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What's Wrong With My Products?
by: Cary Christian

If you're experiencing slow sales (or NO sales) as a result of your Internet marketing, you may be asking yourself the above question. Chances are very good that there is nothing wrong with your product or products. There are many things that can go wrong with Internet marketing that have absolutely nothing to do with your product.

But let's start at the beginning and take a look at your products anyway. It doesn't hurt to take stock of what you're selling periodically.

First off, ask yourself if there is a large enough market for your products. Do people really want these things? How can you know for sure?

Start with some very unscientific techniques that will give you some immediate feedback. Ask your family, friends and neighbors what they think of your products. Do your products enhance their lives in any way? Do they make it easier to perform difficult tasks? Do they provide good entertainment value? Get the opinions of those closest to you.
 
Next, take your quest to strangers. If you participate in online chats, forums and newsgroups, ask for feedback. Find out what these strangers think about your products in general.  Chances are they will be brutally honest.

You will not only learn about the desirability of your products by undertaking these tasks, you will find out what people's reservations are and learn how to deal with those reservations in your marketing.

Now ask yourself about your competition. How many companies or individuals are pitching the same or similar products on the Internet? If your market is too crowded, you need to find a niche within your market or a particular advantage to your products that you can exploit.

Go to the search engines and begin searching on the keywords you use, or would use, to market your products to see just how much competition you have. Look at their ads. How are they attempting to make their products stand out? Do their ads bring to mind any particular advantages you might have?

Assuming you pass these tests and it appears your products are in demand, there is a good market for them, and people are actively purchasing them on the Internet, you'll need to look elsewhere for the reasons you are experiencing poor sales.

In spite of what many people will tell you, it is very tough to sell anything on the Internet. The reason is really very simple: people do not believe anything you say until you earn their trust. Most people who have been online for any period of time at all have been lied to, scammed, purchased inferior products, encountered extremely poor customer service, and much more. They are going to be very wary of you based on these experiences.

So how do you combat this? Here's a list that should help.

1. Avoid ads filled with hype. Get rid of all the extraneous exclamation points. Don't make promises or claims that sound too good to be true and stretch your credibility to its limits.

2. Always identify yourself and give your potential customers a way to contact you. Use your real name. Use a real email address. DO NOT USE FREE THROW-AWAY EMAIL ADDRESSES. Your customers want to know they can find you if they have to. Make sure your website has your address and phone number on it.  Include them in your ads if space permits it. You can include this type of information in your signature file on all your emails.

3. Provide your credentials whenever possible. Especially on your website. Let people know you know your business.  Establish yourself as an expert in your field. Write articles on your products and get them published. Include them on your website. (See number 5).

4. Add testimonials to your website if you have them. If you don't, get some.

5. Add content to your website that illustrates your understanding of your products. Articles that help people use your products more effectively or convey innovative ways to use them shows that you value your customers and are willing to go that extra mile to provide assistance.

6. When you receive inquiries from potential customers, bend over backwards to impress them with your response. Respond quickly, courteously, professionally and completely.

7. Have very generous return and refund policies. Studies have shown that the longer the return period you allow the lower your actual returns will be, so be very generous. Make people feel like there is no risk in purchasing from you.

8. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, when your prospects do buy from you, give them the ultimate in customer service. A happy customer is your most valuable asset and could be worth a small fortune if you make them a lifetime customer.

Just remember that it doesn't matter how good your products are or how much people want them. If you can't make your potential customers trust you, they'll purchase elsewhere.

Copyright (c) 2002

 


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