Sales Are Sales: Offline Techniques Work

For some reason that eludes me a lot of people seem to have the attitude that on line sales is not really selling at all and as a result totally ignore tried and proven sales techniques.  Sure, things can be a little different on line but sales are still sales and we can learn an awful lot from techniques that were around long before the internet .

In general, regardless of whether you are running an online or offline business or, as many of us are these days, doing a little of both it pays to keep in mind the AIDA communication model.  This stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Clearly, in order to sell to someone you must first gain their attention.  In the offline world this has traditionally meant advertising through print media, television, radio and a variety of other methods.  When working online the principles remain the same just that other attention grabbing methods are at your disposal.

We have talked a fair bit recently about SEO techniques and the reason for this is because coming in high on search engine rankings fulfills this first part of the communication model by getting people’s attention.  There are other ways as well.

There are a huge amount of article directories functioning on the internet that are very popular and can get people’s attention and lead them straight to your product, especially if they are well written and prominently placed.  The best thing to do with these directories is to use a few and look at your traffic data to analyse which of them is working for you the best.  Each has a slightly different type of audience.  You can also pay for an online advert in a way that is similar to the way you would have paid for space on TV or in a magazine.

Grabbing someone’s attention is only the first part of the job though.  You need to hold their interest to actually move one step closer to making a sale.  As stated above a well thought out advert or well written article may go some way towards helping with that.

Next you need to make sure that people see something on your site that gives them the desire to buy your product and more importantly to buy it from you.  It is a good idea to have occasionally have promotions on your site in a similar fashion to the way you would in a store.  Three for two offers may not be practical with the product you are offering but maybe a competition may suit better.

The last thing you need to do is galvanize the buyer into action.  Preferably right there and then.  Once they leave your site to consider their options your chances of a sale are considerably reduced.  Try to have some incentive to buy there and then or at least to make contact with you.  It is hard to be specific on this without knowing the type of product you are dealing with but it may be possible to offer a free accessory with the purchase if bought before a certain (close) date.

The AIDA communication method has been used in offline sales for decades.  It is great to move on as new technology becomes available but try to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water.  The old ways are still sometimes the best.

Happy Marketing – SK