dispatched in 2 days”.

6. Stand up when you’re on the phone

You don’t use the phone when selling online… well duh! But what does this really mean?

Be enthusiastic and loud when you’re selling.

When you’re sitting down your chest is tighter, making you speak quieter and have less enthusiasm. Standing up solves this issue. Applying that to your website, sell your product with the same enthusiasm as if you’re standing up.

7. Follow up until you drop

Ever noticed how you have a quick browse for a vacation online, and for 2 months after that’s all the adverts are telling you to do?

There are some clever options available for customer re-engagement options. This means that if a visitor leaves your site without buying, then you can tell them what they’re missing out on. People take time to decide, and people forget. Re-engagement platforms fix both these issues.

Adroll offers a great re-engagement service at a reasonable price.

8. Give time

Don’t force people into buying your product then and there. A “Limited time, 1 hour special offer” just won’t work as intended. Giving people 30 days to decide would get your company a great response. Don’t get me wrong, pressure sales do work, but not as well, and not as frequently.

9. Calculate how many NO’s until YES

This is your conversion goal. Yes GOAL. Don’t be satisfied that you’re converting 1/10,000 visitors into sales. This is a key metric to running your business, but you need to set ambitious, S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Maybe right now you have a 0.1% conversion rate, why not aim for:

  • Increase conversion rate to 1% within 1 month by advertising on more relevant platforms
  • Increase 3 month conversion rate to 5% by conducting SEO scrub of all code
  • Achieve 20% conversion rate within 1 year through direct marketing, SEO tricks, new product offerings, and more…

These goals are simple and keep you hungry. If you settle for 1% then that’s all you’re going to get. If you see it as a stepping stone to 5% then 20% then you’ll be much more successful.


Thanks for reading. Post any questions in the comments below.

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