Salesmanship – Marketing vs Blogging

Walmart – No Salesmanship Required

If you look at a trip to Walmart with a marketer’s eyes, one thing you’ll notice is that all the marketing is passive.¬†They put the products on display, you read the packaging (or not) and then you either put it in your cart, or you don’t. There is no active salesmanship involved, even if you talk to a person. They are only there to provide information.

You might think of this as “the product sells itself” but I think what’s really going on is that it’s you, the shopper, selling yourself. It’s you, convincing yourself that this purchase is going to make your life better in some way.

The problem with this style of selling is that while it may work well for Walmart, it isn’t necessarily going to work well for you. You have to recognize that if all you do is provide information about a product or service, then you are, in effect, nothing more than a digital version of product packaging blurbs.

The reason this matters is that internet shoppers are coming from a different psychological perspective.

Internet Shoppers and Walmart Shoppers Are Different Animals

salesmanship required - no walmart shoppers hereThey may dress the same way, but the simple truth is that shopping on the internet is a different experience than shopping at Walmart. You’re in the privacy and safety of your own home. You shop when you feel like it, and going from store to store doesn’t burn gas or put miles on your car. You can seriously shop around on the internet.

How this matters to you, as an internet marketer is that you have to realize that internet shoppers aren’t going to sell themselves. If they were going to sell themselves, then they would already have that purple widget and they wouldn’t be out searching for one.

The people who come to your purple widget site already want a purple widget or they wouldn’t be searching for purple widgets in the first place. So, it makes logical sense to operate from the premise that your visitors already believe a purple widget is going to make their life better in some way and all you have to do is show them some purple widgets and give them some information about purple widgets and they will do the rest. The product sells itself! Look at me, I’m Wal-Mart!

Unfortunately, there is a flaw in that reasoning. The problem is that people who are searching for a purple widget clearly want a purple widget, but they haven’t bought one yet.

Reluctance to Commitment is a Survival Mechanism

On the internet, purple widgets are everywhere. If you really want to buy one, it can be on the way in a couple of minutes. So you really need to focus on the idea that your visitors want a purple widget, but they’re afraid to pull the trigger and actually buy one.

This is where salesmanship comes in. This is the difference between marketing and blogging. Dealing with your visitor’s fear; understanding the psychological state of your visitors and working with it, that’s salesmanship, that’s the difference between blogging and marketing.

Obviously, the subject of salesmanship isn’t something you can really learn about in a few paragraphs, and I plan to be writing more on this subject in the future, but for now, I just wanted to help people new to this whole internet marketing thing understand some of the differences between real world selling and internet selling and that if you really want to make this deal work, you have to go way beyond what can be taught in The Challenge.

One of the keywords for internet salesmanship is “conversion.” You’re trying to convert your visitors into buyers. If you want to get started on your salesmanship right away, I recommend you start with Website Conversion Tips

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