could anything this good be bad?" She winks at him.
"Go on, try it. Just one bite and you'll see what I
I don’t know if I should…what if…?” he says with
on. Trust me. I would never steer you wrong. Try it. You’ll
see.” She replies enthusiastically.
is intrigued. The fruit is delightfully red, sounds crispy
every time she bites into it, and if her reactions are any
indication, the thing must be really great.
all right." He lounges beside her, reaches for the
fruit and sinks his teeth into it. She made the pitch, he
bought it, and the rest, as they say, is history.
just reconstructed (with a teensy bit of artistic license)
what might be the first recorded sale in the history of
humankind: the moment Eve sold Adam on eating the
forbidden fruit. Sales! It's great stuff, a big mover and
shaker in the human equation. And it's exactly what you
want your website to accomplish. You just need to keep
this in mind: the time-tested sales principles that
have worked offline since forever do work online. In
fact, they’re essential. Ignore them and not very many
people will buy your apples.
trace the development of the art and science of sales from
early barter economies through the invention of currency,
from nomadic markets to retail stores and then to huge
malls, from road shows and door-to-door to telemarketing
and TV shopping. In every single case the medium was new,
and sometimes even amazing, but the message, the
systematic process of getting a customer to buy, has
been the same. QVC didn’t succeed by forcing a new
technology on its customers and demanding they adapt, but
rather by adapting the technology so it could serve
customers the way they’ve always preferred to be served,
have employed every communication medium available as a
sales tool, so it's no surprise to Your Grokness that with
the recent development of the PC and the Internet, you
humans would turn your attention to selling online.
There's one small catch, however (if you haven't already
figured it out). All previous vehicles for sales allowed
for some degree of human interaction. Successful
selling is human-centered - people meeting the needs
of people based on a series of steps understood, either
explicitly or implicitly, by all participants. As far as
the recent history of sales has played out online,
however, websites have replaced the human-centered sales
process with lots of non-human-friendly technology. But
the Internet does not change the fact that people do want
to be sold (in a positive way), that buying is
fundamentally an emotional decision, and that to be
successful, sales must stay in touch with its
human-centered roots regardless of the medium.
got plenty of red ink and dotcom failures to prove the
present approach to online sales is sorely lacking in
fundamental sales ability. When you’ve got fancy
designs, elaborate programming and the marketing people
burying your site in “eyeballs” but you can’t
convert enough of your traffic to make a dent in your
expenses, do you have a design problem, a programming
problem, a marketing problem or … a sales problem?
the next phase in the history of online sales going to be?
Pirouetting shoes and strolls through virtual malls?
Yikes!! Efforts to make the online environment look and
feel just like its physical counterpart may look clever,
but they miss the boat. The online experience can’t
replicate the offline experience. So instead of using lots
of expensive and slow technology trying to be something it’s
not, wouldn’t it make more sense for e-commerce to be
better at what it is? Besides, customers who vote with
their mouse buttons already have proved they’re not
interested in “solutions” that are long on sizzle
but short on substance, take forever to load, and only
delay what they came for: to buy.
next phase of online
sales history is going to belong to those who grasp and
correctly apply the concept of what might be called a digital
salesperson: a website that performs all the functions
an expert human salesperson would in the real world, is
able to guide the prospect through all five steps of a
professional sale, acknowledges how different people want
to be sold and can adapt to those needs. Five steps?
Prospect, Rapport, Qualify, Present, Close. If you don’t
prospect, you have no customer to build rapport
with. No rapport = no trust = no sale. As you build rapport
you then can qualify your customer and know both
what that customer wants and what kind of presentation
will work best. This leads to the presentation of
the product in the way that works for the customer.
If they want data, why make them stare at testimonials? If
they want price, why make them sit through a flash demo?
If they’re ready to give you their money and get the
satisfaction of buying, why stop them suddenly and demand
a bunch of profile info? Which is more important to you,
their data or their purchase? Then, when you’ve laid the
perfect foundation, you close the sale. You don’t
have to just hope your customer will buy; in fact, you
can’t afford to.
like to make history rather than become history, right?
Then start at the beginning: take a hint from Eve’s
story and turn your site into an expert at Sales.