Selling Online, Selling Offline — What’s the Difference?

Online selling differs from person-to-person "offline" selling. In selling online, you don't have the opportunity for that natural two-way dialogue. People come to your site and are exposed to a one-way reading of your message, which can feel impersonal.

Check it out for yourself. If you look at 9 out of 10 website home pages, what do you see?

Online variations of the standard sales or cold-calling script: "We are ... and we do ..."

Why is this a problem? Because these sites are offering their solutions long before visitors can have any sense that they are being understood, and long before they feel any sense of trust in what they're seeing.

Visitors come to sites because they have a problem in mind and are looking for answers.

It's easier than you might think to solve the problems of one-way communication, impersonality, and lack of trust.

All you have to do is put yourself in the position of your site visitor, articulate their specific issues or problems, and gently offer solutions that they can choose without feeling as if they are being "sold."

Here are some simple ways you can warm up your site so you get as close as you can to a natural two-way dialogue:

* Remember the "Written Word" module from the Self-Study Program?

Beware of over-using "I" or "We" on your home page or at the beginning of your written message.

For example, rather than immediately pushing your product as the first thing visitors see on your home page, use language that addresses problems you know you can solve.

State those problems, and you'll find that your visitors are drawn more deeply into your site.

* Create a clear path through your site that lets visitors make their own decisions about what's best for them.

* Give your visitors a taste of your solutions so they can feel that you can actually solve their problems or issues. Downloads, "test drives" and other "free samples" give visitors the live experience of your solution and make them feel more comfortable with it.

* Last, and maybe most importantly: I'm always surprised by how few website owners seem to actually want to communicate with the potential customers who visit their website. But...have you ever gone to a site to order a product or service and ended up calling the toll-free number instead? Have you ever thought about why you did that? Maybe it was because you could ask questions of the live person who took your order, and this increased your sense of trust.

So...make yourself available to site visitors by having a Live Chat or Push To Talk button (see below) on your website.

Talk directly with visitors to your site as they enter the virtual world that you've created for them.

There's nothing better than a two-way dialogue to humanize the online experience.

I enjoy it so much when visitors click on my Live Chat or Push To talk button,

and we establish that all-important personal connection.

Try it on your site. You'll love talking to your website visitors because you'll be able to help them solve their problems.

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