Selling with Integrity – Part 1

This video discusses an Amazon product page offering a book for sales to find out how they are selling.

Is Selling with Integrity a pipe dream? Or is it the way of the fastest growing and most successful businesses? Leave a comment with your thoughts:

How to Build an Audience

Developing relationships of trust and earning an authority status are the essential steps for building an audience. And a strong audience is a synonym for internet marketing success.

Why? Internet marketing is another word for selling information. And selling information – offline and online – needs credibility. Credibility on the other hand rests on three pillars:

  • you know what you are talking about
  • you say what you know and truly believe
  • people recognize both of the above

People who know you as an expert in your field and believe into your integrity and honesty are far more likely to listen to your advice and act on it. This is called influence and allows you to sell your advice in form of an information product and also to earn money as an affiliate recommending third party products and services.

The key question is then how to find people who like to listen to you, who consider your advice as valuable and who are willing to act on it.

The Communication Triangle

The Communication Triangle

Your communication triangle is defined by three components:

  1. You
  2. The information and advice you provide
  3. The people who listen to you

For building an audience you have to create a positive relationship between yourself, your message and your listeners.

I assume that you are ambitious, willing to back up your goals with effort, and honest. Otherwise you would read up to here. But there is something else you need to be aware of:

Communication Style
The way you communicate is important. There are many valid communication styles. But to build an audience you have to be consistent. This way you can connect to people who like your style. Others will go somewhere else.

  • Are you communicating quickly or very detailed in small steps.
  • Do you prefer step-by-step arguments along logical lines or analogies with many metaphors and pictures
  • Your preferred language is obviously important.

The Fit
There must be a fit between all three components: you, your message and your audience.

  • You have to stay true to yourself. Otherwise you cannot build credibility and you damage your physical and psychological health.
  • You have to be consistent in your style of communication and your topic.
  • You have to craft your message in a way fitting to you and your audience.

The good news is now that the internet is not a global village, but a global mega-metropolis. There are enough people fitting to whatever personality you might have. You just have to open up and look for the right people.

Fine Tuning Your Communication Triangle
Things become interesting if you are able to create a dynamic in this triangle. This comes from listening to your audience, thus learning more details about their wants and needs. Now you can do your research and fine tune your message to the questions and needs of your audience. This increases your value for your audience. They will look forward for your messages, take them important and read them carefully. Your recognition as an expert will grow, you will reach more people and your influence will also grow.

If you enjoyed this post you might be also interested in an audio class discussing in depth the relationship between a publisher and email subscribers.

How to Get More Sales

If you want to grow your business, you need to get more sales. By definition, there are only three ways you can get that:

  1. Get more customers
  2. Sell more often to each customer
  3. Sell more in each transaction

Get More Customers
If you do not want your business to die, you need to acquire new customers all the time. In truth, you lose customers all the time. To grow your business and get more sales, you need to find more new customers than you lose current ones.
Finding new customers is expensive and can be difficult. Many businesses do not earn a profit and even make a loss on their first sale to a new customer, the so called front end sale. They need to go a long way to find a prospect, make him aware of the offer, get his interest, nurture his desire and finally induce him to act on the offer. You need lots of effort and high expenses to guide him through his decision making process.

Sell More Often to Each Customer
It is much easier to get more sales from an existing customer, because you have built already a trustful relationship with him. You can get his attention, and it is easier for him to act on his desire, because his risk to be disappointed or look like a fool is now much lower.
How often you can sell to each customer depends on your product or service, and on your effort. The best scenario you could dream up is a product which needs to be replaced or serviced every couple of months, and you can approach your customer at the right time to remind him about the need. One simple example would be your dentist. He will send you a letter to remind you that it is time for a new checkup and ask you to call for an appointment.
The same system lies behind the riches of Gillette, Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola. In these cases, the body reminds you that you need more razor blades, detergents or drinks. To get more sales the providers of these products need just to be present in your mind as well as in the store.
In internet marketing we use social networks and email to be present in the customers mind. It is a bit more difficult to come up with products which need to be replaced on a regular basis, because we sell typically immaterial products consisting of information. But still, information needs to be up to date, which opens the door for membership sites providing a steady stream of news about a certain topic.
It may also be a good idea to drop feed your information product to your customer. This approach may increase usability in a big way. And every time you deliver the next installment of the product, you have the chance to get more sales by offering him a related product or service. If you deliver too much information at once, the consumer may feel overwhelmed, and your product may end up collecting dust on your customer`s hard disk.

