There's loads of material about making money available on the Internet. Most of it is called "How you can make money on the Internet by selling products called How to make money on the Internet".
If it's not that title, it's about how to write "killer" advertising copy or how to write adverts that draw people to your product like bees to the honey jar.
There's never anything about sales, selling or the sales process. Why?
Has selling become a dirty word?
Let's take a look at the processes of selling and advertising and look at the links.
Advertising is simply salesmanship in print (salespersonship just didn't sound right ? sorry!). Advertising has one purpose: to generate sales. It serves no other purpose. If you disagree, read "Tested Advertising Methods" by John Caples or Claude Hopkins books "My Life in Advertising" and "Scientific Advertising". You'll be left with no doubt.
Like salespeople, there's good and bad advertising. Good advertising draws buyers to you. Its effectiveness can be measured and the results identified.
As with sales, the goal is profitable revenue. Bad advertising is just that. It doesn't get the phone ringing or the Clickbank account swelling.
When you buy books about copywriting, they give you a formula to follow. Essentially, that formula is to record your sales presentation, and then write it down. What you write forms the basis of your advert, website or direct mail piece. That's all well and good, but what if you don't understand the sales process?
If you can't sell, you can't use the formula. So the fundamental lesson is to understand the sales process.
Unlike sales people, direct marketers rely on high volumes of visitors or readers (traffic). Success in selling relies on high quality prospects, not volume. There's only a certain number of people you can see to sell to in any given week. Depending on what you sell, that may be as few as five people or as many as 30.
Unlike an advert selling is interactive. The days of making a pitch disappeared along with the snake oil salesman. There has to be two-way dialog. From the two-way dialog comes an understanding of the process. You learn to read the buyer's response from their body language, for the questions they ask and the answers they give to your questions.
With that understanding, you can start to write copy. You build the copy around the framework of your presentation, including the questions and your replies along the way.
The process of the sale, like a good website, has a structure. A beginning, middle and an end. Even the best Internet marketers will tell you that a 5% conversion rate from your site is good. If you as a salesperson only made 5 sale from 100 presentations, you'd be worried wouldn't you?
A good sale is based on trust. That's why McDonald's succeeds. In a strange town given the choice of Greasy Joe's Diner or McDonald's, we choose McDonald's. Trust.
The sale is also based on you the vendor having an understanding of the buyer's needs and wants. It depends upon the buyer's ability to make a decision and on their capacity to pay for what you sell.
How often have you tried to sell something and had the response "Thanks but no thank / we'll think about it / call me next week / have to talk with my partner"? Then when you tell someone that you're not making sales they suggest you should learn some sales closing techniques.
That's when as a sales manager and trainer, I scream. To me, that's like a train driver giving racing tips to Michael Schumacher.
They're coming from the wrong direction. If you think you need to learn closing techniques, you've made a fundamental mistake. That mistake is simple.
Here is the explanation.
Write it down. Memorize it. Don't ever forget it.
You can't close a sale if you didn't open it properly.
Let me spell it out for you in simple language:
Unless you started right, it won't end right.
If you get the "We'll call you" answer (or similar), you didn't ask the right questions. You didn't establish if your prospect had an interest in your proposal, you didn't ask if they could make the decision and you didn't ask if they had the capacity to pay.
Here are three essential questions you must ask yourself...
1. Have they an interest in what I'm selling?
2. Can they make a decision without involving someone else?
3. Can they pay for it?
Don't expect to make any sale without finding out the answers.
? James Yuille, Brisbane, Australia, 2004.
About the author:
James Yuille is a sales and marketing consultant and trainer with over 32 years experience. He is based in Brisbane, Australia.
His free weekly sales and marketing newsletter provides topical information for business owners and salespeople. Find out more at http://www.jamesyuille.com