One of the most valuable skills you can learn in life is how to sell – not only sell your products, but yourself and your ideas. Being able to persuade someone to take a given action is extremely powerful, and this should be a skill you are constantly looking to develop.
The truth is, you are selling yourself every day. When you talk to someone, you are selling your brand. When you give someone an opinion, you are selling that idea to them. Whether you know it or not, almost every interaction you have with other people is a sale in some way.
As bloggers and as entrepreneurs, there are certain things we can do to sell more effectively. This article is going to lay out 7 rules you must follow to build up your inner salesperson, make more money through your blog, and close more deals – particularly if you are selling mid to high ticket offers.
Rule number one of selling is to commit to the sale. Go for it. The opportunity is there to make money from every single person that visits your blog.
Think about it.
People come to your website because they have problems that they need to solve. Forget what you think you know about competition and pricing – if you offer a solution, I promise that people will pay whatever it takes to acquire that solution if the value is there.
I sell my courses for $97. Every single person that visits my website is capable of paying that amount. If they don’t yet have the money to pay for my products, they can borrow money with the use of a credit card, or do freelance work online to earn the funds.
Knowing that each person has the capability to buy my products, there is no good reason not to commit to making the most out of every person that visits. Again, remember why people go to your blog. They have a problem that they need to solve.
Your job is to commit to providing them a solution.
2. Get Them One On One
The problem with blogs is that they do not actually work incredibly as an engine for direct sales. People think that we make money blogging, but the truth is that most of us earning a good amount make money with what our blogs do for us.
Our blog is part of the system. It is not the system itself, and this is true even for those monetizing with display ads.
Unless you already are massively influential and have built strong brand awareness over an extended period of time, you’re going to need to do something to speak with the visitor on a more personal level.
I truly believe that email is by far the most personal platform available, second only to talking to somebody on the phone or meeting them in person. No social media account or website can ever offer the personal touch that email can.
Without some sort of two-way connection between you and your potential customer, it is going to be hard to make a sale. Although the internet has been around for a while, it can still be a scary place and trust must be built before sales will be made.
Move away from talking ‘to’ your visitor on your blog, and instead talking ‘with’ them through your email list. This will set you up for numerous sales later down the line.
3. Believe In Your Products
Would you buy the product you’re offering for the price you’re asking? If not, you really have no business selling that product.
Think about it. How can expect someone to sell something you wouldn’t even buy yourself?
It is fundamental that you truly believe in the products you’re promoting. I am in the process of recruiting affiliates to sell my courses, and I do not let anyone promote the courses if they have not gained value from the products themselves.
Some say I am relentless in selling my products. Some say I am pushy, or promote too much. However, I feel like have a moral obligation to sell these products because I believe in them so strongly. If you know your products can truly help your visitors, than you are doing a disservice by not making that sale. If you know for a fact your product offers the solution they are looking for, you owe it to them to show them the value of that product and close the deal. Letting them go would be robbing them of a serious opportunity to improve their life.
4. Connect Further
As you sell more and more valuable products, you will run into more and more barriers. Remember that these barriers are not permanent and they will not mean a sale is impossible. Nearly everyone has the financial capability to buy whatever it is you are offering if they want it badly enough.
It is your job to connect with the prospect further to break down these barriers. You’ll find that as you speak with more and more people, you’ll run into common themes. Perhaps they are trying to rationalize the value offered for the price. Perhaps they know that they need the product, but aren’t sure if now is the right time. Maybe they don’t know if the product is right for them, and need you to convince them that it is.
This is why it’s so important to know your audience and to believe in your product. You need to know your product so well that you’re able to close the deal regardless of the objections you face. As you sell to more and more people, you’ll be able to use the common objections you’ve received to build a more effective sales page, making your job easier as time goes on.
5. Follow Up Relentlessly
Most people will not buy the first time you present an offer to them. This is a fundamental fact of sales that you must accept. And as you would expect, the more a product costs, the more the buyer will need to be exposed to it before a sale is made.
Here’s something interesting – 90% of salespeople will give up after presenting an offer for the 4th time and still not closing the deal. However, 80% of sales will be made after the 5th offer.
You know what that means? 10% of people are going to make 80% of the sales. And the people that make all of those sales are going to be the people who follow up their prospects relentlessly.
