One of the biggest shortcomings that I have seen in the materials that I reviewed that are available today on the Internet is in the area of making The Actual Sale.
Keeping in mind that I was involved in making Training Tapes and Training People to CLOSE SALES for over 25 years, this is an area in which I have a TREMENDOUS amount of Expertise AND Success!
Rather than giving you the standard discussions of how to set up a Site for free, or refer you to a Web Designer for a professional Site to be made, let’s first discuss what the Site’s PURPOSES are and how to best ACHIEVE them.
Axiom Number Forty-Nine – A SALES SITE’S JOB IS TO SELL!
Let’s start with the simple premise that what you want is a Site that will SELL your INFORMATION, PRODUCT or SERVICE with the HIGHEST CONVERSION RATE of SALES-TO-PROSPECTS.
As we discussed, if 100 VISITORS come to your Site, and 90% of them are Qualified Visitors, which we call PROSPECTS, you have 90 PROSPECTS, or Potential Customers.
If YOUR SITE, which is YOUR SALESPERSON, sells ONE of them, then your Sales person’s rate of Closing the Sale is 1/90.
If this is the case, there is one and ONLY one thing for you to do:
FIRE YOUR SALESPERSON!!!!
If you had a Conventional Business, like I did for 25 years, and you had a Salesperson that you had to give 90 Prospects to in order to get ONE Sale, you could NEVER EVER afford to do that!
Well, when it comes to an Internet Business, Your Site IS Your Sales person, so if Your Site is closing 1 Sale out of every 90 attempts, there is NO WAY you can afford to allow that to continue any more than if it were a Conventional Business!
SUCCESS comes from several key factors among which are the following:
- THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC YOU DRIVE TO YOUR SITE
- THE AMOUNT OF THAT TRAFFIC THAT IS QUALIFIED, and
- HOW MANY OF THE QUALIFIED ONES YOU CLOSE!
We’ve discussed in DETAIL both ATTRACTING VISITORS, AND MAXIMIZING the PERCENTAGE that are QUALIFIED.
NOW THAT WE HAVE THEM WHERE WE WANT THEM, WHICH IS BOTH INTERESTED, AND AT OUR SITE, NOW WE’VE GOT TO CLOSE THEM!
There are TWO CRITICAL FUNDAMENTALS that go into the makings of Your SALES MACHINE –
Axiom Number Fifty – THE STRUCTURE AND THE VERBIAGE OF YOUR SITE ARE THE TWO BIGGEST CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE PERCENTAGE OF SALES YOUR SITE WILL CLOSE.
There’s a lot of good information available that talks about having “Compelling Sales Copy”, which is a fancy way of saying that you need to be persuasive. We’ll discuss HOW to be persuasive and what makes copy persuasive shortly.
But, no matter HOW COMPELLING your Sales Copy is, if the STRUCTURE of Your Site is not set up properly to CLOSE THE SALE, your SALES-TO-VISITOR RATIO will be CONSIDERABLY LOWER than it would be if you did have the CORRECT STRUCTURE.
Determining the STRUCTURE of Your Site will depend on several factors, so we need to have a discussion of the Components that go into the making of a Sale.
THE STRUCTURE OF A SALE:
This is an area that is SO CRITICAL that you need to have an in-depth understanding of the Dynamics of Sales and of the psychology behind making a Sale. Before we get to different types of layouts, let’s discuss what needs to be done in order to make A SALE.
First, you need to realize that as CRITICAL as it is to have a POTENTIAL CUSTOMER, which is why the MARKETING EFFORT was covered and explained in such detail, IT IS EVEN MORE CRITICAL TO HAVE THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE CONVERSION RATE OF SALES-TO-PROSPECTS.
Axiom Number Fifty-One – MAXIMIZE YOUR SALES-TO-PROSPECT RATIO:
Let’s focus on all of the things that result in the MAXIMIZATION of Your Close Rate, which is also called the Conversion rate in the Sales Business.
Your Close rate is the best it can be when your:
- Site is STRUCTURED properly
- Verbiage is correct
- The Market you are attracting are interested
- Your Offer has Merit
- All of the Components of a Successful Site are present.
These components include:
- A Secure Site
- Enough Credibility for a Prospect enough to buy
- A sound money-back guarantee
- A professional and competitive Site
- Links to and from Credible Sites
At this time, we’re going to talk about the STEPS involved in making a Sale, and how they relate to Your Site’s STRUCTURE.
A SALE is comprised of many BUILDING BLOCKS. If you look at a SALE as you do a Marriage, you’d realize the intricate steps involved. One doesn’t go from zero to Marriage, just as one doesn’t go from zero to a SALE.
