Why would you want to do that? Why is it important to become an expert in your niche? Let me explain.
Compared to face-to-face sales at a brick and mortar store, the Internet environment is a pretty cold and impersonal place to be doing business given most business models.
How do you know that the seller you’re dealing with is honest? What if I give him my money and he takes off without sending me the product, never to be heard from again?
How do I get my money back if I’m not satisfied with my purchase when it arrives? What if I don’t like the product or it isn’t what I thought it was? Who can I call or talk to?
Trust, especially in online commerce, is a very important and critical key to success for every business owner trying to make a sale.
If the customer has reason to trust his merchant, he will be more apt to buy the product. If there is a reason why the customer is hesitant, the sale will surely fail.
Understand that an important part of gaining trust is reducing risk on the part of the buyer. When the business owner or product creator is seen as an expert in the niche, the buyer often feels better about making a purchase based on an expert opinion or recommendation.
There are many ways to earn the trust of the customer including:
- full disclosure of all the benefits and features of the product,
- a secure financial transaction process,
- testimonials and recommendations from other happy customers of the product,
- a straightforward and intuitive selling and shopping cart process,
- iron-clad guarantees that don’t contain “weasel words” and vague promises,
- removing as much of the “risk” of the purchase as possible,
- offering a trial period at a discount so the buyer can actually experience the product before purchasing,
- at times, trust “seals” from reputable companies added to the web site or sales page can be a good thing,
- and many other merchant implemented ideas that will help put the customer at ease.
There is also the issue of the advice the customer is being given.
Who do you trust more: a faceless stranger that makes a lot of fantastic claims and promises … or … a fact-filled recommendation from someone you perceive to be an expert in the field of the product you are considering?
Of course, the expert will be trusted to a greater degree than someone that doesn’t fit the role because nothing is known about him.
Unless you are a well-known public figure that has already proven himself/herself and become a recognized expert offline, you will have to go after that title online.
Just because you own and operate a web site in a certain niche, there is no reason for a particular customer to consider you an expert unless you have done whatever is necessary to earn that title.
Is there anything dishonest, immoral, or illegal about wanting to become an expert when you’re not already one? Of course not!
In fact, every web site owner should position himself/herself as an industry expert just as you would assume a shopkeeper at the local hardware store is an expert at his chosen trade and understands all about the marketplace and his products for sale.
Customers are more inclined to trust an expert than an anonymous personality.
They know the questions they ask and the problems they have will be handled professionally and with the skill that experience and knowledge brings to the expert.
People buy from experts, especially on the Internet.
They look to the expert for advice, suggestions, and recommended products because the expert will know what is best for the customer based on his/her own experience.
The business owner can become an expert over time by proving his skill and knowledge in the industry and by sharing what he knows with his customers or clients.
He can create a reputation for himself by the way he operates his business and treats his clients.
Small business owners will help their own cause if they provide as much value as possible at their web site and in every product they create. The same holds true to offering value in emails, personal conversations, blog posts, articles posted, etc.
Freely give of your knowledge and time and others will recognize you as a professional who is caring, fair, and one they can trust with their money when it comes time to purchase a product or service.
To your online business success!