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Selling Tips for Online Business

Published by Charles Brodeur

Once you have your website up and people have started visiting it, your battle has only just begun. Everything is for sale in the Internet from snake oil to – maybe – atomic power barbecues. Why should people buy from you and how can you be sure you are making money on the sales? Making money on sales seems easy – if you buy for $8 and sell for $10, you have made a $2 profit. Right! Wrong.

It may have cost you $3 to sell the product and you won’t know it till you have lost a lot of money. So here are some things to keep in mind.

Know why people should buy from you. If you don’t, how will they? You need to know your product or service inside out. Nothing is ever perfect. Your product will have its weaknesses. Recognize them, try to minimize them and work with what you have.

Believe in your product. It’s not enough knowing it’s good. You have to believe it. This belief will come out in your approach to sales and add value to the sales pitch. Would you buy a Rolls Royce from a salesman who could recite why it is the best car in the world if you felt he did not really believe what he was saying?

What is different about your product? What benefits does buying from you provide to the customer as compared to other similar items or suppliers? These are called USPs or Unique Selling Points and make your product stand out in a crowd. Know these strength and capitalize on them when selling.

Many people believe that in online business where there is no physical interaction with the customer, products sell on price, quality and features alone. Sorry, but it’s not that easy. The way your website presents you, your business and your product is, to the client, as good as meeting you and any lack of belief in your product will show through sooner or later.

Have a selling plan. List out every step to take and pitfall to avoid from the first contact with the customer to closing the sale. Put in the smallest details and follow it without fail. * Look for online resources like that can lighten your work load.

Remember that closing the sales is not getting the order, but getting the payment!

Be careful about your pricing
. Being more expensive than the competition only works if you are selling a “status” product where the more expensive it is, the more value it is perceived to have.

Have realistic monthly targets. Whenever you do not meet them, spend time understanding why and what you can do to improve things.

Be very careful about the cost of sales. Take every expense you have from coffee to paper clips to Internet bills over a fixed period and total them up. Divide this amount by the total volume of sales you expect to make during this period and add this figure to the product cost. Is your selling price enough to cover these overheads and leaves you with a sufficient profit?

I hope this helps.

Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1

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