Axiom Number Fifty-Two – EACH AND EVERY STEP OF A SALE IS CRITICAL TO THE OUTCOME OF THAT SALE.
Let’s start with the exploration of an INFORMATION PRODUCT – say, an E-book that you have written based on your experience, and take a look at the components of a Sale based on this scenario.
Let’s view a SALE as follows:
There is a HALLWAY that leads to Your SALE, which sits at the end of the Hall. There are DOORS all along the HALLWAY. Your goal is to lead your Prospect down the Hall to the SALE. The Prospect has the right to head out any door at any time. YOUR JOB IS TO CLOSE THOSE DOORS!
DOOR NUMBER ONE – WHAT ARE YOU OFFERING?
YOU ONLY HAVE THREE SECONDS TO IMPRESS YOUR PROSPECT!
What will Your Prospect see in the FIRST THREE SECONDS looking at Your Site? You must CLEARLY ANSWER THAT QUESTION in order for the Prospect to make the FIRST DECISION, which is to CONTINUE down the HALLWAY that LEADS TO A SALE.
THE FIRST SALE YOU MUST MAKE IS THAT THE SITE IS WORTH CONTINUING TO INVESTIGATE.
DOOR NUMBER TWO – PERSONAL CREDIBILITY
Always put yourself in your Prospect’s shoes. If you cannot be objective doing this, rely on input from someone in whom you have confidence. But ask yourself this question:
WHAT GIVES YOU CREDIBILITY? WHY WOULD A PROSPECT BE WILLING TO LISTEN TO YOU?
THE SECOND SALE YOU MUST MAKE IS THAT YOU MUST SELL YOURSELF TO YOUR PROSPECT SO THAT YOU ARE WORTH LISTENING TO.
I cannot be ANY MORE CLEAR on this point. If you are Selling Information, and you FAIL to Establish YOURSELF as an EXPERT, you just
killed your Sale. You’ve shot yourself right in the foot!
DOOR NUMBER THREE – THE INFORMATION THAT YOU ARE OFFERING MATCHES THE SITUATION YOU ARE ADDRESSING
You’ve identified a niche that you feel you are Qualified to fill. You have your Prospects attention, and they believe in you enough to continue. WHAT NEXT?
Supply Good, SOLID, No-nonsense Information about the Situation that you are addressing. Identify the Situation and pose Your Solution. BUT NOT TOO QUICKLY! If right off the bat Your Prospect feels that you are trying to SELL THEM SOMETHING, YOU HAVE FAILED!
WHY? The Prospect needs to feel that THEY are in the DRIVER’S SEAT. That is to say, they want to feel that THEY ARE MAKING THE DECISION TO PURCHASE, not that they are being FORCED, or COERCED, or BROWBEATEN into buying!!
If you start SELLING them something right away, they will feel rushed and/or threatened, and you’ll lose them. So, while you don’t want to waste 20 pages of “fluff”, you do not want to tell them why they’ve got to buy your product before they are sufficiently warmed to the idea that there is indeed a problem that your Information might provide the SOLUTION for.
THE THIRD SALE YOU MUST MAKE IS THAT THERE IS INDEED A SITUATION THAT EXISTS THAT YOU HAVE NOW IDENTIFIED.
DOOR NUMBER FOUR – THE PROPOSED SOLUTION
I hope you can see the progression as we take our Prospect down the Hallway, closing the DOORS as we go. Incidentally, that’s why its called “CLOSING” a Sale.
- When the Visitor came to Your Site, you IDENTIFIED WITHIN 3 SECONDS WHAT INFORMATION OR SOLUTION YOUR SITE OFFERS THEM. Then,
- You ESTABLISHED YOUR CREDIBILITY and thus “Sold” Your Prospect on WHY they should have Faith and Confidence in You. Then,
- You IDENTIFIED THE SITUATION that is of INTEREST to Your Prospect, and
- NOW YOU ARE PROPOSING YOUR SOLUTION THAT WILL HELP YOUR PROSPECT
THIS LOGICAL, FOUR STEP PROGRESSION IS CRITICAL TO FORM THE FOUNDATION TO YOUR SALE.
Again, put yourself in the position of Your Prospect. The Prospect has come to the Site. It identified what it offers, Sold Credibility, Identified a Situation of Interest to the Prospect, and Proposed a Solution.
Now let’s ask the question: We identified the Key Elements of a Sale and we handled them WELL. WHY WOULDN’T THE PROSPECT BUY?
There are Several COMMON Reasons, which are called OBJECTIONS.
Part of the SCIENCE OF SALES is IDENTIFYING and OVERCOMING THESE OBJECTIONS SO THEY DO NOT STOP THE SALE.
