From the marketing and promotional efforts you’re constantly implementing to the time spent crafting the perfect web design, you work hard to build the best online business. But the truth is that we’re all looking to do just one thing; make a sale. And while it seems like such a simple concept, convincing a customer to purchase can pose a constant challenge.
That’s why we brought in our Director of Sales, Kerry Cater, to answer your challenging closeout questions. Kerry’s insights will help you find the business tools you need to succeed, pitch your product, and, of course, make the sale. Continue reading to learn how to keep your products flying off the digital shelves.
I just started my online business. From a sales perspective, where do I begin?
Let me begin by saying, you’re starting your online business at precisely the right time. Ecommerce is on the rise, particularly in the US, where 53% of Americans made an online purchase in 2011 and that figure is expected to grow exponentially over the coming years. Now you just need to let those online shoppers know that you’re a viable retailer for their needs. A great place to start is through your Volusion Social Store where you can list products on your Facebook page and run promotions to help jumpstart your sales.
What tools are most effective when it comes to gaining leads?
Online leads can be generated via Social Media, blog posts, newsletters, etc. If you’re looking to build a solid foundation of organic leads, however, you can do so by implementing a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. The objective here is to have your site highly ranked in search engines such as Google and Bing, where the vast majority of Internet traffic will intersect.
If you’re looking to gain new leads in a hurry, a PPC (pay-per-click) plan is an additional option that can help drive customers to your site. A combination of those lead-generating resources (SEO and PPC) will definitely set you on the right path for success.
How do I pitch products to customers who have never heard of me?
The best way to present your products and business to new customers is to tell your story. To do so, simplify your value proposition and utilize unique keywords that effectively describe you and your products. Too many times, merchants make the mistake of overcomplicating who they are and what they do. Remember, online shoppers are searching for a quick and easy fix – that’s why they’re online! Any complicated message that could potentially create confusion will only drive the buyer away. A good example of a company with a simplified and effective message is Groupon, who has a unique way of posting their promotions that will leave you searching for more product descriptions. Be creative and have fun; that’s what selling online is all about.
How effective are emails when trying to reach new customers?
Emails and newsletters are very effective in maintaining current customers and reaching new ones who are in need of quick and easy communication. My sales team will often use a good email message to not only position ourselves and our products, but also to pinpoint the best time and place to contact a potential customer. Communicating with your leads and customers via email is also a great way to better understand their needs and ensure that you’re a good fit for them.
What is the best tactic for closing a sale?
This may surprise you, but I believe the best tactic for closing a sale is to listen. If you really listen to what your customers are saying, they’ll tell you everything you need to know about their needs and objectives. Potential customers give you information that will help you properly position your products to best fit their needs, and if you can create an environment where it’s easy to do business with you, you’ll always close more sales.
What’s the most important thing to take into consideration when hiring a sales person?
Building an effective sales team is undoubtedly the most important task for any sales leader. The sales person needs to have that inner drive for results, but it’s equally important to hire someone who personifies your company culture. Here at Volusion, we look for competitive sales people who have great peer relationships and are eager to share best practices in an effort to succeed as a team.
Big thanks to Kerry for sharing his sales expertise! If there’s something else you’d like to learn from him, leave your questions in the comments sections below and he’ll be happy to get back with you.