4 WORDS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR ON-LINE MAKER WORLD
At a recent seminar for small business founders and entrepreneurs an “expert” made a valiant attempt to resuscitate the ABC concept. The acronym stands for “Always Be Closing”.
Eons ago sales and marketing experts used ABC to describe a selling approach in which a salesperson should constantly look for potential buyers, present products or services to them and complete the sale. In principle this approach was sound. It spoke of persistence, discussion and gaining agreement from a prospect to buy. Unfortunately, the well-meant principles of ABC were completely corrupted. ABC became synonymous with aggressive, relentless, no-holds barred selling.
Since the 1980s ABC has been replaced by more customer centric selling approaches, such as Needs-Based Selling, Consultative Selling or Relationship Selling.
As inviting as these new acronyms and phrases are, the principles of face-to-face selling have not changed. The buying cycle is the same and so is the selling process.
Classic Face-To-Face Selling Process
Step 1: Identify prospects
Step 2: Approach prospects
Step 3: Determine what your prospect is looking for
Step 4: Connect the features, benefits and value of your creation(s) with what the shopper wants
Step 5: Handle objections
Step 6: Follow up
Besides the classic face-to-face selling, typical for craft shows and pop-up events, many makers and artisans have also begun selling on-line. Online selling is still governed by the fundamentals of marketing. The process, however, has different nuances because it is occurs in the world of e-commerce. There is no face-to-face interaction.
E-commerce is also much more diverse and complex. Makers can choose from a plethora of communication platforms to reach out to shoppers ranging from Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook. They can select from several plug-and-play sites including E-bay, Etsy, Amazon or Artfire. Makers also have the option to build their own online store front with providers such as Shopify, Square Space or Wordpress.
Here is one simple 4-word formula that applies to all on-line selling and will keep your efforts focused:
According to Merriam Webster, attract means “to appeal to natural or excited interest, emotion, or aesthetic sense.” It is about bringing a steady stream of potential buyers to your business.
Engage means to interest someone in something and encourage them to keep thinking about it. The concept is about becoming involved and having contact with someone or something. You want your customers to learn more about your business, your products, what they like and what they might want to buy.
As a vendor your goal is to guide consumers toward being sure that they want to purchase your product or at least speak positively about your business.
The fourth step in online selling refers to inducing a change in the shopper. She not only is a person who likes your product, but she also promotes your work to others. Very few sales strategies are more effective than testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals.
Online selling is demanding and complex. One way of keeping it in check is by stripping away all the bells and whistles and focussing on the essentials. The old sales and marketing mantra of Always Be Closing has been replaced by the new, modern one of Always Be Helping.