There’s nothing easier than selling online, right? Just set up your Shopify store and start generating sales.
Well, sure…but having a good product or service doesn’t guarantee anyone will buy (or keep buying).
The bitter truth is, selling online is hard! From building the right product or service to figuring out how to get those dollar bills from your customers’ wallets, it’s a real tussle.
Let’s face it. It’s not easy to convince someone to whip out their credit card or wire you a few hundred/thousand dollars for your product or service.
Yes! Your customers like you. But the truth is, they don’t love you [yet]. Every potential customer does not want to talk to you (even if they need your product or service).
And until you can get your customers and prospects to love you and your product or service, you won’t be able to persuade them to say “Yes” to your offer, and ultimately make that sale.
In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online. That’s 25% of the world’s total population.
In essence, you want to make sure you’re getting a piece of the pie. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Well, I’m about to simplify the process for you…
The secret to selling
The secret to more sales is to understand what your customer wants and give that to them. And it all comes down to psychology.
Let’s say, for instance, you sent a prospect the following email:
I’m so excited to present my idea later today — I’m confident it will double your traffic. It’s a little unconventional, but I know you’re always open-minded when it comes to novel tactics.
Just by labeling your prospect as “open-minded,” they are likely to receive your presentation. Why? Because labels have a way of influencing customer behavior.
Calling your product “basic” as opposed to “standard” will influence your customer’s perception of that product differently.
Telling them an entitlement will “cease” rather than “be replaced by” will change the response you receive.
Here’s a promise: If you read to the end of this guide, I’ll give you a powerful gift that will help you sell better and faster, no matter what you’re selling.
Here are a few other tips to help you sell your products and services better and faster online.
Build desire with benefits
Features are good.
And that’s why you might think your product or service is selling: because it has the greatest features. But that’s not the case.
The truth is, what sells, in the end, are the benefits your product or service brings to the table. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School study, products of all kinds sell because of their benefits, not features.
Consumers are always happy to spend money on products/services that will make their lives better.
Before Apple’s iPod was introduced, there were already thousands of MP3 players in the market. To sell the iPod, Apple sold the benefit: “1,000 songs in your pocket,” as opposed to using the feature: “a 5 GB hard drive.”
By now, you must be asking yourself: “what’s the difference between a benefit and a feature?”
They might sound similar. Yet, they’re two different things.
Benefits are what you (or your customers) can do with a product or service. Features are what the product/service can do.
CoSchedule does a great job at highlighting its benefits on its product page. They touch on the product’s features.
But a larger part of their copy is focused on the benefits:
And that’s way more sellable.
Pro tip: For best results, highlight 70% of your product’s benefits, and 30% of the features.
Whether you’re selling online or offline, sell the benefits, not the features.
Practice social proof
So you just got into a new city and you’re looking for a place to eat.
You notice two restaurants around you. You also quickly realize that one is jam-packed with people eating, while the other has very few to no customers.
Which one would you choose?
If you’re like most people, you intuitively know that the busy restaurant is the better option. And so, you’ll probably choose the full restaurant.
But why is eating at a busy restaurant superior to eating at an empty one?
It’s one of the most powerful psychological techniques to use when dealing with customers. For one thing, when many people are engaging in something, others are naturally drawn to it. And it’s the reason you are drawn to the crowded restaurant.
Selling with social proof
Social proof is important when someone’s deciding whether or not to buy what you’re selling.
For example, Hotjar immediately lets you know that they have 680,000 users on their platform:
It even has a Customer Stories page where it shows you how users are using the product:
A simple way to use social proof is to integrate testimonials on your website such as: “Loved by XYZ,” or “Featured on Huffington Post”… It’s all social proof.
Doing it the right way
But, that doesn’t really boost sales because it’s just splattered all over your website.
If you want social proof to help you, you have to integrate it on the right type of pages. For instance, if you have a consulting page, you can start showing testimonials and case studies on that page from other people. By doing that, it allows people to build trust in you and they’re more likely to convert.
