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Zen & the Art of Online Sales

 By Hector Cisneros

Zen Master
Image courtesy Pixabay
If you’re looking to find the net profit on the Internet, you need to adopt the principles of a Zen Master.  These gurus don’t expect instant Nirvana.  They spend years studying, chanting, and meditating to eventually achieve oneness with everything.  The reason I bring this up is that all too many business owners who’ve tried to sell their goods and services online expected instant results.  When they didn’t achieve this goal they either threw in the towel or blamed the medium.  What they should have done instead was get their inner guru on by admitting to themselves that they hadn’t yet achieved the goal, but they had learned a valuable lesson.  Today I am going to endeavor to teach you the art of online sales.  If you are patient and practice these principles you will inevitably be rewarded, Grasshopper.

How can you achieve enlightenment when you’re working in the dark? – While you may have mastered the art of traditional advertising, most everything you’ve learned is contrary to what works online. 

1.      Online advertising isn’t about selling, it’s about telling.  Tell a compelling story that provides useful information and you will be one step closer to giving prospects a reason to do business with you.  If you try to use the same ads you use online that you use on TV you will fail miserably.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that a well-thought-out YouTube video can take on a life of its own. Unlike traditional broadcasting, a YouTube video never goes off the air.  Nor do you necessarily have to keep paying to promote it, although a little effort to prime the pumps isn’t a bad way to start the buzz.

Image courtesy Pixabay

2.      Once you get the prospect's attention, don’t confuse them by sending them to your main website.  There’s too much going on there to seal the deal. Create a landing page that picks up where the video left off.  If you really want the prospect to trust you, provide them with video testimonials from happy customers.  Provide easy-to-understand bullet points that help them decide that doing business with you is worth their while.  Give them a warm fuzzy feeling by offering some kind of guarantee that will give them the confidence to buy from you.  Make sure all of everything they need to buy is above the fold.  Don’t make them scroll for more information.

3.      Make buying your goods easy.  Your goal should be point, click, buy.  Don’t expect a prospect to click three or four times to make a purchase.  Don’t require them to fill out a lengthy form to obtain more information.  The quickest way to blow a deal is to waste a prospect's time or cause them one iota of frustration.

4.      Work on producing an irresistible offer right out of the box.  If you want to turn a prospect into a customer you need to make it seem insane if they don’t do business with you.  If you’re only offering 10% off, don’t whine when you generate little or no response.  A lame offer is the same as no offer at all in the all too jaded world of online marketing.  You need to provide an offer that knocks the prospect's socks off, not one that puts them to sleep.  If you’re really smart you’ll create several offers that you can test for peanuts online. 

5.      Test and measure should be your mantra. By that I mean you need to create several 1-page landing pages that have what you believe are irresistible offers.  Then you need to prime the pumps by promoting them on the social nets.  We’re not talking about throwing thousands of dollars around either.  For a few hundred dollars you can test 2-3 offers on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to see what kind of response you get.  If you find that one offer outshines the rest, you can dump the other offers.  However, if you only launch one test campaign that goes down in flames, don’t blame the medium.  Blame the offer. 

Image courtesy Pixabay

6.      Even once you find an offer that really works, don’t expect it to work forever, especially if you only use one channel to broadcast it.  If you’ve ever worked with TV or radio ads, you know what works great this month will perform less spectacularly next month and abysmally after several more months.  This is what’s referred to as channel saturation.  While any given local market can have a handful of radio and TV stations to work with, the Internet has hundreds.  The trick is to find several that work well for your product or service.  Then change your offer once the crowd fails to respond to the original offer.  Unlike traditional broadcasting, online you can start an ad today and pause it tomorrow only to change the ad and launch it anew the following day.  You don’t have to shred money for a month to advertise online.

7.      You don’t have to go it alone.  If all of this sounds like too much to handle on your own you can always seek the advice of an online marketing guru who knows the ropes and is prepared to take the time to help you find the Zen of online marketing.

If you’re looking to break your company out of the herd, give Hector Cisneros a call at (904) 887-0946 to find out how cost-effective YouTube can be.  He’ll be glad to share stories and videos from clients who have successfully used YouTube to generate viewers and sales of products and services.

If you found this article to be useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment do so below.  If you would like a free copy of our book Internet Marketing Tips for the 21 Century click here and fill in the form on the page. It has been my pleasure sharing with you our view of the current state of search engine marketing. I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks again for reading and sharing.   

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is CEO of Working the Web to Win based in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, and YouTube. He is also the co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make Working the Web to Win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active Blogger, (including ghost writing). He is a published author of two books, 60 Seconds to success (on sale at Amazon and B&N) and Internet Marketing for the 21st Century which you can get free by clicking on the link at




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