Recently I had a discussion with the sales team of a client, planning to launch a niche website as part of new online sales campaign. During the course of that meeting, the sales team thought the website used, would be able to “…convert everybody that visited…” it. Huh? Every one of us, I’d assume, would love to have that kind of website… One that was created so skillfully and with such craft that it turns any visitor into a sale!
The reality of the matter, as skillful as any sales team may be, and as motivational as any shameless self promotion might sound, that’s just not going to happen. People visit your website for a myriad reasons, perhaps they’re just having a curious look, maybe they clicked a link to visit by accident, possibly someone suggested they visit, maybe they were simply doing a general search for information, even a competitor checking out the competition, and so on. Bottom line… Some visitors have no intention of buying anything. (Think how many times any of us have visited a website, without intending to purchase anything).
When thinking of the above examples, it becomes pretty obvious why none of them had the fundamentals to convert a visitor into a sale. What’s that? They had no interest in whatever your website is promoting! When looking at the big sales picture, this is where traditional sales tends to fail.
This is exactly where the sales team I was talking with were having challenges… They were trying to use the same traditional sales methodology in the online world. Much like a traditional (brick and mortar) storefront they thought of foot traffic much the same as website visitor traffic. They assumed, regardless of how website traffic was generated, or where it came from, that traditional sales techniques, they’d be able to convert more visitors into sales, that they had just as good a chance of doing so.
That perception would have wasted a lot of time! Why? One word… Pre-qualification! This is one of the pillars of improved online sales. In order to be successful, it’s paramount to being aware of your traffic sources. Your website must be laid out in such a way that visitors are receptive to acting on your message (your CTA – Call to Action), and of course… Purchasing your products and services.
I just mentioned “..being aware of your traffic sources…” – And that’s among one of the key facets of online sales conversions. Contrary to what some people might think, when approaching online sales, it’s much simpler to pre-qualify potential clients. Naturally the next question… How? Consider this example: If you are promoting furniture products, what would be a great source to get traffic from? Let’s look (for example) to social media… Pinterest furniture boards, Instagram furniture related tags (such as furniture, #interiordesign, etc.), as well as other sources such as online forums also message boards, that are related to furniture, and much more (I think we get the idea).
So, here’s the rub… When you obtain traffic from sources where niche visitors are already interested and interacting about subjects closely related, or better, directly related, to your offerings, then your chance of success increases quite drastically! What am I saying? Do not waste time and resources trying to garner traffic from the Internet in general (that’s unfocused as well as a “hit-and-miss” effort). If indeed you try to market to the whole Internet, you’re going to have a very hard time obtaining any level of reasonable success. Remember, this is not a store front where people happen to walk in, you’re operating a website, where you can target specific (pre-qualified) niches.
Granted, pretty much the majority of input here is a result of “interest targeting“. But… “geotargeting” should be something you pay attention too as well. During my discussion, I provided the following input (and it really freaked them out at first): “…for your higher priced items, consider promoting them in developing countries…” What?! “…you might be better able to attract buyers that really do want, and have a need for your products…”
Without question the issue of buyer capacity was raised (and so it should be). The salient issue raised in this regard was “…those visitors probably don’t have enough money to afford those products…” But again… Don’t forget one key mantra “Pre-Qualification”. For online sales to increase (and conversions improve), pre-qualification is critical! Your visitors (ultimately the buyers) have to come from the right sources! Without argument, those that cannot afford a product, are not the market, but those that can, are. Marketing correctly in such (geotargeted) areas can quite effectively result in improved conversions. There may be a smaller pool of clients, but a much, much higher conversion rate!
A brief recap… Whatever product or service you are promoting, make sure visitors are coming from sources (such as websites, forums, social media channels, and so on) which already demonstrate a greater degree of interest in the things you are actively promoting. If absolutely nothing else, make sure you do this. If you don’t, it will be extremely difficult to effectively (and efficiently) convert your visitors into revenue.
The sales team walked away with a valuable insight (and I was stoked to be able to help!). Without addressing the above issues… At the very least, sales will be very low, and intermittent. A worse case scenario results in no sales at all! As an additional benefit (given the content of my post here), to learn how to help build an effective campaign, one which pre-qualifies your online traffic (for improved conversion), resulting in greater sales, feel free to check out my course: Sales Funnel Optimization Strategies