You can also place social proof on your check-out pages. Look at Basecamp for example. When you’re signing up:
Or paying for their product, they have testimonials in there.
When you’re using testimonials on your website, there are a few things you should know:
- You need an image: If there’s no image, people won’t know if it’s real.
- You need a person’s full name: By having their full name, your users know it’s more likely to be real.
- If they have a business or a website, you need to list it and link to it.
- Make sure the testimonials are meaningful: Something like “Great product,” “Digital Hama is awesome,” or “Amazing service” doesn’t provide much value. It has to be specific like “Digital Hama was really helpful. When we started with them, we were unsure if it was going to work but after 2 months, we started seeing results and after a year, our business grew 40% through their efforts.” Now, that’s an example of a useful testimonial.
If you follow these tips, you can do well with social proof and increase your sales.
Use urgency the smart way
Urgency is known to drive up sales. Because that’s how you get customers to buy your product/service NOW!
You can create a sense of urgency in your copy by using statements like “Limited time offer,” “Only 5 spots left,” “Doors close on Thursday” or “Sale ends on March 3rd.”
Make sure you back up these statements with genuine limitations, else you lose your customers’ trust.
Consider this email from Derek Halpern for instance:
He uses a clear deadline which creates a really high sense of urgency.
But it’s not just about creating a sense of urgency with your product or service.
You have to do it the smart way by adding follow-up information. According to research from Howard Leventhal, people are prone to block out urgent messages if they aren’t given information on how to follow-up. On the flip side, if you provide your prospects with follow-up information, they are more likely to convert.
Lead gen can also help you grow your sales. Read this article to find out how.
Leverage the power of a CRM
Though it’s called Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it can be useful beyond just handling relations. When used correctly, a CRM can improve your efficiency, turn prospects into customers, and ultimately boost your sales,
In reality, all websites share the same goal: to capture leads and increase sales. So how do you optimize the lead capture process and ensure you’re not losing potential leads?
I’ll show you in a bit how a CRM system can accelerate your business’ growth, bring in profitable, happy customers, and enable your sales team to sell better and faster.
Here are a few things you need to do to benefit from a CRM.
1. Contextualize your sales outreach
A CRM that integrates with your marketing automation system gives you a comprehensive picture of your prospect’s recent interactions with your company. And the value of this knowledge is hard to ignore.
Let’s assume a prospect downloaded an e-book on a specific industry trend. Armed with this insight, you can then customize your cold email to mention this trend, and offer your expertise in this area.
Since the topic is evidently important for your prospect, you stand a much better chance of grabbing their attention with this email and receiving a response.
On the other hand, let’s say the same prospect checked out the product’s pricing page in the last hour. A demo or free trial is a much more appropriate and interesting offer in this case.
A strong link between marketing automation and CRM allows you to layer context onto your outreach. By doing this, your emails and calls will stand out and easily convert.
2. Know who and when to follow-up
You’ll hardly get a prospect’s attention on the very first attempt. In most cases, you’ll have to reach out several times until you’re almost fed up.
In sales, persistence is a virtue. In fact, it takes between 6 and 10 attempts to reach a prospect. Abandoning prospects too soon could leave money on the table.
Depending on the number of leads you’re working on at any given time, trying to remember to call X on Tuesday, Y on Friday, Z on Monday, and sending follow-up emails on Thursday, Wednesday, and Saturday is a tough task.
Good thing is, many modern CRMs like HubSpot CRM can automatically alert you of who to follow up with and when. You simply set a reminder and let the CRM do its thing.
When it’s time to reach out again, your CRM system provides you with all prior contact attempts. A CRM like HubSpot CRM, for instance, automatically saves and logs voicemails and emails, as well as any buyer interactions that have taken place. With this context at your fingertips, you can tailor your follow-ups based on what the buyer has done and what’s already been said.
3. Spot gaps in your funnel early
If you’re managing your deals with spreadsheets, it can be hard to grasp how close each one is to closing and spot gaps in the funnel before it’s too late.