For a long time I made the mistake of presenting a product only one time to my email subscribers. Did I make sales? Absolutely I did. However, throwing products against the wall and hoping they’d stick was not a winning strategy. When I started marketing a product over an extended period of time, not only did my sales for that product go up, but I ended up making far more additional sales from satisfied customers for other products that I had available.
For us bloggers, this means sending out multiple emails over a period of time presenting an offer. This may even mean getting someone close on the phone to close the deal.
However, don’t underestimate the power of simple exposure. I talk about my products regularly here on my blog. Do I expect to make sales from these casual mentions? Not directly. People don’t tend to buy from my blog itself. However, my leads do read these articles, and having them see and think about the product moves them one step closer to that sale.
6. Never Lower Price
When faced with objections, one of the most common things I see salespeople do is lower the price of the product.
This is one of the worst sales mistakes you can make. People do not actually care about a product’s price as much as they care about a product’s value. This is why people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house and $2 for a burger at McDonalds. The value of these two products is substantially different.
If you believe in your products and know that your original asking price is less than what the true value of the product is, than it does not make any sense to ever lower your price for the sake of closing a deal. The proper course of action if you are facing objections is to build the perceived value of the product instead, showing the prospect why your product is the best solution to their problem.
7. Close The Deal
If you’ve followed all of other rules laid out here, closing the deal should be easy – regardless of what it is you’re selling.
However, many bloggers are taught that asking for a sale is a bad thing – that you should wait for the visitor to make that decision rather than pushing it on them. Yes, it’s bad to be overly promotional and pushy, but you still need to ask for the close. So many bloggers are afraid to directly ask to move forward, and it’s mind-boggling to me. Do you want to make money or not?
I think there is an art and a science to closing, and it’s a skill that needs to be built up over time. Although it’s too large of a topic to cover here, I’d love to help you work on this further. You’re obviously the type of person who’s committed to making more sales, and I want to make that happen for you.
So here’s the deal. Sign up for my free traffic building eCourse by clicking here, and start building up the number of people visiting your blog each day. While you do that, I’m going to be creating a brand new course solely on the topic of selling, covering everything from finding leads to closing deals. You’re going to be the first person to know about it, and when that happens, you’re going to take all of that extra traffic and make more money than you’ve ever made before.
Sound good? I thought so.
You can help me out simply by sharing your thoughts with me. What do you think about the rules I’ve shared with you here? What problems have you had when it comes to making sales? Having read what you just read, what are you going to do differently?
Be sure to take this seriously, because you are a salesperson whether you know it or not – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Looking forward to speaking with you,
– James McAllister
Another excellent and provocative post from your good self
I’ll focus on two points today:
Get Them One on One
So important to do that, and I agree that email is the best way to do it other than the phone (which in my biz is huge). Although I will say that engaging with people one on one on FB chat can work pretty well too.
2. Follow Up Relentlessly
Oh yeah baby
Follow up does equal fortune – my first mentor told me so, and he was right!
Last week I did $15k in affiliate commissions. None of it would have happened without relentless follow-up (email and phone follow up). Say no more.
All of your points ring true with me, for sure.
Oh, just one quickie point:
In my experience most of the time in the offline world we don’t even need to close people. If the offer is right and the relationship is healthy, they’ll close themselves. But of course in the online world, strong closing on a typical sales page is mandatory, if for no other reason that the ‘know, like and trust’ factor has not been fully established.
Thanks again, James
Kim Willis recently posted…What My Friends Taught Me About Blog Commenting
Glad you came here to chime in on this post because I know you do more actual ‘selling’ than most other bloggers out there. I suppose that becomes more of a necessity as you sell more expensive products.
I can’t believe how few people followup – especially bloggers. I swear just doing this simple thing will bump up sales dramatically, but people refuse to do it for some reason. I’d like to think people just don’t know any better. A lot of bloggers are taught how to write, but not how to sell. But even those with a sales background don’t follow up enough in my opinion.
You make a good point on closing. The relationship and the size of the transaction have a lot of effect on this factor in my opinion. And really, it doesn’t take much much of the time – but some sort of prompt to seal the deal does help tremendously.
Thanks for adding to this post Kim, I was hoping when I published it that I’d see you here!
James McAllister recently posted…You Wouldn’t Believe How Blogging Has Transformed My Life
I completely agree with you on this and wish to particularly comment on #6.
