The Art of Closing Sales Online

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Online shoppingYou expend considerable resources in terms of time and money attracting visitors to your website, so why stop there? High conversion ratios are the measure of a successful eCommerce venture.

I don’t know the exact statistic for average shopping cart abandonment, but I can reasonably assume it’s way up there across the board in every industry. Finding that right ‘call to action’ is every marketer’s dilemma. In sales, we all know that prospects buy from representatives they know, like and trust, so how can you use that knowledge (online) to increase sales?

One way is to touch as many of their senses as possible – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Did I get those right? There’s a reason why video marketing works well when properly created, but video isn’t absolutely necessary. Well written content can address each of these, and make or break campaigns.

Online securitySecurity

At the top of the list is security. How secure do your prospects feel placing an online transaction with your organization? I think the majority of prospects shop with ‘branded’ companies – meaning those companies that are already highly recognizable. Seriously, if you’re shopping at Amazon, Walmart or Ikea, there’s a heightened perception of security, but what if you’re shopping at xyaz2f.pw?

If your site is backed by a brick and mortar presence, that also helps. I think because it demonstrates financial stability. At least the prospect knows that you’re not a one-man show operating out of your Mom’s basement. Factor in TRUST.

lock-iconThe Lock Icon

Is your site secured with an SSL certificate (lock icon)? I’m still amazed how many sites I see selling products or services without this. No lock icon = no sales. Given Google’s latest push to get all eCommerce sites secure, this alone should be incentive enough to provision HTTPS on your site.

Does the product or service you offer provide value to the prospect? Does it solve an issue or address a hot spot? You obviously think so, but how is that value presented online? It begins with a professionally designed site. Nothing will send prospects packing faster than a poorly designed or difficult to navigate website. Getting from point A to point BUY has to be easy, fast and COMPELLING. This means there has to be an effective call-to-action on your site. Simply listing products or services and their corresponding prices won’t separate you from your competition, nor will it MOTIVATE visitors to buy NOW.

sales-left-on-the-tableAre you leaving sales on the table?

Does your site have contact information? I mean like an address and a phone number. Business identity is important, especially if you’re not highly branded. No contact info = diminished sales. Why leave any sales on the table? Consumers are becoming increasingly eCommerce literate, meaning more and more are performing research, on everything from a business’s products and services to their online reputation. They’re reading reviews on citation sites like Yelp, Angi, the Yellow Pages, MerchantCircle, Local, Kudzu and others. They’re asking their friends on Facebook and Twitter for their opinions. Consumers today are evolving into informed buyers.

Increasing Conversion Ratios

There’s no real secret here; demonstrate security, promote trust, project value and be reachable. It’s not always the lowest price that wins the sale.

communicationLive chat Issues?

Image certainly impacts others perception of your business. When you offer solutions, do your prospects actively listen?

Your company’s style of communication can influence how prospects view your products and services, and can enhance or adversely lend to any long term partnership (alliance) possibilities.

Sales Diplomacy

When your sales department is challenged, overwhelmed or put on the spot, are they thoughtful and diplomatic in their interactions? Do they respond in a professional manner, even when clearly outside their comfort zone? How well they communicate directly relates to their close ratios. If they’re talking to a hundred prospects each week and only closing two, is that acceptable? Could be – percentages need to be measured against your Return On Investment (ROI).

sales-imageProfessional Image Impacts Sales

How prospects view your company impacts their perception of your credibility, and ability to deliver solutions. Your sales department needs to know when and how to use diplomacy, when and how to be tactful and they need to understand the concept of credibility.

Your image as a company, to be perceived as professional, should be addressed in your business plan, measured and tweaked frequently. Don’t make the mistake of writing a business plan, then putting it away once your business has launched.

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Steve
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