Don't get me wrong. Marketing is an essential part of the
e-commerce equation. Marketing ďpaves the wayĒ for
Sales. But itís only where Sales and Marketing
overlap that buying happens. Think of it like one of
those Venn diagrams you probably remember from school:
imagine pulling these circles apart, so Sales gets farther
and farther away from Marketing. How much buying do you
have left? (Hint: Less and less until you have none. Zero.
Nada.) Now imagine pushing these circles together, so
Sales and Marketing increasingly overlap, and you can
literally watch buying increase!
they get to your website, your potential customers take in
lots of external influences and compare those messages to
their internal desires and values. This is where Marketing
plays an important role in creating the "propensity
to buy." But as soon as a visitor begins to interact
with your "store," all
the marketing in the world isn't going to save you if your
site doesnít know how to sell.
of it this way. You see an advertisement on TV where a car
manufacturer tells you it makes the safest car out there,
and the ad prominently displays lots of images of an
adorable, safe baby and happy parents enjoying their
worry-free car ride. Suppose you've got a baby. You want
her riding in the safest car. You think maybe you should
look into buying this car. So off you and your baby head
to the dealership. You walk in with the "propensity
to buy," but you still need to be sold. You
want lots of questions answered about options, service,
which model would best suit your needs. You want to test
drive the car. You want to be treated like you matter. You
want to feel good about the decision to buy. Without a
salesperson holding your hand through the sales process,
treating you the way you want to be treated and selling
you the way you want to be sold, you probably aren't going
to buy a thing from this dealership, even if they do sell
the safest car in the world.
think of a smaller-ticket purchase. I wanted a
photo-quality printer, because I'm playing around with
digital cameras these days. I came across an advertisement
that promised the product would give me "superior
quality at the incredible price of $175". I
enthusiastically trotted off to that store and in the
blink of one of my eyes, found myself standing in a huge
aisle filled with printers. All of a sudden, I got to
wondering if maybe there wasn't an even better printer for
my needs. I pushed a few of the test buttons and got some
test printouts. Holding them in my hand, I looked for a
salesperson. No one around. I read some of the fact
sheets, but still had questions. Still no salesperson in
sight. I've still got the printouts right here on my desk,
but I didnít buy a printer.
got me to the store, but it didn't create the sale. Marketing
canít; Sales can, and does. Had someone bothered to
help me, I might have bought that $175 printer. Who knows,
they might even have been able to talk me into the next
model up. Or they might have helped me figure out I really
would be better off with a different make. It just as
easily could have gone another way: even without benefit
of sales help, I might have bought that $175 printer,
carted it home, installed it and been dissatisfied with my
purchase. And if I'd bought it and it worked okay? Well,
I'd still be wondering if I'd got the best deal for my
needs, which still leaves me somewhere short of being
completely delighted. So, the end result in this case is
that no amount of money that business spends on marketing
is ever going to induce me to return, 'cause they haven't
shown me they acknowledge and value the role of Sales,
which is another way of saying they havenít shown me
they acknowledge and value me!
the idea? It's a proven fact: shoppers want to find
something they will be happy to buy; they do want to be
sold. So, in order to sell more, you need to sell
more. By all means, drive traffic to your site. But make
sure when they get there, you have a website that attends
to the business of Sales. Marketing alone must
fail. It is that simple!
an interview with the guy who signs my check:
"So a fundamental problem is that there is no
sales process; customers simply aren't being sold.
Beyond that are slow download speeds, confusing
layouts, poor navigation and usability, a lack of
customer focus, too many graphics, weak copy;
unfortunately the list is almost endless." - Jeff
Eisenberg, President of Future
here to read the interview
Emperor Has No...CLOSE!
know the story, the one where it took a little kid to
point out the obvious: the vain, self-important Emperor
who thought he was wearing a glorious new outfit was, in
fact, appearing in public completely naked. Nobody had the
nerve to tell him, but to the little kid it was so
obvious, how could he not?
look at the current state of e-business. Lots of hype,
lots of pie-in-the-sky predictions, yet the truth is
painfully obvious. If e-commerce is that fabled Emperor,
then where are the sales? Folks online are learning
thereís a big difference between putting up an
e-commerce site and actual sales. From where I sit, the
Emperorís lack of clothes is e-commerceís lack of close.
Sales arenít happening because, while sites are doing
everything else including singing and dancing, they arenít
about running around naked! It's really embarrassing. And
I'm the "kid" pointing the finger!
size of the problem is amazing. Sites supposedly set up to
sell experience terrible customer conversion rates,
astronomical costs of customer acquisition, and appalling
customer retention rates. Itís no wonder the web is
awash in red ink.
how naked is that emperor? Let me paint a clearer picture.
typical conversion rate on the web is less than 2%
(compared with 48% in the brick and mortar world), and
that rate is going down.
out of the people who do buy from a site, 90% never come
back, and that number is going up.
1999, as much as $9 billion in US retail sales were lost
due to slow download times alone, and that figure is
the 1999 holiday season (can you say "most critical
time of year?"), at least $7 billion in sales were
lost to a combination of website and fulfillment
problems, and that figure is going up.
of shoppers who are looking for a specific product
simply abandon their search. Yep, still going up.
of online shoppers resorted to bricks and mortar
alternatives to meet needs they tried to satisfy via the
Internet. That number is going up, too.
of shoppers who actually put items in their online
shopping carts still abandon the transaction before
checking out, and that rate is going up.
typical cost of customer acquisition far exceeds the
lifetime value of the customer.
many as 43% of online shoppers who are
computer-knowledgeable and want to buy still fail.
e-tailers are redirecting their efforts to
business-to-business relationships in an effort to
salvage their companies, yet fail to resolve any of the
not just bad, itís getting worse. And thatís despite
literally hundreds of millions of dollars being thrown at
the problems by so-called experts. Do you think thereís
just a tiny chance those ďexpertsĒ might be missing
something? Plus, itís not just about those shoppers that
bail out. A customer who experiences a bad online shopping
experience tells an average of 10 other people, people who
will never even point their browsers in your direction.
crazy thing is that people want to buy.
That's why they came to you in the first place! And both
research and plain old common sense prove that, while
people donít want to be pushed, of course, people do
want to be sold. Sell them and theyíll buy more;
ignore them and theyíll buy less. Yes, it really is that
basic. Think about this: would you build a brick and
mortar store, stock it with stuff, but then not hire any
salespeople? No? Well then, how can you build a digital
store, not staff it with Digital Salespeopleô, and
expect it to sell? Sure, some people will buy - maybe. But
even then, ďsomeĒ isnít nearly enough. Want new
clothes? Pay attention to your close.
Salespeople is a trademark of Future Now, LLC