Sell More in Each Transaction
If you have made a sale you have got already your customers attention and interest. He is in the mood to act. The simplest way to get more sales from your existing customers is to offer them another related product, which may increase the usability of the product they just bought. One example would be the sales man for shoes, who will inevitably offer you a shoe polish as soon as you have bought your new boots. This is absolutely legitimate, and your customer has every right to be angry with you, if you do not offer this shoe polish, travel insurance, video tutorial etc. He wants the full value of the product you just sold him, and it is up to you to offer him complementary products and services.

Recommended book:{openx:38}

{openx:37}

In Customer’s Shoes

Test with Adwords, Then Make Money with Twitter? Wrong!
I used to think: Write a sales page, drive Google Adwords traffic, test it. With a decent conversion rate, start to drive serious traffic from social media, banner ads, etc. This is, what happened:

  • Signup rate from people coming from my blog: 15%
  • Signup rate from people coming from Google Adwords: 5%
  • Signup rate from people coming from Twitter: 0%

I got lots of traffic from Twitter, and people seemed to be interested. But no conversion! Adwords remained at 5%. From my blog the traffic numbers went naturally down. I cannot write posts promoting the same offer day by day.

Putting Myself into Twitterers’ Shoes
I was scratching my head for several weeks, hoping to get at least one or two conversions from Twitter. After a while it seemed that even the click rates from Twitter went down. Naturally, because my followers knew the offer, as my blog readers did. Anyway, I was careful enough not to damage that Twitter account, it is still growing.
So, what does that mean? Is Twitter traffic useless? I do not think so, and I know that other people get conversions, signups etc. from Twitter.
I drew two conclusions: The page must be reasonable for people coming from search engines, and for people coming from my mailing list and blog, but not for Twitterers.
Thinking about the reason, I came up with the following conclusion: The signup page was, as thousands, driven by flash videos. But further investigation let me to conclude, that a Twitter link is rarely leading to a video.

Mobile Users Have Different Priorities
A little further brain wrenching reminded me, that even the emails with video links I get, do not work, as long as I open them on my mobile device, because the handset does not show flash.
In fact I use the email on my Palm to skim through the emails, to see if there is something I need to respond quickly. But all these video emails are left to my desktop, and I check them, if and when I have time and desire to do so.
Twitter is strongly geared towards mobile users. They may have difficulty to watch a flash video. And a Twitter user has often a very short span of attention. He may just to get a glimpse about what’s going on in his arena, between leaving the plane and picking the luggage. And unlike emails, tweets go away. They are not saved for later inspection.

Landing Page Must Correspondent to Traffic Source
This consideration seems to explain why my video page did not work with Twitter. And, while investigating, my brain reminded me that I should copy the ones, who get already results. Many of them seem to promote their blogs on Twitter, and then using their blogs to promote their money making stuff.

What do you think? Did you observe the same phenomena? How did you solve the problem? Please share your insight and leave a comment.

Traffic – Conversion – Backend Sales

Making money in direct marketing (online or offline) follows a clear sequence of actions:

  1. Traffic Generation: You need to get visitors to your website, and lots of them.
  2. Initial Sale: To receive money, you need to gain trust of your audience. The willingness to give you money for a promised product is certainly an expression of trust. The price of the initial sale may or may not cover the cost of acquiring this new customer.
  3. Backend Sales: If you have earned the trust of your audience, and strive to earn their trust every day again, they will buy again and again. This is where the real money is.

This is a numbered list, because it is essential to go step by step. Why? It is much easier to sell to somebody, who has already bought from you, and was more than satisfied with your performance. You just need to tell him: “I have this, do you need it?” And he will at least consider your offer. But to come into this position, you must have made already a first sale (or at least built a relationship of trust with the customer).

To get a first sale, which means a sale to a person who never bought from you before, and who probably does not know you, you must have an excellent offer. And you need to present this offer in a very convincing way. You know this long sales letters and these product launches.
If you are not completely new to direct marketing, you know probably also, that the only way to get a real good converting sales letter or sequence of sales messages only by testing. There is no way to know for sure, which headline is performing better, which picture, background color, layout outperforms all others. But the difference between a conversion rate of 1 percent and 2 percent can be the difference between a big loss and a small profit, especially if you realize that you pay for your traffic. And you do pay, either with money, or with your effort.

To get valid test results, you need lots of traffic. If you run a split test only between two headlines or two pictures or two videos, you need at least 30 conversions on the weaker one, to have a reliable result. This means to test only two variants, you need at an average conversion rate 3000 visitors. If you do not have a strong stream of traffic to your website, you may just need a year or two to test every aspect of your sales process. In this case your product will be probably obsolete before you can roll it out.

To learn how the masters are using this sequence, read The Great Formula. Mark Joyner, the author, allowed me to offer you a free download.