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In this week’s episode of the Extra Paycheck Podcast we’re talking about increasing your profits without becoming a pushy and obnoxious sales person.
Selling better means more money. We all know that. However selling isn’t easy for most people. One of the reasons we hate “selling” is because we’ve all had that unpleasant encounter with an obnoxious and pushy sales man (woman) and we certainly don’t want to become that person.
When we start a business online or offline we often don’t realize that we’ll actually have to sell. Selling is the essence of any business and we need to deal with it. It doesn’t matter if you are selling your own product, promoting a product for someone else or trying to sell “you” as a brand – you’ll need to pick up that skill.
In today’s episode you will learn how to sell better without selling your soul.
Know Your Audience
It is incredibly hard to persuade someone to make a purchase. Don’t even try this because you’ll most likely fail, leaving a bad impression for your potential customer. To be good at sales you need to know your client. You are here not to sell but to help. If you understand your client’s problem you can guide them to a perfect solution. This solution is probably the product or the service you are selling but you need to gently lead your customer to that purchasing decision.
If you understand what the person needs but you can’t provide the perfect solution then steer then in the right direction. Make a suggestion of where they can find help. You might not make money by doing that but you will gain the respect and trust from that person. Whenever they’ll need to buy whatever you are selling – they’ll come to you because they already trust you. Whenever someone says: “don’t think about the money, just do what you love” – we often think it’s complete b.s. I think a better way of saying that would be: “Don’t think about the money, think of the absolute best way to help a person and the money will come”. Do you agree with this?
My main point here is that. If you understand your customer and their pain points you’ll easily be able to sell to them without trying to persuade them. Just lead them to the right solution.
Be Honest And Transparent
Most people understand when they’re being lied to. Most, not all. Scams only exist because some people are desperate, naive and gullible. Have you stumbled upon any websites promising to show you how to make millions overnight in exchange of a single payment of $197? These sites, their claims and testimonials are so full of it – I honestly don’t understand how people still fall for them in 2018. Of course many of them shut down after raising an important sum of money while others get shut down by the FTC, SEC and other agencies.
If you are building a long-term business (and you should be) you need to be honest with your potential and existing customers. Don’t promise them the moon if you know you can’t deliver on your promises.
If you are in the affiliate marketing business model like I am, you need to make sure people know that you are receiving a commission for every sale you make. Besides the fact that the Federal Trade Commission requires this disclaimer – it’s also the ethical thing to do. At this point you are thinking: “If people know that I will receive a commission for my recommendation they’ll think my review is biased”. You are completely right, some folks will think that. However a much bigger number of your visitors will respect that disclaimer and make a purchase through your affiliate links simply because you are being honest with them.
I was scared of putting such disclaimer on my blog but eventually I decided that it had to be done. After adding an affiliate earnings disclaimer to my marketing tools page I noticed an increase in earnings from this page. Don’t be scared to be honest with your audience. They are as human as you and they understand that you also need to put the food on your table.
Work On Your Content
You’ll probably call me a “broken record” for saying that your content is extremely important and you always need to be improving it. When it comes to selling better – it’s your content’s job. First of all your content needs to be appealing. It also needs to address every possible question and concert your potential buyer might have. My wealthy affiliate review has a great conversion rate simply because I tried to do exactly that – leave my reader completely satisfied. I was able to do that because I paid attention to what the potential customers wanted to know and when I published the review I tried to address every single question and concern even before it came to the reader’s head. Normally you’ll have to keep editing your articles for months as you see more and more questions but eventually you’ll end up with an amazing piece of content that does all the selling for you.
Another important thing to mention about content is the actual design. If you are a beginner to affiliate marketing (or online business in general) you might be tempted to put a huge banner asking people to buy whatever you’re selling:
This doesn’t work in affiliate marketing. A much better strategy for increasing your sales is simply inserting links to relevant products within your text. Have you noticed how I inserted links to other blog posts within this show notes page? The goal of doing that is to simply help your reader to find more relevant information with a simple click of a button. When you link to a helpful article or directly to a product you’re promoting your reader knows it’s a link and they decide if they want to click on it. However if you’re blasting your content with BUY NOW banners it will often feel like you’re forcing the buyer into making a purchase. At this point your reader gets turned off and closes your page, moving on to a better website.
Please note that I am not saying you shouldn’t use images in your text, you definitely should. If you’re promoting a product you can simply add an appealing image of that product without making it feel like you’re pressuring someone to make a purchasing decision right away.
If you’re using links to products instead of obnoxious banners and people aren’t clicking on your links, it means that you need to work on your content. You can also listen to this podcast episode which helps you diagnose a website that isn’t making money.
Believe In Your Product
A few paragraphs above I talked about being honest and transparent. The same rule applies to the products and services you are promoting. Back when I started my affiliate marketing career I was promoting anything and everything, trying to make as much money as possible. Guess what happened? People were pissed because some of the products that I was promoting were of very low quality or completely not what they claimed to be. I certainly lost the trust from some of my readers and of course they never listened to my recommendations again.
Eventually I realized that the only products and services worth promoting are those that I personally use or least have a good experience with. By doing that I probably lost some money in the short term but earned a lot more in the long term. Being honest increased the trust of my website visitors as well as my income, who would have thought?
As an example I was using HostGator as my web host for 7 years or so and I was happily promoting them. Each affiliate sale brought in about $100 which is really awesome. However a few years ago their service quality went down the drain and I had to leave them as soon as possible. My websites were down for days at a time and the customer service was completely clueless and unhelpful. Once I moved to a new hosting provider I stopped promoting HostGator and started promoting my new provider. The new host pays me a LOT less than HG for referrals but I simply can’t promote HG for ethical reasons. I can no longer vouch for them and I don’t want to upset my blog readers by offering an inferior product to them. The good thing is that my fans appreciate the honesty and they know that my recommendations are based on the quality of the product (or service) and not on the amount I’ll make from commissions.
When you truly believe in the product you are selling or promoting you’ll naturally be passionate about it and once again, your readers will feel it. It’s much easier to sell something with passion rather than with indifference.
There is one last tip for increasing your sales and you can hear it by listening to this week’s episode. Simply scroll up and press the play button.
Scroll up and press the PLAY button to hear the full episode.
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