Do You Make Your Prospects and Customers Jump
by Marty Foley, ProfitInfo.com
Picture this: Your prospect has just learned about one of your
products or services, and is now ready to buy from you. How you
handle the next critical step can make or break the sale.
Always keep in mind that most consumers are understandably wary.
They won't hesitate to abandon an intended purchase if they encounter
doubts or inconvenient snags in the process.
I invite you to do a bit of honest self-examination when considering
the following tips, since problems in this area may be costing you
dearly in lost sales, right this very minute.
Acting to improve on what you discover could very well help boost
your sales immediately.
1) How Easy Is It for Your Customers to Access Information Needed
to Buy From You?
a) For example, does the design of your web site make it hard to
navigate, or is the majority information needed to complete a transaction
within easy access to your customers, with minimal mouse clicks?
Poor navigation is but one of many, many different snags that hinder
web site sales. Problem is, most site owners, designers, and webmasters
don't realize how much more a site could sell, if it were only more
b) While you may wisely reduce the amount of repetitive customer
service issues by answering questions through a FAQ, (an acronym
for Frequently Asked Questions) etc., some prospects may yet have
additional questions not covered in it.
Do your prospects have a way to contact you to have such questions
answered, and do you have an efficient system in place for answering
them, promptly and efficiently?
Is the form of contact convenient to your prospects?
2) What Forms of Payment Do You Offer Your Customers?
a) Do you require your customers to send payment to you by check,
cash or money order only via regular postal mail? If you're selling
online and not accepting credit cards, you're likely losing many
b) What types of credit cards do you accept? Virtually any type
of business can increase sales by accepting payment by Visa and
But even businesses already accepting Visa and MasterCard may still
be losing sales by not also accepting Discover and American Express,
especially in the U.S.
True, Visa and MasterCard encompass the vast majority of all credit
card transactions. But there are many consumers who instead prefer
to use Discover or American Express.
Do you want their business? If so, your existing merchant account
provider is most likely equipped to easily get you set up to accept
3) How Easy Do You Make It for Customers to Submit Payment?
a) Suppose that you DO accept credit cards. Even though the risk
of online credit card purchasing has been exaggerated, and isn't
necessarily more risky than offline transactions, many consumers
are concerned about submitting their credit card data online.
With this in mind, in addition to being equipped to accept online
credit card orders through a secure server, do you provide alternate
ordering options for those who hesitate (or refuse) to order online
by credit card?
What about options to order with check, money order, or credit
card, by phone, fax, or postal mail?
b) Are your order forms simple to use and understand, or confusing
and inconvenient to use, even for the most inexperienced users?
How do you know?
Do you work hard to eliminate all guesswork for customers, provide
complete order details, and guide them simply and gently through
the ordering process?
Remember: Any extra hoop you require prospects and customers to
jump through is an extra obstacle in the way of a sale; another
reason to change their minds about buying from you.
Now don't feel bad if you find areas for improvement in the points
above. Look at them as an opportunity to increase your profits,
and do something about those that apply to your situation.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there is always room
for improvement - in every business in existence.
Unfortunately, there's not enough room in this article to cover
all the obstacles that could be hindering your sales, of which there
are literally hundreds!
But the basic lesson behind the above tips is this: Make it as
easy as possible for customers to do business with you. The easier
you make it, the more likely they will.
More Helpful Resources... Marty Foley of ProfitInfo.com offers
proven, affordable resources for generating more traffic, leads,
sales, and profits in your online business. Find out why he has
often been imitated by other famous Internet marketers, at: http://ProfitInfo.com
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