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  • Improving Your Sales Technique
    Michael Campbell Michael Campbell

    14 simple rules to boost your site from a measly 1% conversion ratio to as high as 8%. We took a site, tore it apart, and made it happen.

    Face it... anyone can throw money at pay per click search engines and get a whole whack of traffic to their sites. But if it doesn't convert into sales, what good is the traffic.

    Remember, every time you double your conversion, you double your sales. So if you are making 100K per year at 1% conversion, then doubling the conversion to 2% gives you 200K per year... and who doesn't want a pay raise like that?

    I had the opportunity to do a website review the other day. It broke all the rules and hovered around a typical 1% conversion. A 30 minute conversation with the website designer changed all that.

    Rather than give you the before and after... I'm going to give you the after. Reason being, that I want you to look at your own site and apply some of these techniques to your pages. Doing so could double or triple your sales over the next month and forever after that.

    The Rules:

    1) Repeat after me, "The web is not an ATM (automated teller machine like the banks use)." It doesn't have to be a cold, hard, technological place. The most missing element on the web is the human element.

    Show people on your web site and write as if you were you were talking to a friend. Get rid of the hype and the corporate jargon... you wouldn't talk that way to a friend.

    2) There ae no such things as B to B (business to business), or B to C (business to consumer), there are only P to P (person to person) transactions.

    Even if you think it's one faceless corporation dealing with another, it's really one person, the decision maker with purchasing power, having a personal relationship with another person who is a supplier capable of expediting the goods. In other words, two people that like dealing with each other.

    3) Define the end result you want your customer to experience. No, it's not your product or service, it's how your product or service makes the customer feel. It must be all about them, not you. Focus on the emotion you want them to have in the end.

    4) Build confidence by satisfying and passing the emotional "security" checklist that all people have. Put a phone number on your site, so you can help people with their purchase decision. Put credit card logos, shipping company logos, secure server logos, other credibility builders like BBB or chambers of commerce you belong to.

    Include web pages for warranty, guarantee and return merchandise information. Be sure to state how long you've been in business if it's been more than a couple of years. Finally be sure to include your dirt world mailing address. It will help with local searches.

    5) Show and tell always works better than just tell. If your product requires, assembly, a manual, or several processes... tell them how to do it, then show them how to do it. You can do this with freeze frames, screen captures, slide shows or even videos. Show step 1, step 2, step 3, etc, and do it in a very simple, easy to understand manner.

    6) Guide the eye with headlines, that's what they're designed to do. Look at any newspaper. The headlines tell you what the following paragraphs are about. Your website should do the same thing.

    After the opening headline, help the user skim your page, and let them decide when and where they want to start reading your page. Do that with headlines that carry a clear benefits of owning and using your product, followed by a detailed paragraph.

    7) Use several "calls to action." The customer may have been presold by other advertising methods, word of mouth, a review, whatever... these people want a order link at the very top of the page. Some people won't decide until the end of the page.

    Moral of the story... pepper order links every few paragraphs. And if you want to know which call to action triggered the sale, give each "buy now" link a separate tracking code.

    8) Point out unique features like patents - if you have them - then explain the benefits. But don't do it right away. If there is something unique about your product, the usual desire is to shove it in the face of the customer. Oh, look we're different because... that used to work but doesn't anymore.

    Once you have them into the story, and you've shown several benefits of owning your product... then hit 'em with the biggie, the whopper benefit, the one that makes your product the best, fastest, most unique... but do it more like an, "Oh yea, I almost forgot" kind of statement. That will be the cherry on the sundae, the bakers dozen, the one overt benefit that sends them over the top.

    9) Free shipping is mandatory, not an option. It can be for orders over a certain dollar amount, certain geographical areas, or very basic shipping like ground only. Then if the customer wants premium or express shipping, it's extra. Like it or not, it's part of the mental checklist customers make... if the other guys have free shipping and you don't... guess where they are gonna shop.

    10) The opening headline must be about the customer, not your product. The customer must be the star of the show. Don't talk about you or your company in the opening headline unless its as the solution to their problem.

    Use a clearly defined benefit or two, so when the customer reads the headline they think, "Hey, that's what I want... that's what I've been looking for... this website is all about me!"

    One of the most powerful opening headlines you can use, starts with a proven formula like the "if you... then" statement. If you want this and this, then here's how this (our product) will do that or solve that problem for you.

    11) Summarize the full deal at the end of the sales letter. Most sites fail to wrap up the deal and reinstate the full package. Very often, this summary justifies the emotional purchase decision with logic.

    Remember, the logical brain will always find a way to justify an emotional purchase. When you summarize the deal, include the product, differentiating benefits, guarantee, free shipping and add in the bonuses if any. Once they see how much is on the plate... how can the logical mind resist buying?

    12) Include a personal message. This can be in the form of an audio recording, a message from the president, or just the writing style itself. Get rid of the mission statement and show a face. Pick someone and let him or her be the spokesperson and actually talk to the people. Put their photo or your photo on the line. Make a personal statement of guaranteed customer satisfaction.

    13) Solicit satisfied customers for testimonials. More and more it's what "third parties" say rather than what "you" say. Amazon lets its customers rate every single product by writing reviews. More and more, people are basing their buying decisions based on those reviews. Why not let your customers do the same thing?

    Take the best testimonials and weave them into the content of your page. For best results, put the testimonial in courier typeface in an html table with a different color background than the rest of your page (yellow works the best).

    If you get a lot of testimonials, put them on a separate page so people can read them if they want. Simply telling them you have a page with 101 testimonials will be more than enough to convince them.

    14) Have several friends - or better yet... strangers - sit down in front of your web site and watch how they use it. If they have navigation questions or can't find something, or can't figure out how to do something... guess what? So will thousands of your visitors. Remember that your site designer is not going to be there looking over their shoulder telling them or you where to click.

    It's impossible to check your own work, because you are way too familiar with it. It's very important to get impartial third parties to test the usability and friendliness of your site before you launch it.

    Watch their facial expressions for negative emotions or any signs of trouble. Take careful note of everything they say. Ask them if they would shop there... if yes or no... and why? Reinforce the yes, fix the no.


    Ok, that's it for now... It's time to take a good hard look at your site. If you are not converting at least 3 to 5% of your traffic, it's time for a site overhaul. Go back and re-read the 14 rules again and think about how you can start applying these sales techniques to your web sites. Remember, every time you double your conversion ratio, you double your income. And who doesn't want a pay raise like that? All it takes is the application of these 14 simple rules.

    Michael Campbell is the author of Revenge of the Mininet... Advanced search engine linking strategies and diagrams for increased revenue Clickin' it Rich... The complete work from home business training system for new affiliates. Nothing but 'Net... Simple internet marketing strategy that made $750,000 in less than a year.

    Click here!

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