January 2014 Featured Article

Real Person Marketing Reclaims Overlooked Profits

There's one small element you can add to your business today, that could put thousands of dollars into your pocket, which you would have been left on the table otherwise. It's not an automated system, or a crafty marketing technique, and it doesn't even require a lot of your time.

It's something simple anyone can offer, but few web-based businesses bother with: the human element.

Humans are social creatures. Whether introverted or extroverted, people crave contact with others. It is good for mental health and brightens spirits.

And what is the one thing missing from the internet? Interaction with a real person, face to face or on the phone. Many entrepreneurs hide behind a website, and in doing so they sacrifice a surprising amount of business.

Today I'm going to show you a few simple ways to add “real person marketing” to your business, and how dramatically they will affect your results and your profits.

You'll see how one simple adjustment to your payment page can increase revenue…

How to nudge “fence-sitters” over the edge to make the purchase…

And why a simple phone call made one entrepreneur $20,000 on a single sale…

The Importance of Choice

ecommerceicons1We all like to have options: menus at restaurants, brands of toothpaste, ice cream flavors… they offer something for everyone.

While your business targets a specific audience for optimal effectiveness, there is one particular element where you absolutely must provide variety if you hope to maximize your sales. Payment Options.

This might seem obvious, but it is one of the biggest “sale” killers out there.

Chances are you have some sort of credit card arrangement set up for purchases. But what credit cards do you accept? Do you have any other options? Paypal? Checks? Wire transfers?

Any business worth its salt should have a Paypal option. It takes a bit of time to set up, but it's absolutely worth it. In fact, I know a marketer through JV Insider that will not work with anyone who only offers credit card options.

Now, you may be wondering how this applies to the “human element” of marketing. Well, if you go to a store, you have quite a number of options, right?

They design their process to make the sale as smooth as possible.

This shows that the business cares enough about you and what makes things easiest for you. And if there still isn't an option that works for the customer, they should feel comfortable contacting you to work something out. Which ties into my next secret…

How to Help Those Who Need It

So you have a great sales page with lots of payment options… but your prospect still has a few important questions before pulling the trigger.

Perhaps they would like to work out a payment plan. Maybe the terms of your money-back guarantee are unclear. It's even possible that they just want to know there is a real person behind this before they sign up for your course or service.

What are their options? They could navigate away from the page to find the answer. They could hem and haw about it and maybe send you an email. Or they could just give up and leave.

More often than not, your prospect will go for the third choice.

What can you do to remedy this situation? It's more obvious than you might think: hire a customer service rep, or contract with a virtual assistant company who provides customer service professionals.

Now, we tend to think of customer service reps as aggressive sharks at a call center, or perhaps the bored teenager working at Best Buy. But that is not what I'm referring to.

I'm talking about one dedicated person, maybe two, who knows your product, understands your audience, and is there solely to help people get through a purchase. It might sound excessive, but it can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

In fact, I was in a situation once where I was really interested in buying a $4,000 media package, but had a few questions before dropping that kind of money. There was no customer service number on the page, so I sent an email to the only address I could find.

Only to get no response.

I sent another email, and yet again I got no response. So, I gave up. I figured, why work with a company who can't even respond to an email?

Needless to say, they did eventually get back to me, but by then it was too little too late. They lost $4,000, and probably a lot more, as is illustrated in the following story.

A colleague of mine actually does VIP customer service for a living. He is so good at what he does, he saves companies up to $100,000 a month in revenue they would have otherwise lost.

This happens for two reasons: 1) as I said before, talking to a real-life person when you are buying something online is rare. People feel special when they get a piece of someone else's time and attention. 2) This guy knows the product inside-and-out, understands the sales process, and does not apply any pressure to the prospect. He is just there to help. That puts customers at ease and nudges them over the fence, as I mentioned earlier.

How many sales are you losing right now because you don't have dedicated customer service?

The Fortune is in the Follow-Up

Follow-Up-285x300Have you ever heard this expression?

It's pretty common in the business world – your initial interaction with anyone is
only part of the equation. How you proceed afterward determines your success.

How do you think that fits in with the sales process?

Now, we've discussed the importance of a congratulatory email when a customer buys a product. Ideally, this will be part of a series that encourages the customer to consume what they bought and get the most out of it.

However, what about the second they push that “buy” button. They're probably excited, scared, and have a million questions running through their head. “Is this the right choice? Will this change my life? Will I finally be able to get myself out of debt?” (or whatever your product does for them).

Think about how amazing they would feel, if in that moment of extreme emotion, right after they made the purchase, they received a phone call from you. Nothing fancy, no extra sale, no “pushing” anything. Just a good old-fashion thank you.

I'll tell you how great they might feel: twenty-thousand dollars great.

I once bought a product from an info marketer for $2,000. That's a fairly high-priced item, relatively speaking. Within minutes I received a phone call from the creator of the product, thanking me for the purchase.

I was so gosh-darn impressed with him that I bought a ticket to his live event two weeks later. My schedule was so booked, I thought it would be nearly impossible to go, but I went above and beyond to switch things around so I could be there to meet this guy. Then I even joined his mastermind group.

All in all I spent $18,000 in addition to purchasing his $2,000 product. Just because I was so surprised and impressed by his phone call; his level of customer service.

That's worth a couple of minutes of your time, right?

I could go on and on about this, but the fact is: in a medium where human interaction is severely lacking, a simple phone call can do wonders. Whether you call them, or you enable them to call you. It won't take but a moment of your time, and it will be absolutely worth your effort.

The Little Touches

It really is amazing how even the smallest things can have the biggest impact.

And that's all this is: a minor tweak to your sales page, a one minute follow-up phone call, and at most, a dedicated customer service rep. Nothing more.

Embrace this in your expert business, and you'll see a dramatic improvement in your bottom line. And more importantly, your customers will truly love you and evangelize your business. You'll have planted a seed that will bring you a lot more customers down the road, with little-to-no effort.

I can't emphasize this enough – it you don't do these things already, start doing them now. At the very least, get a Paypal account, post a phone number on your order pages, and follow-up with your customers. Your business will thrive because of it.

And you'll reclaim a mountain of profits, which you would have left on the table.