The ... of business are the same online as they are offline. Making income and profit is vital to the success of any ... How are income and profits ... By SELLING ... you
The fundamentals of business are the same online as they are offline. Making income and profit is vital to the success of any business. How are income and profits generated? By SELLING products.
Is your site selling your products?
If you answered no, why isnt it? Weak copy, poor design/organisation, poor customer focus, internal company issues, no site visitors ...?
If you answered yes - Are you being objective? The vast majority aren't and could be improved to sell more. You want to sell more right?
The difference between a failing business and a successful one is primarily the quantity of product sales. If you make enough sales and therefore income to pay off your costs, you survive. To be successful you must go beyond this survival point and get higher sales and therefore higher income and profits. Whilst most offline businesses seem to see this situation clearly and work actively to increase sales, it seems a large proportion of businesses online don't or at least dont on their website.
For example, retail stores are intensely focused on their customers. They are constantly striving to improve and increase sales of their products to the customer. They often work on an income per area of space basis. This puts the emphasis firmly on maximizing their selling space and offering.
We could learn from this approach online and focus on making sales and improving our offering. Whilst introducing the same income per area equation is probably too much for the online world and small screens, the greater emphasis on sales and sales income should be welcomed. That doesnt mean squeezing ads and text into every conceivable web space, it means maximizing your web space with compelling offers, good communication, a clear message, intuitive layout and navigation, focus on potential customers, etc. All things that encourage and nurture website usage and ultimately make sales.
So how do you make your website sell your products? Well, of course you need to be marketing your site and products effectively to get potential customers to your site. Once you have these visitors, you need to actively sell your products to them. Sales dont happen on their own, your site has to sell them. That means the work has to be put into your site and for it to say what your potential customers want to hear.
With the aid of a few questions, you can identify weak elements on your site that arent actively selling your products and do whatever is necessary to make them sell. Lets be clear about it, your objective is to sell as many of your products as possible in the shortest time possible. (If you dont have a website yet, use the questions and their results to build a website around).
Before we look at the questions themselves lets focus your mind a little. Try to think from your potential customers point of view. Think objectively to see what they see. They have probably never been to your site before and come with an open mind ready to discover what you have to offer them. What are they thinking? Well... consider what you see and think when you go to a website:
What do you look for? What impression do you get? What are they offering me? What exactly is in it for me? Are they talking to me? Are they saying what i want to hear? What would make me buy immediately? Can i trust them?
Now you have your potential customers point of view fresh in your mind, look at your website and ask the following questions (and any relevant others):
What do your potential customers want from you? Can they see what you are offering quickly? Can they see clearly and quickly whats in it for them? Is your text copy strong and actively selling your products? Is your site focused on your potential customers? Is your site's text, layout and organisation assisting them? Do they know why they should buy from you? What do your customers think of your site and your products? Is someone responsible for increasing website sales? Is that person doing that? If not, why?
The answers you get should start giving an indication of under-performing elements on your site and responsibility for website sales. Once identified, you MUST then look for ways to improve or remove them. Be objective and ruthless! If any element of your website is not selling your products - improve or remove it. Do not rest until all your site elements are actively selling your products.
A common problem area to look out for is weak text copy. Weak copy will not sell and should either be transformed into strong copy or removed. If its not selling your products dont hesitate to remove it. For example, if your copy says "free newsletter" its weak copy and is unlikely to compel anyone to subscribe to it. Either improve it or remove it - make it stronger "subscribe today and get this benefit, plus this one... its all 100% free".
Just like you, your potential customers are busy and bombarded by sales information continuously. Make your site work for them and stand out with compelling offers and products that solve their particular problem. Make sure, in no uncertain terms, they know your product can solve their problem and how. If they go away happy, it gives them a mental message to take away that they'll remember and identify you with, a sort of mental business card.
Put the effort in and you'll get the results. The new customer gets what they've been looking for, to solve their problem, and you of course get more sales. Everybody is happy.
Peter Simmons is editor of the DYNAMIQ EZINE. GET MAXIMUM RESULTS FROM YOUR WEBSITE! Increase your traffic, prospect conversions, sales, profits, referrals and more... START GETTING RESULTS RIGHT NOW with your $129 WEBSITE EVALUATION ABSOLUTELY FREE at http://www.dynamiq.co.uk/ezine