Overcoming an OBJECTION is done with a tool called a REBUTTAL. By anticipating the most common of objections and building them into your Sales Presentation, you minimize the reasons why a Prospect might not buy after reading your Sales Presentation.
THE FIVE MOST COMMON OBJECTIONS ARE:
HAVE YOU ESTABLISHED YOURSELF AS THE EXPERT?
Introduce Yourself as a REAL PERSON, explaining your background and your accomplishments in the pertinent areas. Utilize personal Testimonials, Awards won, Promotions based on performance, anything that will help Your Prospect to have Faith in you. The Internet, by its nature, is IMPERSONAL. You need to give Your Prospect a COMFORT LEVEL as to WHO YOU ARE AND WHY THEY SHOULD TRUST YOU!
HAVE YOU ESTABLISHED A NEED?
If you have either not established a Need, or if the Need for Your Offer is not matched to Your Market, then you will lose Sales for this reason. In the “Testing” section we will discuss how to identify and correct the weak areas of your Sales Presentation.
THE SOLUTION MUST MATCH THE NEED AND YOUR PROSPECTS MUST HAVE THAT NEED.
HAVE YOU ESTABLISHED VALUE IN YOUR SOLUTION?
If the Prospect doesn’t feel there is SUFFICIENT VALUE to Your Offer to JUSTIFY the COST, then you will lose Sales for this reason. BUILDING VALUE IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS as it will have a Direct Effect on Your Close Rate.
DOES YOUR OFFER SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
These are two SEPARATE considerations, and they are BOTH CRITICAL to having Your Prospect “FEEL GOOD” about their purchase. If you have OVERSOLD Your Offer, making it sound TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, Your Prospect will be left wondering “WHAT’S THE CATCH?” Just like YOU would if YOU were the Prospect. Make sure to mix a dose of REALISM in with your Enthusiasm.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT THERE IS NO RISK ON THEIR PART?
People do not like to risk being “Taken” as much or more than they don’t like to risk losing their hard-earned money. The clarity and strength of your RISK-FREE GUARANTEE is CRITICAL to Your Close Rate!
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BLUEPRINT OF YOUR PROSPECT!
You’ll notice that the Two Considerations, “NEED” and “COST”, appeal to the LOGIC and REASON of the Prospect.
The Considerations, “CREDIBILITY”, “SKEPTICISM” and “RISK”, appeal to the EMOTION and FEELING of the Prospect.
Axiom Number Fifty-Three – THE DYNAMICS OF A SALE ARE BASED IN TWO AREAS – LOGIC/REASON, AND EMOTION/FEELING.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS THAT DRIVE THE MAKING OF A SALE MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN ORDER TO BE MASTERED.
If we represent a person as a circle, and we draw a line down the center of the circle, yielding two sides, we would determine the following.
Each person has two “sides” to himself or herself. One side is the LOGIC/REASON side, and the other side is the EMOTION/FEELING side.
In the simplest terms, when a person is considering a purchase, they are considering it on two terms –
- “WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT IT?” and
- “HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT IT?”
In the case of a perfectly balanced person, they weigh the logic/reason factors, such as need and cost; equally with how they “feel” about the purchase.
Most folks lean a little more toward one side than the other. Those involved in the Arts, for example, might weigh more heavily how they “FEEL” about such a purchase, whereas those involved in the Sciences might weigh more heavily how they “THINK” about such a purchase.
THE CRITICAL ASPECT OF THIS PART OF THE LESSON IS TO MAKE SURE TO SELL BOTH SIDES CONVINCINGLY.
“COMPELLING SALES COPY” means that you have addressed ALL of the following issues:
- You have Created CREDIBILITY
- You have ESTABLISHED a NEED
- You have Proposed a SOLUTION
- You have Eliminated the RISK
- You have Established URGENCY
- AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOUR SALES COPY APPEALS TO BOTH WHAT A PROSPECT THINKS ABOUT YOUR OFFER, AND HOW YOUR PROSPECT FEELS ABOUT YOUR OFFER.
There are MANY, MANY, MANY Elements to Success in Business. ONLY someone who has BEEN THERE, can possibly IDENTIFY all of the nuances that go into creating a SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.
I hope you are enjoying learning as much as I am enjoying sharing this Knowledge with you!
STRUCTURING YOUR SITE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STRUCTURE OF A SALE:
Now that we have discussed the Structure of a SALE, and the Psychology behind the mechanics of Your Prospect’s Decision Making, we need to look at HOW TO BEST STRUCTURE YOUR SITE TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SALES-TO-PROSPECT RATIO.
