What was your experience the very first time you tried to sell anything online? What was your experience with the first advert you created and promoted? Did it yield much fruit? Selling online can be daunting; our first experience was horrible. We spent so much money trying to promote ReDahlia.com; I was so passionate about starting the entrepreneurial hub and we kept promoting the contents without it yielding any revenue. We were bleeding money.
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I am sure you probably did not get any conversion in your first attempt at selling online. If you did, then you fall under the 1% lucky people.
We had to do some learning eventually. I consumed every material I could get, paid for online courses, spoke to like minds and today we are on a different level. We have seamlessly integrated our offline and online presence and sell most of our services online.
Watch the full video on how to sell anything online here. Also, subscribe to our channel to get business ideas and insights.
Why discuss Selling Online?
We consult and teach small businesses about how to sell their services and product both offline and online. But, for today, we are going to focus on selling online. I felt the need to discuss this because we have so many businesses online; the internet especially Instagram has become a market place.
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Secret To Selling Online
To succeed in selling online, you have to understand the platform that works for you. There are some products and services that are more suited for particular platforms.
For instance, if you are selling courses, there are platforms that are better suited for it. Platforms like Udemy, Youtube etc. When you are selling commodities, shopify or Instagram will be more appropriate.
Don’t forget that the aim of selling online is not just to make revenue, it is to make profit.
Whatever you do, you are primarily in business to make sells. Your contents, your landing page, your engagements etc should be crafted for that purpose.
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Sells is the life blood of your business
Most people believe that the reason their businesses fail is because they do not have enough capital base. That is what business schools teach you anyways. The core reason businesses fail is because they have failed to sell the right amount of products or services at the right price that will keep them in business. So, the inability to sell is the core reason businesses fail.
Selling online is not about being pushy and having charisma. Do you want to sell online? Then, know who your target audience is and figure out their real pain point. Sell a product or service that gives value and relieves them of their pain; there in lies the true secret of selling online. In other words, communicate and sell value.
The intent of us putting this out is for you to understand the basic things about selling online and take some pressure off yourself. I understand the pressure is so much on small businesses to make ends meet.
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So here we go:
10 Tip On Selling Online
Know Everything About The Customer
People are obsessed with themselves. All they care about is them them them. Try this out, when you go out with your friends, listen and see how many times they talk about themselves and how good it makes them feel. It takes a level of discipline to focus and concentrate on the customer without feeding the temptation of bombarding them with the feature of your product.
When you communicate to someone you know, it will feel personal right? So, henceforth, when you communicate to a customer, make it personal and this is how:
- Write in simple straight forward English. Do not complicate things with big grammar. Write like you are talking to your best friend.
- Show that you understand their problems
- Ask questions around your offering that you are sure they will say yes to. For instance, do you know that if you register your business, you have better access to loans and investors? Of course, the answer is yes.
You have to research your target audience for you to understand them. Understanding them means using their language. For instance, if you are selling weight loss products, the new language now is “get shredded”.
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Logic Don’t sell, Emotions Do
We are ruled by emotions (fear, love, anger etc) even you and me. So when selling online, sell to their emotions. We might think we are smart logical people navigating this world, nah, we are not. Consider all the times you have bought something, what made you buy it?
An example of emotion; if you don’t register your business, someone else might take the name that you have worked so hard for. Because of fear, you hurry to register your business name with us. That is playing in the fear emotion.
Show that you have experienced the pain points that the customer is experiencing and that your product or service came in handy. You should as well use third parties that have the same resemblance to your target audience. For instance, if you are selling a product to an elderly man, reviews or a video of another elderly man using the same product will convince him more.
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Make It Personal
The mistake people make is thinking that the online community is made up of small gods. They feel they can get away with anything they do online, from being rude to scamming people.
Even though you are selling online, you are still selling to a person so maintain the human aspect of your communication. It helps increase the prospect of your audience engaging with you and your product or service.
Make sure your website, landing pages, forms, emails, and call-to-action buttons are tailored to the audience you’re trying to reach. Don’t make things complicated. The call to action button should come in a different color so it stands out.
