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Selling online – why you’ve got six seconds to convince

By CCIWA Editor 

Not so long ago, shops were only bricks and mortar or people in a marketplace. Now, shopfronts range from apps and video games to social media, market places and websites.  

“By the time a customer contacts a company, they may have made up their mind about a product or service and who they want to buy from,” says Justin Davies, business coach and advisor and managing director of Emergination.

“If there is no online component to back up your sales process, it’s unlikely you’ll get the sale.” 

Some online channels include (but are not exclusive to):  

  • Online store as a part of your website
  • Facebook (shop tab) and Facebook Marketplace
  • Amazon, Ebay and Gumtree
  • Specific marketplaces such as Etsy
  • Instagram (sell by tagging your products)
  • Video calling (sell services via online meetings with your clients).

The channel you use depends on your product or service, and you don’t need to use all channels. Many businesses have all sales online and complement that with email marketing.  

Whereas a retail store may have a combination of personal services supported by online interactions. Think about where your website site fits in the whole sales process.  

When building your site, you need to do “conversion experiments” which involves testing one version of a headline or image against another to see which works best.  

“Social media can be helpful for your customer to find what you’re doing on the web, but you need to ensure that you are driving traffic back to the website,” Davies says.  

He also recommends integrating your Customer Relations Management software.  

“The main thing to remember when selling online is to get your value proposition across to your customer quickly”, he advises.  

The value proposition is the statement about why your innovation, service or feature should be bought by a customer.  

Then, he says, take the ‘six second test’. Show someone your website for six seconds then shut your laptop and ask that person what the business was, what was being sold and why you should buy that product or service.  

“If they can’t tell you, then it’s probable that your online sales strategy is not working. People have short attention spans; take too long to engage, and you will lose.”  

A three-step checklist to sell via online channels  

  1. Be clear on your value proposition and communicate it quickly
  2. Know how the online channel fits into your sales process
  3. Build the process to support the entire sale, and the after-sale experience.
Not so long ago, shops were only bricks and mortar or people in a marketplace.

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