Friday, March 14, 2008

Four Steps to Sell Almost Anything Online

I've been selling online for 11 years in a variety of venues including eBay, Amazon, Half.com plus about a dozen of my own websites. What I've discovered is that the exact same process can sell just about anything. I'm going to tell you my formula in four simple steps.

Here's a list of some of the things that I have sold over the Internet.
  • Approximately 1200 pair of mud flaps
  • Approximately 12,000 keychains
  • Over 300 grandfather clocks
  • Over $400,000 worth of e-books
  • Two strands of South Sea pearls (valued at $25,000 each)
  • Biohazard stickers by the hundreds
  • A couple hundred books
  • Two dump trucks and an old Monte Carlo
  • A cargo trailer
  • Tons of broken computer crap (yes, they knew it was broken)
  • Over $600,000 worth of telephone seminars
  • Space ads on my websites and in my newsletters
I've also written ads to sell my children, but I haven't found a good auction site that would give me top dollar. So I'm holding off on them. (Back off, I'm kidding.)

Four Steps to Sell Almost Anything Online
Step #1: Hook them -- The first sentence on your page has only one goal; to encourage the reader to read your second sentence. It's that simple. A question, a bold statement, a bit of irony or controversy will all go a long way toward exciting year reader just a little bit.

Step #2: Give them as many details as humanly possible -- This is easy on the Internet. You're almost never limited to a certain amount of space. Unlike a brochure where you're limited by paper size, or a television commercial where limited by the numbers of seconds, your website or online auction have virtually no limit to the amount of content you can offer. Some people worry about writing too much. That's impossible... repeat after me. "More words sell more product"

Step #3: Tell them EXACTLY what to do -- Take a lesson from late-night infomercials. "Call our toll-free number, have your credit card ready, ask us about free shipping." The more specific you are the more successful you will be. On my websites I even put words in my clients' mouths. "Call Jason Tweed today at 215-541-5382 and ask him for our free to 20-Point Website Self-Assessment." I give away about 50 of these per month.

Step #4: Give them something for FREE -- It sounds simplistic, but it works every time. Give them a free bonus. Offer them free shipping. Offer a free upgrade. If you have something available for free, almost regardless of its monetary value, people will purchase more product.
I guarantee it works.
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