This is the question that keep many entrepreneurs awake at night. "I have this product or service, how do I make people buy it from me?" Well, here are some tips so you change your approach from the old sales method to the new one and get more people buy from your company.
Selling: past and present
What do I mean by "old sales method"? Well, I mean when marketing was based on talking and talking about our product, without considering the needs of each client; TV Commercials, radio spots, billboards, strategies that were aimed to everyone and therefore to anyone specific as well, when we talked about the greatness of our product to the point of exhaustion.
A slogan here, a jingle over there, so that when someone wanted your product or service (which wasn't at the exact moment when this person saw your -very expensive- advertising) at least he/she could mechanically remember your brand. If this kind of advertising actually helped someone, and this person managed to remember your brand, then well done! you made a sale.
Nowadays people buy differently, the Internet allows us to get information before making any purchase. Advertising? We avoid it, not thanks. What do we as customers want to know about the product or service that we are looking for?
- What is it, how does it solve my specific problem
- How does it work, which details should I know about
- How much is it and why
- Who to buy it from whom - that won't cheat me in order to sell-
- What do others think about the product or service
Among many other questions! These answers can hardly be given on a few-seconds-long commercial or on a billboard that you can hardly look at while driving by it. So we go to the internet and look for these answers. It's on the internet where real advertising begins, where content marketing is done, where:
- People get to know all about your product or service
- People get to know you, your company
- You can earn their trust
- You can make that sale
4 Tips for a successful internet sales strategy
1. Know your ideal customer
First of all, you need to know who your ideal customer is, the one that you know will want and buy your product or service. Not everyone is your client and that's OK. Focus all your efforts towards those who will need and buy what you sell and plan your strategy around them. Which specific questions can this person have? Plan your strategy around them.
People buy what they want, not what they need
It is very important that you know your ideal customer so that you can communicate your value offer according to what the client wants, not needs. What do we mean? Well, we all have many needs, but we prioritize those that we want over those that we don't (even if they are indeed, a need).
For example, we all need to eat well if we want to stay healthy, but many of us don't do it because it involves a strong will and sacrifice. Now, if we want to look good for the beach, then maybe we'll look for a nutritionist, pay for his/her services and finally go on a diet. Maybe even sign up at a gym ... and actually go exercise!
2. Know your product in-depth (h4)
In order to offer your client what he/she is looking for, you need to not only know who your ideal customer is, but also -of course!- know your product or service in depth. It seems a very obvious statement to make, but there are many sales people who don't know how to explain the product or service that they offer well, who know the generalities but, if you ask them something more in-depth about it, they need to go to a third party in order to get the answer ... Haven't you ever heard: "Let me ask the manager, he must know it" or "Here is the contact information of our supplier, get in touch with him so he get answers straight from him about this matter"?
If your sales strategy is going to revolve around offering your ideal customers quality content, around being able to offer them all the answers they may be looking for, you must know your product or service in depth. You must be the expert on the matter. How can you generate trust in the client when you yourself don't know all the details of what you sell?
Knowing your product or service will let you know your what makes you different
Knowing what you sell in depth will also allow you to discover that thing that makes you different from the rest, that characteristic that only you have in order to better help your client solve his need or satisfy the wish that he has. Remember that, unless we are objects collectors, we don't buy the objet per se, we buy what that object will provide us with (which is what we are really looking for). We don't just buy a pill for the pill itself, we buy a pill because it'll help us feel better. What does your product or service has to offer? Are you selling a vacuum cleaner or an easy to accomplish in-depth cleaning?
You now know your ideal customer and your product in depth. What you need to do next is to:
- Communicate with your clients
- Communicate the value of what you sell
The first one you can achieve by opening communication channels with your clients and by managing this communication effectively. The second one is achieved by offering all that information that the client will look for online.
You don't have to chase your clients anymore -like sales people used to do in the past, it's now all about having the information there, at hand, on your website, so that when the client looks up for something that you have, he actually finds your company.
Open your communication to third parties
Open communication with third parties also helps. We usually rely more on the opinions of third parties than on the seller's. Why? Well, because we know sales people are only looking to do business while we know that a third party won't take any profit from the sale, so if this person recommends something, it's because it works, and nothing else. Give voice to other buyers, let their recommendations and opinions be read by other potential buyers. And of course, always work on your customers' satisfaction. They are your best recommendation!
4. Don't just close the deal, open doors to more!
Leave always an open door for customers to take more steps, to buy more. If you are on step one (just offering useful content), don't forget to offer some extra information as well, so that your client continues to learn more about you: links to other articles, premium content to download for free (ebooks, brochures...). Buttons that will help them continue taking steps in their purchasing process if they want to do so.
Even after the purchase is done, don't close your communication with them, keep in touch from time to time. Send an email every so often with content that may be useful to them: updates, user manuals, new ideas ... Pamper and nurture your customers! Remember that a satisfied customer will continue to buy from you and will also recommend your brand to his family and friends.
Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
Even when a sale is closed, you can keep offering more useful options to your clients:
- Up Selling- Offer more to them. For example, "You already hired our standard cleaning service for your home ... Did you like it? Well, we also have this other package that includes the organizing of your garage and mowing your lawn..."
- Cross Selling- Offer complements to your product or service. Same example: "Are you satisfied with our cleaning service for your house? If you hire us again, you can choose to also buy our super cleaning product at a special client price". Or maybe: "Those who have hired this service, have also hired the car wash service that we offer at a special price to our customers."
Summing things up, your strategy should revolve around your client, his doubts and the communication that you keep with him. The marketing you now have to do isn't just about your product, as it used to be. You now must be there, online, with your content, in order to answer all of your client's questions and to build a trusting relationship with him. All of this can be achieved with a content marketing strategy, also called Inbound Marketing.
If you would like to learn more about this strategy, download our free e-book: