Nov 14, 2009

5 Keys to Online Sales Success

The secret formula to an online sales success is not taught in prestige business schools. You have to learn it yourself. Through trial and error I have discovered it. There are five keys to the online sales success...

#1 Questions

The more you ask questions, the more you sell. This builds trust with your prospect, whether it's off- or online. The beauty of the internet is that you can automate this dialog and still make it personal.

#2 Listen

You are busy, I know, but try to listen. Nothings shows more that you care than listening your customer. First you ask questions, then you listen the answers. (Did you notice that you haven't even mentioned your offer yet?) Listen always carefully whether it's Twitter, Facebook, an email, a forum, a chat or a feedback form. Your customer wants fast service, but what they want even more is to be understood.

#3 Analyze

When someone takes time to send you message, be grateful for it and make sure you read it. Answer to the question handled. How many times have you had a situation when you asked something from a customer service, you got a response which didn't cover your topic completely, and you had to get to the rep again? This still happens even with the most successful web stores today.

#4 Offer

After you have asked qualifying questions, listened carefully and analyzed the answers, you are ready to move the fourth part of the online sales process. The offer should only be made after you have discovered your customer's need. Think yourself as a doctor trying to find a cure for your patient (customer). Only when a complete analysis is done you can move to the offer. This is also increases your chances of making the sale.

A hint for you: Make sure your automated online recommendations are personalized correctly. After shopping at for years now, I still get email offers to buy women's shoes from them. And they still address me as "Dear Customer" instead using my real name in every message they send.

#5 Care

The last one is caring. This means show that you care from your customers. While I think that has lot to do, they are one of the best examples of digital direct marketing in action. They keep sending me recommendations based on past purchases which are (mostly) accurate and interesting. It doesn't cost them anything to maintain this relationship even after the sale is made. You too can send recommendations via email, you know. It's a great way to stand out in this digital world.

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