People pay for perceived value, not a product pe se…sometimes, people are even more interested in a product when it is damn expensive – the prevailing psychology being that if it is expensive, then, it must be good.
However, this is where knowing your prospective customer like the back of your hand comes in…for instance, when I was a Newbie blogger, I really wanted premium themes except for the fact that both the Thesis and Genesis frameworks (my choice) were priced about $100 – an amount I could not spare then!
Aside the points listed above, I’ll love to add: ‘Create the greatest products in your market (yet)’…believe me, when you have created an interesting and utterly great product, confidence radiates everywhere…and it becomes much more impossible for your customers to resist you.
Do make the day great…this entry is sure super awesome – as awesome as the rest.
Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…How To (Brilliantly) Tackle A False Scam Accusation Online
You make a good point with that. The problem is that so many people do not know to increase the perceived value. When the product offers the value that’s asked for it, then you can make sales. Unfortunately, many aren’t able to demonstrate that value so they have to lower the price to match whatever perceived value they’re able to generate. This hurts them far more than it helps them and the solution is to increase your ability to sell, not decrease the target. I do discount my products on occasion but I will never use price to close a deal.
You and I know that if we want something bad enough we’ll find a way to get it eventually. Case in point, it looks like you’re using Genesis now. Great choice by the way!
Always nice to talk to you Akaahan. By the way, I sent you an email. I’m pretty excited about it!
James McAllister recently posted…How To Quickly Create A Minimum Viable Product For Your Blog
Spot on as usual and I just love your voice and glad you put in that Youtube. Did you ever think about doing voice overs?
Anyway…back to the content, you have sage advice when you wrote: “The truth is that most of us earning a good amount make money with what our blogs do for us. This is where bloggers get confused. They don’t think out of the box when it comes to marketing. Our blogs are part of the whole in the marketplace.
Indeed, our email list is the most important of all. It can come from our blogs, our products that we market and so on. But that is where we really need to put our focus on. Keep on building a healthy buyers email list is something I do every day. And of course, cleaning up the non-buyers is also another way to keep that list alive. I have a few lists for different products so I spend loads of time with these people.
I mainly connect with them through email, and Skype. I have many products out there and the prices range. It is all set up in my sales funnel. Some come in at a very low price and will jump right into my highest price range (I love when that happens lol) Others will go step by step up the ladder.
I really don’t “clinch the deal” because all my emails are set up to do that. So I would say it is all on cruise control. It saves me time.
Oh and yes, I do know my value and have no problem to put a price tag on it. The best feeling for me is when a person purchases a product I’ve done and gives me feedback that I over-delivered. I love doing that!
I wish you all the best on your new product finding leads and closing deals. I know people out there really need that.
Donna Merrill recently posted…Dress Your Blog For Success
Haha I remember you telling me that on one of your Periscopes and for some reason that really stuck with me. I appreciate the compliment because that’s not something I have ever really thought about.
I’m going to spend a good amount of time this week revamping my autoresponder sequence to do a better job at generating sales on its own. It does make a steady stream, but it’s a bit outdated and I know I can add a bit more focus to it.
Still, I think being able to close is an extremely important skill bloggers neglect. I have made a huge number of sales just from one-on-one emails. Sales opportunities pop up in questions all the time. I think these are valuable on their own because I’ve been taking the common objections or concerns and working them into the sales pages and autoresponder as well to increase conversions. Not to mention, I really do believe anybody can become a buyer. There is not a single person on the planet that doesn’t need at least one of the products I offer.
Always appreciate you taking time out of your day to add value Donna! Thanks a bunch!
James McAllister recently posted…Most Bloggers Are Using Social Media For The Wrong Reasons
Bingo on #6! People buy what they value. Independent of the price tag. I charge a premium to *average* prices for my eBooks because…..people see numbers, do math, and buy what feels like a premium product to them. Most of us known our stuff inside out. We need just raise the prices to create the perception that we have a fab product, and when folks pay $7 or $10 for an eBook brimming with value, they will see it as being more valuable than a 99 cent eBook.
Never, ever, ever drop prices to make sales – at least for an extended period – because this gives off desperate energies, which scare off buyers, and attract tire kickers.
I’ve jacked up rates for my coaching, freelancing, sponsored posts, everything….and they’ll only go up from here 😉
FAB post James. Thanks for sharing!
People buy what they value, absolutely. So many salespeople seem to think that price is tied to value but really they are independent of each other. I know our products offer more value than what we charge for them and it is our job to prove that to potential customers.
Far too many people lower price when they should instead be raising them and focusing their energy on showing their customers why that price is justified. Glad to hear you’re increased your rates, no doubt if you’re able to sell the value you’ll make more money at the end of the day AND have customers who are just as satisfied.
James McAllister recently posted…The Ultimate HootSuite Pro Review
Hey there James,
Great post here. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with selling if you’re a blogger. You just have to make sure that you don’t overdo it and focus too much on it. Value has to come first. People need to see and feel the effort we put into making other people’s lives better.
The 7 tips you’ve shared sure are spot on! #6 is definitely important. When people see and feel the value and quality of a product, they wouldn’t mind paying for it at all. In fact, they’d want more. lol
Thank you for sharing this man. Keep it up!
PJ Zafra recently posted…What’s Your Biggest Regret? See People Fearlessly Turn Painful Regrets Into Dust
Right on but if you aren’t overcharging for your products they in themselves are offering value. That’s the thing that confuses me. If you believe in your product, then you have to feel like you’re helping your audience by selling it to them. People act like they’re doing something wrong or unethical by pushing products on their audience. Can the product help them? Yes? Good, the way I see it, you are being unethical by NOT making them aware of all the benefits that product offers.
The thing about blogging is that you’re better able to sell when you’ve established credibility by offering value for free previously, and that’s the real thing I think that matters when offering value. I offer value for free because it in itself makes me better able to demonstrate the value of my products. It makes it easier to sell. The blog is a tool that aids in the sales process. I feel good knowing people are gaining value from my posts, but I feel even better when I make a sale because I know that the buyer is about to have their business and / or their life changed drastically.
On price – absolutely, and this is why it’s so important to overdeliver. When your products are more valuable than what you charge for them, not only will you generate raving fans who will in turn go and advertise for you, but they’ll buy even more of your products because they know their money is being very well spent.
Thanks PJ, it was great to talk with you again!
James McAllister recently posted…10+ iPhone / Android Apps Every Blogger Should Be Using
I’m loving this blog post James!
I wish I’ve read this back in my network marketing days. I was one confused rep even though I was going to the trainings. It was a challenge for me to connect all of the dots.
But this post will definitely help a lot of people to refocus and dive into the act of what selling really is which is to solve a problem.
I have to say I resonated with #2, #3, and #5
You want your prospects to feel that you are talking directly to them despite what tools you are using. Blogging is a great way to brand yourself in order to build the know, like and trust factors to sell to your potential market. A lot of people do get confused what a blog is used for and I’m glad that you cleared it up.
Above all you want to believe in your products. If they don’t buy you, they won’t buy from you. Your prospects usually buy via emotions and if you can transition the passion you have for your products over to your audience, then it becomes less of a challenge to persuade them to buy. Persuasion, that is, making it a win/win situation for both parties.
The Follow up is very important when it comes to sales. I didn’t know about these statistics but I’m glad that you pointed it out. I see the follow up as a way to keep pointed to the solutions to their problems and needs. This will take some rapport building and genuinely getting to know your marketing whether it be through indirect ways by using tools such as Google Analytics or directly through email or in person. If they can see how much you care about helping them, then also this will contribute to the sale.
Great post James and I’m sure this will clear up any misconceptions about selling! Have a great weekend!
Sherman Smith recently posted…Importance Of Branding Yourself Online When Youâre Broke With Little Time
Ahh… network marketing. It’s something I’ve always felt I’d be good at honestly, but just not the path for me right now.
With the whole internet marketing thing being so competitive I really think those who cater to people on the individual level are going to be the ones who find the most success. I will hire salespeople before I ever isolate potential customers because I know the value that personal touch adds.
I know a lot of people have buyers list that they mass mail to, and I do too, but I also have a CRM system to keep track of my interactions with certain people. I find out a lot about what people care about, what problems their having etc. A quick email asking how that’s going every once a while really boosts the relationship and when the opportunity arises, it’s easy to pitch and close.
A lot of people do not believe in their products enough and in my opinion that is one of the largest issues. The most important sale you will make is selling yourself on those products. Once you truly start believing in them and know they can help people, selling becomes easy. Sell yourself first. If you wouldn’t buy the product at that price, you have no business selling it to other people right?
Thanks so much for adding to this post Sherman. I’m really excited to develop a course on sales because it’s something so many bloggers neglect. And as you rightfully point out, there are so many other times people need these skills as well. This should have a pretty wide audience and I’m very excited to help other people build up this vital skill.
James McAllister recently posted…An Open Letter To Udemy
Hi James. You lay out seven very good points. I believe that #3 and #6 are strongly connected. If you really believe in your product then you have no reason to lower your price. I am in network marketing and I very strongly believe in most of the products. The products were expensive but the only people who ever said something about the prices were older people on a fixed income. I have been successfully selling the products online at full retail price for 8 years. Well, last November the company decided to drastically reduce all of the prices, some of them more than 50%. Then they followed that up with a 40% off sale for first-time customers. I didn’t participate in that sale because I thought it sent the wrong message. What it says to me is that the other distributors don’t believe in the product, maybe because they aren’t using it themselves. I talked to one of the VP’s at the company and he told me that selling the product at the old prices was impossible, yet I had been doing it for years.
Following up with your prospects is important too. I’m actually glad that most of the distributors with my mlm company don’t follow up with their customers because those customers then go online and order from the small number of us who are online. Their lack of follow up brings me customers and puts money in my pocket. Then I make sure that I do follow up and provide good customer service to keep them as my customers.
Ben recently posted…Network Marketing as an Online Business
So glad you agree. It’s never the buyer’s fault for thinking the price is too high – it’s the sellers. If you’re a good salesperson, you sell the value of the product and the price becomes irrelevant. People don’t buy price, they buy value. Lowering price to close a deal means you’ve failed at doing your job. You do have to be bold to stick by your price but all good salespeople are. Such a huge price reduction from that company is ridiculous.
Hahaha I am in the same position in terms of follow up. I get sales pitches all the time and it amazes me how few people actually follow up – and even smaller percentage follow up later when I tell them I’m not interested. OK, whatever. I’ll enjoy the competitive advantage I guess. If I know you need my product, I’m going to follow up with you until a sale is made. Why? Because I believe in my products and feel a moral obligation to make the sale.
James McAllister recently posted…7 Stages Every Blogger Goes Through On Their Way To Success
I’m a bit late commenting on this because I have been locked in a mind space for some weeks designing my first ever start-to-finish sales funnel. I find the best way to complete a task like this is to just do it. I LOVE that phrase. One of my friends – Jayne Leach – Top European distributor in Forever Living – uses the phrase ‘Just Run With It’. Gold.
There is so much gold in your post James. One part that is particularly relevant to me right now is ‘Never Lower the Price’. I have always been taught to give away a free product at the front of the funnel, in order to give massive value. But it occurred to me last week, how do you give away massive value and then immediately start charging for it a week later? Also – where is the massive value in a product that the person hasn’t paid for in the first place? Value has to be based on cost.
So I decided I would go against convention and charge for my front end product right from the start. Not to make a bit extra on the front end, but to put value on everything I am doing right from the start. And guess what? Opt-ins are better, and lead quality is staggering. Say no more… The fact is we need to be consistent, and charging from day one is the only way to do that (in my opinion)
By the way, I would be interested in anybody else’s ideas on this, but sometimes I am sure we just do things just because that what we were taught- not because they work… which makes me wonder exactly who started teaching this idea and why! I have some theories about the why…
You said that if people voice a price objection, then build the perceived value of your product. Great tip, and another reason not to give stuff away in the first place.
Thanks you James
Richard Seaton recently posted…âStop Trying To Sell Stuff!â
Hey Richard, no worries! It’s great to see you.
That is a great idea and I’m glad to hear that it’s working out well for you. No doubt we all want to attract people who understand the value of what we have to offer and are prepared to pay for it because they know that it will help them. Sets the expectations from the onset. I love it.
And you’re absolutely right, people do a lot just because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do. I don’t get it. Where’s the innovation? How are things going to change if you don’t change things up? Take what you’ve done for example. What if it didn’t work? So what, you can always change it back. And hey, you were willing to take that risk and now you’re reaping the rewards of it.
You build a solid foundation and then when you have the ability to, you innovate. That’s how you really separate yourself out, and not all innovations are based around the product.
Experimenting, risk taking, and trying new things is what’s really going to yield us better results than the next person. Do what everybody else is doing and you’ll end up just like everybody else. You’ve made some great points Richard and it’s always nice to talk with you!
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