First, when we enter the Site, WE HAVE THREE SECONDS to IDENTIFY WHAT THE SITE OFFERS AND TO BE INTERESTING ENOUGH TO KEEP THE PROSPECT AT THE SITE TO BEGIN TO READ THE TEXT.
Let’s take a look at the www.All-about-Business.com Site for an example.
When the Visitor comes to the Site, they see:
YOUR SUCCESS GUARANTEED!
The Information Line:
PROFIT BIG with Information and Solutions By A 25 Year Pro!
The 4 Menu Choices that they see are:
- BUILD A SUCCESSFUL INTERNET BUSINESS
- BUILD A SUCCESSFUL MLM BUSINESS
- BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CONVENTIONAL BUSINESS
- BUILD A SUCCESSFUL ON-LINE PRESENCE FOR YOUR EXISTING BUSINESS
Then the CAPTION on the PICTURE says:
FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN ALSO HAVE YOUR VERY OWN MANSION WITH PROFITS YOU GENERATE FROM YOUR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS!
And Finally, the HEADING of the TEXT is INTRIGUING:
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU FOLLOW – YOU MAY JUST GET LOST!
Now, in THREE SECONDS, ONE GLANCE REALLY, there is a CLEAR PURPOSE TO THIS SITE. IT is:
- INTRIGUING, and
- PROFESSIONAL in its Appearance.
THE RESULT??? The Site HELPS ITSELF to CONVERT VISITORS INTO PROSPECTS because:
- THE SITE CLEARLY STATES ITS PURPOSE, and
- THE SITE DEVELOPS INTEREST
Axiom Number Fifty-Four – BE CLEAR OF PURPOSE AND DEVELOP INTEREST
THESE TWO ELEMENTS ARE THE FIRST TWO ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF YOUR SITE! The FIRST PAGE of Your Site needs to load quickly, not be overly fancy, but be CLEAR and DEVELOP INTEREST.
Now there are two choices as to where Your Site will go from page one, depending on WHAT Your Offer is. If Your Offer is INFORMATION, then you MUST:
- SELL YOURSELF FIRST,
- PROPOSE A SITUATION OF CONCERN TO YOUR PROSPECT,
- OFFER A SOLUTION FOR THE SITUATION
THE CARDINAL RULE IS TO DESIGN THE SITE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PROSPECT, following the Key Elements of the Sale that we just finished discussing above.
If Your Offer is INFORMATION or a SERVICE that YOU are PERSONALLY OFFERING, you MUST SELL YOURSELF and ESTABLISH YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT.
If Your Offer is A Product or a Service unrelated to You directly, unless the Prospect needs to have a Comfort Level with Your Expertise, go directly to your BEST OFFER. EXPLAIN YOUR PRODUCT, and/or SPECIAL OF THE WEEK, along with whatever Menu Choices you need to present to Your Prospect. You will need to decide if a comfort level in either Your or in Your Company is required before presenting the problem and posing the Solution.
REMEMBER TO MAKE NAVIGATION OF THE SITE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE! If the Prospect feels “stuck” or “trapped”, they’ll hit the “X” in the top right corner faster than you can blink!
Before we go any further, we need to talk about a CRITICAL TOOL in the world of SALES.
THE ALTERNATE-CHOICE CLOSE!
The ALTERNATE-CHOICE CLOSE is a technique that allows for either alternative that the Prospect chooses to result in the desired outcome, which is a SALE.
For example, if you are making a Sale and you ask the Prospect at the end of the Sale “Do you want to buy this item, or would you rather wait?” then one of these choices is NOT the choice you want them to make!
It’s Much better to ask a question such as “Would you rather have this item delivered before noon, or would AFTER noon work better for you?” In THIS case, as you can see, either choice results in a Sale.
The other factor that needs to be identified is that there is an ASSUMPTION here that this Prospect WANTS to buy the item. This is called an ASSUMPTION CLOSE.
When an Alternate-Choice Close is coupled with an Assumption-Close, as in the case of “Which is better for delivery of this item, BEFORE noon or AFTER noon?” the BIGGER question, which is whether they WANT the item, is ASSUMED, and either of the two choices CONFIRMS the Sale!
Now that we have had this discussion of Closing Techniques, I want to point out something that almost EVERY SITE on the Internet is missing, and it’s a CRITICAL, CRITICAL, CRITICAL Element to the Success of Your Site:
THE ALTERNATE-CHOICE CLOSE!
If you take a look at some of the Sites of the Pros, you will see that their technique for Selling their product is a LONG Sales Pitch, followed by several “Click Here Now’s” and a P.S. to reiterate the offer and create urgency.