A CRM system can help you to visualize your deal flow. Instead of trying to infer meaningful knowledge from a sea of identical rows and columns, you can immediately recognize stages where you have too many opportunities — or too few.
What’s more, scaling your sales strategy through word-of-mouth and scattered documents isn’t effective. The trick is to make all that information available in a system that records the stages, activities, and when you’re supposed to do them.
The screenshot below shows how sales stages are visually defined in the HubSpot CRM, and how deals are moved between them.
With this knowledge, you have an easier time balancing and prioritizing prospecting with working active leads.
4. Terminate time-consuming data entry
Manual data entry, according to HubSpot, is sales reps’ number one problem with their CRM. What’s more, a study on sales productivity found that sales reps spend more than 50% of their time searching for content and working on CRM-related and administrative tasks.
Isn’t that frustrating?
The truth is, a CRM is only as good as the data entered into it. And if data entry is 100% manual, well… good luck getting accurate information.
In this instance, you can argue that CRM is the problem. But it can also be the solution. Some CRMs lessen the data entry burden by automatically populating contact information from the web and marketing automation systems.
By combining the email productivity app HubSpot Sales with HubSpot CRM, you can auto-populate a new contact record directly from a company website.
5. Find the right prospects faster
You probably use a combination of social media and search engines to find prospects that seemingly fit your ideal customer persona.
This process works … but not as well as it should.
Why? Traditional prospecting takes time.
You have to hunt for each opportunity individually, and then do some guesswork to classify a given company as a “good fit.”
However, prospecting features in certain CRM systems turn prospecting into less of a hunting expedition and more of a one-stop-shop.
The HubSpot CRM, for example, collects sales-relevant information from across the web on a variety of companies and then compiles data into a searchable database. You can then conduct custom searches based on specific criteria, and the system returns a comprehensive list of prospects that fit your requirements.
That’s a lot faster than going the traditional route.
6. Quit reinventing the wheel with content
You certainly waste a lot of time looking for content. CRMs that double as content repositories can help you get the right content at the right time.
Need the latest digital marketing trend? A newly-released case study? The most recent e-commerce cheat sheet? No need to go searching elsewhere — just grab it from your CRM.
What about the emails you send out daily? While you should customize every email to the specific recipient, it’s also important that you save templates of your most successful messages for reuse in the future.
Yes! I get it. This doesn’t save much time when you have to dig through your outbox every time you would like to repurpose a template.
A CRM can help out here as well. It allows you to save email templates directly in the system. This means you can access your time-saving messages without even having to open a new browser tab.
7. Answer your prospect’s questions faster
What happens when you need to answer a prospect’s question? You ask several colleagues and pass through different departments that have dealt with that particular prospect. This process is daunting, time-consuming, and in some cases, you might get conflicting responses.
When dealing with a prospect, it’s essential to not just answer their question but to provide them with the best answer.
CRMs put all the information about your customers and your product in one place, so you never have to say “let me get back to you with that.”
You’re ready to start selling
Selling is not as difficult as you might think. But you can make a habit of it if you use these proven tips that deliver dramatic results.
I hope you enjoyed my definitive guide to selling better and faster.
Now, I’d like to hear from you: which tip from today’s guide are you going to try first?
Are you going to start integrating social proof?
Or maybe you want to try out a CRM.
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
It’s gift time!
What’s the secret to accelerating your sales growth?
Well, there’s no magic secret. Instead, it’s a combination of all these tips I’ve shared with you. But to help you accelerate your sales growth even faster, I have a gift for you as promised.
That’s why I’m gifting you this template: “The Definitive Guide to Selling Better and Faster” for FREE.
In this template, you will get more tips, learn how a CRM system can accelerate your business’ growth, bring in profitable, happy customers, and enable you to sell better and faster.
Are you ready to sell better and faster with the help of a modern CRM system?
Click below to get a FREE copy of The Definitive Guide to Selling Better and Faster from HubSpot: