How to Sell Ice to Virtual Eskimos

 

By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team

The art of selling in today’s digital workplace has never been easier and never been harder at the same time. That’s definitely a contradiction, but so is Selling Ice to Eskimos. On first inspection, they “obviously” don’t need ice. And it’s a hard, if not impossible sell at best!

On closer inspection don’t Eskimos have the same needs and desires that we “southerners” have? We buy things that we don’t need or spend more money on an item we could get for less. For example: “We need a new freezer. Let’s buy the sub-zero one. I know it’s more money but it has so many great features and we are paying on installments and it’s only a ‘little’ more each month.” Think of your recent purchases — cologne, watches, cars, clothes. You may start to see where I am going with this.

I WANT!!!

Reaction Is Key to Selling

People are influenced to buy through peers, advertising, competition, word of mouth, reviews, status, or just plain hedonism. Selling is a matter of pulling the right levers to get people to react.

In the 30 plus years I have been marketing and advertising — whether online or offline, I have found a common thread. People react to solutions to their need, problem or dilemma. Terms like benefits, advantages, and special promotional offers are attention grabbers and elicit a response.

Selling Therapy to Healthy People

Getting back to the Eskimo analogy, implant that kernel of want, that reason to buy in one’s mind and you have got an audience to sell. Recently I attended a business networking group and a guest speaker was a hypnotherapist. On the surface, it’s a hard sell with plenty of alternative psychological fields of competition. Her “pitch” was to give a gift that shows you care about your loved ones, friends, employees health, happiness and well being for the Holiday Season She promoted three special Holiday offers: 1) a relaxation gift certificate to de-stress for the holidays 2) increase your earning potential gift certificate 3) New Years Resolution gift certificate to jump start your success.

She offered various packages to motivate people to try her therapy. It was about planting the seeds to change their perception and have people think about self-help as self-improvement and not dealing with heavy psychological issues.

The Virtual Sale

Selling online can have its advantages to the more traditional offline methods. You have the opportunity to reach a larger customer base with less time commitment and cost. Plus you have many Internet tools to promote your business, products and services.

Your website is your virtual storefront. It must look professional, easy to navigate, solve problems with benefits oriented copy and have keyword rich content so it can be easily found on search. People view in chunks, so the website needs to be designed to help visitors find what they are looking for in seconds. Modules are a good way to present your content on the home page. Package your services, show testimonials, offer guarantees and special promotions.

Selling Is Social

Social Media Marketing is key to influencing purchasing behavior. Building a relationship with your connections is the first step. You establish yourself as willing to help by answering their questions, posting blogs and positioning yourself as an authority in your field. Beyond building an online relationship with your connections, you need to create a sense of desire for your product or service. You need to create a want in your customer. Create that need in their mind that you and you alone can deliver for them. Buying is about confidence in the vendor and achieving a comfort level, particularly if you are selling a product or service. When you do engage the potential customer, become that problem solver.

Why Make it When I Can BUY it!

Give your customer reasons to buy, such as their ice maker will make ice that is cleaner, tastes better, use less electricity, has service guarantees, and looks great in the kitchen.

You are not selling ice, but a quality of life.

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