All of this is good technique.
BUT, here’s where they are lacking, and this would REALLY INCREASE THEIR SALES:
THERE NEEDS TO BE AN ALTERNATE-CHOICE CLOSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THEIR SALES PRESENTATION!
After you get down to the “end” of the Sales Presentation, the Choice CANNOT BE to Order or to Exit. That is the SAME THING as getting to the end of your Sales Presentation, and saying “Would you like to buy my product, or would you like to wait?”
AND AS WE KNOW, THAT’S NOT AN ALTERNATE-CHOICE CLOSE!
Axiom Number Fifty-Five – AS LONG AS THEY ARE WILLING TO LISTEN, YOU MUST BE WILLING TO TALK
At the VERY BOTTOM of Your Sales Presentation, on the bottom left, make sure it says, “CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW” and on the bottom RIGHT, make sure it says ” MORE INFORMATION”
If the Prospect was ready to buy, the Prospect will most probably waste no time and make the purchase. But, if the Prospect is still skeptical, THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO CONVINCE YOUR PROSPECT TO PURCHASE YOUR OFFER!
When you get down to the end of the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PAGE, you can repeat this same Closing Technique AGAIN! On the bottom left, “CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW” and on the right, “MORE INFORMATION”
Now each time you proceed to the next Page, you will want to develop a little more URGENCY in getting the Prospect to TAKE ACTION. We will go over the actual Verbiage later. But for this section, on STRUCTURE, we have now gone to a THIRD “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION” Page.
If you have Additional Products to sell, and when we get to the part about Affiliates, I will show you how and why to do this, the THIRD Information page should be what is known in Sales as a The TAKE-AWAY CLOSE.
The TAKE-AWAY Close is a challenge to the Prospect that perhaps this Offer ISN’T for them, and here’s why. Then you list all the reasons it might not be for them.
Listing all the reasons why Your Offer WOULD be wise for them to buy is called a SUMMARY CLOSE. This is where you list the benefits of Your Offer to Your Prospect.
When you do Your TAKE-AWAY Close, it’s actually a SUMMARY CLOSE expressed from the negative perspective. For example:
If you DON’T need a Product that will:
- Make it easier to…
- Give you more time to…
- Help you to keep…
THEN it’s probably a good decision to pass on it. But if this is NOT the case, THEN NOW’s YOUR CHANCE TO FIX THIS PROBLEM ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!
This is a Summary Close flipped to the negative to be used to Strengthen the Take-away Close. The reason why you’d want to flip it is because taking something away CHANGES THE DYNAMIC from you wanting them to take it and the Prospect resisting, to you NOT wanting to Sell it to them. Since the Prospect is in “Resist” mode, they resist you NOT wanting them to have it, which means they DO want to have it!!
It’s reverse psychology in the Sales arena, and works very well.
So, the Structure of Your Site so far, is:
- Grab The Prospects Attention
- Establish Credibility (choice at bottom for more info or your offer)
- Proceed to Sales Presentation (choice at bottom for sale or Add Info 1)
- Proceed to Additional Information One (choice for sale or Add Info 2)
- Proceed to Additional Information Two (choice for sale or Add Info 3)
- Proceed to Additional Information Three (choice for sale or move on)
On the Third Information Page, since it’s that’s Take-away Close, the two choices at the bottom of THAT page are “LAST CHANCE- CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW” and “TIME TO MOVE ON“.
If the Prospect chooses “TIME TO MOVE ON” they then proceed to your Shopping Cart, or your listing of Affiliate links that you get a Commission from if the Prospect links to another Site through yours, and they buy from that Site. This is called an AFFILIATE SALE and there will be an ENTIRE SECTION on this topic because it is a PROFIT CENTER for you and you need to FULLY UNDERSTAND IT.
For now, for the purpose of the STRUCTURE of the Site as it relates to the dynamics of MAXIMIZING YOUR SALES-TO-PROSPECT RATIO, you simply need to know that there WILL BE a part of Your Site that is dedicated to RELATED PRODUCTS and SERVICES.
Of course, YOUR OFFER is a PART OF THIS NEW SECTION that they have moved on to, so you have YET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY to get them to PURCHASE YOUR INFORMATION. PRODUCT YOU CREATED, OR SERVICE YOU ARE OFFERING!
There are Many More Elements that need to go into Your Site in order for you to MAXIMIZE YOUR SALES-TO-PROSPECT RATIO. We will devote an ENTIRE SECTION to ALL of those Key Elements. At this point we have discussed:
- The DYNAMICS of a Sale,
- The PSYCHOLOGY behind a Sale and
- Their Relation to the STRUCTURE of the Site.