You don’t have to be a salesman
I want to write about selling stuff online, in particular how to sell stuff without having to be a salesman.
One of the first problems that I see with newbies to the affiliate marketing and online business world, is that they are worried they don’t have sales skills and feel that they are incapable of selling anything to anyone.
Mostly this is true. We aren’t born sellers, and also feel uncomfortable being sold to. We have to learn how to do it. I couldn’t sell a thing when I started, and became focused on it so much it was detrimental to what I was trying to achieve.
The best way is always to be trustworthy and by being genuine. This may be easy to accomplish with a friend, or a close family member, because you have established both of these naturally over time.
But what most people want and need help with is to understand the principle of taking someone that you have never met within the online world (a website visitor for example) and having them trust you.
The last thing you want to do is try to sell something to someone when you haven’t even established that trust first. They will reject you.
The process that I’m going to be talking about here is a simple, 3-stage process to becoming a brilliant seller without ever having to truly sell.
It sounds a little confusing, but I hope to offer you a lot of clarity and help you see it’s a bit easier than you are imagining.
1. Be A Human
When you are writing content for your website, it is quite easy to overlook the fact that we are going to be talking directly to a real person on the other end of every single visit.
The first goal with your website is to really personalise the experience for your website visitor.
There are three very effective ways in which you can do this, and they are all not really complicated and they are things that you would actually do in the off-line world.
- Tell a little story. This is not always possible, but often you will be able to tell a story that helps you “relate” to your visitor. This will create an situation that they are comfortable with right away, knowing that “you are just like them”.
- Speak in a natural way. Don’t write your content in a way that feels like a college english essay. People won’t read it, and they certainly won’t trust you in the same way that they would if you were just speaking to them naturally. If you write your content in first person and speak naturally to your readers, this will make things much more friendly and establish a much higher level of visitor confidence.
- Be authentic. Don’t try to “fake” things, tell people what you know, why you want to help them, and why you even care about it. It will be obvious if your intent is to solely try to sell people something especially something they’ve never searched for, and if you are not truly there to help and connnect with people it will show. You won’t make any sales.
If you can be authentic, talk in a way that you would with your family and friends, and tell light hearted stories where appropriate, you are going to truly personalise your writing and build that trust.
It is very easy to get obsessed with the idea of writing content for search engines like Google, because that is one of the core focuses as marketers, however this is wrong.
You need to write for real people who will be reading your content and you need to create engaging pieces that really make a connection between yourself and someone you have never even met. A total stranger who doesn’t know you at all.
You don’t have years like you do with your friends and family members. You have seconds, or if you are lucky, just a few minutes.
You need to actually “serve” your audience, which is actually the second step to selling within the online world.
2. Actually Help people
Let’s look at the last thing that you purchased which involved someone “selling” to you.
What did it take for them to persuade you into making that purchase? Did they force you to pull your credit card out of your pocket? Did they trick you into buying something?
Perhaps, but most likely not. That doesn’t usually work.
The most likely reason that you made a particular purchase, is because you felt they helped you. If I am going into a shop to purchase an new TV and I don’t really know a lot about televisions and which are best, I rely solely on my instinct of whether the sales guy helping me knows what the heck they’re talking about.
If they are genuine in trying to help me understand what the best television is for me, my level of trust goes through the roof.
If they tell me a story about their TV they have at home, or one of their other customers that absolutely loves their TV and how well it performs, then these stories help personalise the entire process of buying that TV.
If I feel helped, guess what happens? I start to trust them. If I trust them, then I am more likely to take their advice to choose that TV and buy it.
The exact same thing happens online. someone visits your site looking for information on something or perhaps they’re looking for a product review or service. If they feel you’ve helped, they will be more likely to trust your personal recommendations for them. Even if they cost money.
This is an idea that needs to be reinforced and be part of all discussions relevant to building a successful brand and business.
Make it a focus.
The selling part will become easy, as you won’t have to sell (which I am getting to).
3. Making The Seamless Pitch
✅ OK so you’ve made yourself trustworthy, in an effort to establish a genuine relationship with your audience.
And within your content, you have given it your best effort to selflessly help your audience based on exactly what they are looking for.
This could be a solution to a problem, this could be a thorough review, this could be a ‘how to’ walk through, or this could just be a certain level of motivational support.
✅ Whatever the case, you have tackled that second step correctly and you have helped people.
The last step, is not to sell. Instead it should be to make appropriate, relevant product or service recommendations based on something that will also help those people out.
✅ Then simply offer them a link to the product that will benefit them.
Let’s say for example you are helping people solve their “facial acne” problem, within an article you’ve written. You should explain your personal experiences with acne over the years (if you can), and truly connect with people on that personal level.
Then you would spend some time helping people understand exactly why they have acne, the causes, any free and easy-to-implement solutions to their problems and if you can make a suggestion to speed up the process through a product or service you know, then they are going to be much more likely to take your advice and suggestions.
If you took a “salesy” approach and just built a sales page promoting an acne product without the human experiences and without building that trust through offering authentic help, you will convert at a much lower rate…if at all.
Recommend stuff that further helps them. That is the process of selling without actually selling.