Improving Your Sales Technique
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.
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)
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
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
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.
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