History repeats itself over and over again: highly trained people, almost always engineers, create a technically very good product but there is no way to sell it. We spent the day reading cases of “success” in TechCrunch but when it comes to the truth we forget the most important: How to sell online?
Those of us who work on the Internet is a little smart, do not ask me why, but this is true. You know it as well as me, right? Any kid is capable of throwing his thumb at the “entrepreneur” style of success without having done anything in his life, just for the fact of belonging to the fashion guild, selling on the Internet.
Moreover, I dare say that the same young man looks with contempt at the baker in his neighborhood. Because to deceive us, the Internet is full of fireworks, cantamañanas, and guys who, without having set up a business in their lives, stroll like Hollywood stars for each and every one of the events of “entrepreneurs”.
The problem with all this is that many people are seduced by the siren songs and believe that setting up a business on the Internet consists of landing, raising a flag and colonizing lands plagued by resources. Well no, I’m very sorry, but this is just as hard, sacrificial and risky (even more) than to take a neighborhood bakery, badly despite the stars of the network.
To avoid the bad drink of having to learn to cakes some of the main mistakes of selling online, I will share with you some of the experiences that I have had to live in my own flesh.
5 Errors to Avoid If You Want to Sell Online
1. Think that it is a technology business
If Amazon says it, it has to be true, right? Less than a year ago the Amazon CEO said they were a technology company. Pardiez, now we’ve messed up! If an entrepreneur of the stature of Jeff Bezos says that Amazon is a technology company, how am I going to contradict him …
Well, let me try. Amazon today is a technology company but I am sure that in its beginnings it was a company of people. Because in the end, your buyers, those on the other side, are people of flesh and blood. For this reason, setting up an online store and waiting for “traffic” to arrive and sell on the Internet does not make any sense.
Instead of thinking about what kind of technology to use (WordPress, Magento, Shopify, etc.), focus on seducing people to buy your product. For companies like Zara or Corte Inglés selling on the Internet is not so difficult because they already have the confidence of people, but you and I are not Zara, someday maybe … but today NO.
The place to be fascinated by technology and invest money you do not have, try to find your first customers, yes, those who will pay the first bills. I know, it seems ridiculous, but there is nothing worse than investing thousands of euros in an online store to sell nothing online.
Something to put into practice: before getting down to work with technology, tell everyone your idea and find your first client.
2. Disregard the importance of sales
The people of the technical profile (especially the Engineers, we must see how smart we are …!) Tend to despise the commercial. Words like vendehumos, vendemotos, and similars usually leave our mouths to refer to these.
Perhaps it is an inferiority complex, or that we have some envy because the very fit ones use their labia for the noble art of seduction. You have to see! the commercials are the ones that tie and bring customers and money to the company, and instead of making a monument we despise them with our indifference.
It is very common for 2 or 3 Engineers to come together to develop a fantastic product but none of them is able to sell it. Sometimes because of shame, but in the vast majority of things due to lack of knowledge of the skills necessary to close a sale.
If you want to sell on the Internet, you better leave aside your prejudices and your divo airs of technology and get to work to take your business forward, because at the end of the month what matters are the numbers, whether it’s an Internet company or any other sector.
Something to implement: if you do not know how to sell, improve your commercial skills or find yourself a partner.
3. Entrust your marketing strategy to the “virality” of the network
This is one of my favorites, if a girl has gotten millions of visitors making strange movements with her eyebrows, our mega-hyper-product will be super viral. This may sound like a joke, but I have met people whose marketing plan is based exclusively on “virality”.
Do not get me wrong, I will not be the one to throw your dreams overboard, but it seems much more real to me to do numbers and know how much it costs to capture a client, what life cycle you have and where you can go to look for it.
Leaving everything in the hands of virality seems a risky strategy and doomed to failure, not for nothing but because people prefer to see a guy dancing with a mask and doing odd movements before seeing a “spot” of your product.
With all this, I do not mean that you do not invest time and money in promoting your product on social networks, making videos for YouTube, etc. My point of view and the one I want to share with you is that at least you have a plan B to sell online in case your actions are not as viral as you would like.
Something to put into practice: do not put all the eggs in the same basket.
4. Make a “reverse marketing” plan
There are 1,300 million Chinese. If in 5 years I get to sell my product to 1% of the population at a price of € 95 with a margin of 30% I will gain gazillion. Obviously, it is an extreme case, but it serves to illustrate a very common error when it comes to selling on the Internet: making a marketing plan in reverse.
It is one thing to know the volume of the market you have in your hands, that is, the possible clients, and another very different to make guesses about imaginary percentages and inflated and surrealistic projections. Clients are people with names and surnames, they are not numbers, let alone “traffic”. That already happened to the history, it took it ahead of the 2000 and we hope that it never returns never.
Personally, I am unable to accurately project how many products I am going to sell online within 1 year, but what I do know is to start up, see the turnover of the first months, make a reasonable projection and divide it between two ( to deflate it).
Something to put into practice: do not inflate sales, the spreadsheet holds everything.
5. Think we are the last desert Coca-Cola
We are not the best, neither the first nor the smartest. Anyone who tries to get ahead with a project, regardless of whether it does Online (sell online) or on the street, deserves our respect. Only with humility will we be able to learn from those who are years ahead of us. And remember: before setting up a “Bar” you have to be able to sell many Coca-Cola.
Something to put into practice: if you do not know something, ask.