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Provide Detail And Communicate Value
Provide in-depth information about the product you are selling when selling online. What are the sizes and colours of the product? What are the dimensions of the product? Who is the product meant for? Is it for a child?
Take good pictures of the product. Often times, you see people just upload a picture of their product on social media and go away. Prospects want to know exactly what they are buying. Help them make the decision to buy from you quickly.
What is the value your product is providing? Have you thought about competition? What differentiates it from competitors? What about your prices? Are they right for the market you are selling to? When your customers understand the value of what you are offering, they will know they are receiving a good return on their hard-earned money.
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Create A Sense Of Urgency:
The law of supply and demand still works. The lower the supply, the higher the demand. Find a way to create scarcity for your product or service. Let them know the consequences of not taking action.
These are some ways you can create a sense of urgency for your product:
- Create scarcity of the product by making offers with “limited time only”.
- Offer freemium but put an expiration date on it
- 20% discount this week only
- Last Day! Buy Now get a free gift
- Use stories and case studies and mention cases of people who failed to take action and how they lost out big time.
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Not Everyone Will Be Interested
Most of your income will always come from a tiny fraction of the market. It is like the 80/20 rule. All your sales will come from a tiny fraction of your traffic. So, don’t worry when most people are not interested immediately. Let it not discourage you.
Figure out who your target audience is and concentrate on them. Craft your message to speak to them and everything will be well. Concentrate on giving them the right customer service and watch them be evangelist for your products or services.
Let Them Agree With You
People buy from you when they agree with you, let them agree with you. Ask series of questions that make them agree with you so when you now ask for the sale, it will be dissonance for them to say no.
For instance, if I was selling a workspace to a freelancer,these are some of the questions I will ask him to agree with me
- Wouldn’t you like a place where you can meet other entrepreneurs and share ideas with them?
- It will be nice to have constant power supply where you can work throughout the day. Wouldn’t it?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to have super fast fibre optic internet so that work is easy?
- Would you like to work from a place that is super accessible?
When he agrees to all these, towards the end when you then ask for the sale, it will be difficult to say no.
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It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect When Selling Online, Amateur Works Best
Amateur looking Ads tend to work better than corporate looking ones.
- They are more personal
- They seem more authentic
- It has a way of disarming people as it is non- threatening
- They are original and so, stand out
- You show you are on the same level with your target customers
- It makes it appear that it is about them not the big mega corporations
So next time you are creating your Ad, don’t try to copy GTBank or Apple. Think and understand your audience and speak their language.
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Stories, Not Facts Works For Selling Online
Why do you prefer to watch a movie instead of reading a physics text book? People like stories more than they like facts. I am not saying that you should go and enroll in a story telling school but you can learn; just pay attention to the basics and work it into your sales process.
Stories command attention and get people wanting more.
Tips you can use to tell your story:
- Ask a lot of questions to understand what your audience is interested in.
- Let your story be relatable not fiction.
- Use suspense, don’t just vomit everything at once.
- Make it fun; include jokes, memes or anything that makes your audience comfortable.
- Pay attention to your surrounding everyday and practice your story telling
Remember you are not going for a competition, the aim is to sell online. This is what everyone use; NGOs and the rest. They use story telling that appeal to emotions.
See Also: Telling the ReDahlia story, a brand preoccupied with being everything to the entrepreneur.
Build An Email List.
You need to think of how you will communicate future offers to current clients and how to get new prospects. This is where an email list comes in handy. Include an email subscription button on your website.
When people make enquiries through DM, ask them nicely for their email so you could send them promos and offers that will benefit them. That’s if it is not the means you sell.
For us at ReDahlia, we send our registration requirements through email. So getting our client’s email is important for us because it helps us sort out each clients information and file them appropriately.
Truth is that, if you are offering value, the email list will grow as people will tell friends, colleagues and family about you.
You don’t need to be a genius to learn how to sell online, you just need to study people who are good at it or come talk to us at Entrepreneurs.ng.
Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice for our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.