Have you ever noticed how customers like to be given very specific instructions or detailed directions from those they consider to be an expert?
I used to work retail in the sporting goods industry when I was a struggling college student trying to get my education and support my young family.
My great passion and hobby was fly fishing and I took every opportunity I could to help fly fishermen who came into the store to become better at “my sport.”
I was an evangelist, a mentor, and an instructor for the sport of fly fishing even though the store was paying me to be a salesman.
Whenever I had the opportunity to apply my mentoring / instructing approach, it seemed like I could sell fly equipment and tackle very easily.
Most of the customers that were willing to be taught (and believe me, very few would back away from “free” tips and guidance) were an easy sell. Why?
Those knowledgeable and experienced, the “experts,” that are willing to give good information become trusted authorities.
They are seen as advisers and teachers that can relate to the student.
They aren’t after just a sale – they’re genuinely interested in the welfare and value that they can give to the student.
I found many of my fly fishing customers coming into the store simply for the latest information on where to go fishing, what flies to use, etc., even though they weren’t coming to buy something.
All I had to do to make a sale was to recommend a particular product as being “right” or an excellent purchase that would fit the needs of the specific customer.
If I personalized the recommendation, the sale was a snap.
I learned that customers who rely on you for information in a particular niche can be lead by the hand to make purchases that they feel will help them in some way.
The lesson I take from these selling experiences I had when I was considered an expert is this: customers like to be told by an expert what is best for them in their progression in a niche.
They will buy a steady stream of products that the mentor suggests as long as they trust the mentor and feel that he/she has their best interests in mind.
So many web site owners I visit don’t seem to understand this principle.
They toss up a site, fill it with products, and invite prospects to browse, but never take the opportunity to lead them around and very specifically tell them what to buy.
It doesn’t matter if your instructions are meant to get a web site registration, get the customer to fill out a survey, or purchase a product.
You should tell them in your narrative copy exactly what you want them to do next.
“Go here,” “fill out this online form,” “register today for a free prize,” “click here to receive a 25% discount,” or “purchase this product now,” . . . well you get the point.
Lead the customer by the hand around your business and be sure to give him lots of valuable and personal attention in the process.
You will gain a loyal customer, a new friend, and one more source of “back end” income.
To your online business success!