Sales - A dirty word?
Salesman, saleswoman, salesperson. No matter how you put it, the "sales" part of that word sends many a person clutching their wallet and scurrying for safety. To many, the mere word "salesman" conjures up images of a disheveled middle-aged man in a cheap suit, with one foot wedged in your door and a vacuum cleaner in his hand. "If you just give me a moment of your time ma'am, I promise to truly dazzle you." "Sorry. Not interested." the busy housewife replies. Or, there's always that slick car salesman with a smile as genuine as imitation leather. Yeah, that's the one -- the guy who jacked up the price of your pick-up just before you signed the dotted line. So what's the story with this whole "sales" stigma?
Why is it that the only people who don't consider "sales" a dirty word are the people IN sales? (Actually, some of these folks don't care too much for the word either!) I think I have a handle on it.
It all has to do with a little secret I've been harboring for the past few years... Here's my little secret: I too, used to believe that "sales" was a dirty word! Why? Because I was on the technical support side of business most of my life.
The fact is, most techies, just don't like salespeople. I started to believe what my co- workers and buddies were always saying, that the sales people were all crooks and rip-off artists. The fact is, my buddies were wrong. After I got to know some of the folks in sales at the telecomm company I worked for, I learned that they simply wanted the chance to make more money. They were wise enough to know that their best chance at a high income was in sales. Unlike me, they basically wrote their own paycheck. One of them even explained the word "sales" to me like this: "Hey, I'm not taking people's money, my customers make the conscious decision that what I have to offer is worth a trade for a certain amount of their cash.
This is exactly how and why capitalism works." A wise outlook. When you take this sensible outlook a step further, you realize that selling for yourself, instead of an employer, sets you up for the best earnings potential possible. Simple facts of business. So, I took these words of wisdom with me as I started my own business.
But the fact is, I was still a little worried. I was never a big fan of the traditional selling process. I didn't like to talk on the phone with people I barely knew, especially if I was trying to sell them something. So how in the world would I make a living with my own business? After all, the key to any new business venture is the ability to make sales. My solution?... The internet came to the rescue!!
Thanks to the internet, the traditional selling process is no longer a standard script. A new model has been formed. An effective website does all your selling for you! Your prospects are presented with all the facts, from your company information and history, to testimonials from your satisfied customers. Your "sales pitch" is no longer simply a pitch, but a complete delivery. What's more, prospects are allowed to browse your "delivery" on their own time, without "sales" pressure.
So, to any potential small business owners out there who have been uneasy about the whole "sales" thing, here's a bit of advice... Forget about trying to "make" sales. Instead, sharpen your cyber-delivery and the sales will just come along for the ride. The best way to do this is to take an honest look at your site. Look at it through your potential customers monitor. What do you see? Would YOU buy from your company? You may think twice if your web presence is not everything it should be.
Here are some tip-offs that you may be scaring people away...
1. You do not have your own website and rely strictly on email or a free site. I made this mistake for nearly a year! Learn from my mistake. I've fessed up at http://www.bizweb2000.com/mistake.htm
2. You are not willing to pay $35 a year for your own domain name. Your own domain name is a must these days. If you are serious about growing a business online, get your own domain name or many potential customers will think twice before ordering from you. Here's a great tool to search for available domain names: http://www.virtualisys.com/vr/jdaniels/domain_search.html
3. You have a website and domain name but do not offer secure credit card purchases. Secure credit card ordering is another must at your site. A simple solution is to get a merchant account and a simple shopcart program. You can process orders yourself right through your computer.
For help with getting a merchant account, see
For shopcart solutions check out some recent posts on the subject at our free forum:
4. And last but certainly not least, take a hard look at your delivery! Does your website sound like that vacuum cleaner salesman? In the real world you may be able to keep a foot lodged in someone's door while you force a sales pitch on them, but in cyberspace it is too easy for your prospect to go away. Get too pushy or "salesy" and "click" they're gone, never to return.
Always remember this... Sales will always be a dirty word to some people. Cyberspace gives you a better way to sell to these people. (Or to anyone for that matter!) The best way is to first educate your consumer with free assistance and then gently guide them to your offerings. Take a hard look at your own cyber-sales delivery.
Is it everything it should be? Your sales figures should answer that question for you.
Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing.
Jim's site has helped 1000's of regular folks profit online.
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