What to Sell When You Have Nothing Left
Have you run out of products? I know that I've told you over and over again that the secret to online success is to focus on one thing and do it well but that definitely DOESN'T mean that you should limit yourself to selling just one product.
For example let's suppose that your Web site sells an eBook you wrote titled “How to Save Money by Fixing Your Own Lawnmower”. You are targeting a well-defined niche (lawnmower owners) and your eBook is selling fairly well. Your Web site, Lawnmower-Repair.com is receiving a respectable amount of targeted traffic, and last year's net profit topped £/$20.000.
Now £/$20.000 a year is pretty decent profit from just one product, but is it enough to quit your day job? Is it enough to retire on? Is it enough to buy your dream home? Probably not!
So many entrepreneurs get caught up thinking, "I’ve only got the one product ... What more can I do?" The answer: Start selling more products! There's absolutely no reason why your site shouldn't be able to sell MORE than just one product!
That's because the real value of your business lies in the relationship you've built with your customers. If you've sold them a product that they found useful, a good percentage of them are going to want to buy from you again and again.
If you take your success seriously, you have a responsibility to find ways to sell more products to your customers.
But how can a site that has built its business selling a very specialized product - like a lawnmower repair book - move into other marketplaces? Easy! I've got a lot of suggestions for how ANY business can diversify its existing product offerings and take advantage of the lifetime value of its customers.
'''Relationship Selling" explained
"Relationship selling" is what makes network marketing so powerful. If a doctor who has been treating you and your children for many years comes to you and says she has discovered a wonderful product wouldn't you consider it because you trust her?
Don't make the mistake of undervaluing the relationship you have established with your customers. And worse, don't make the mistake of neglecting them! When you foster a solid relationship with them, your customers will become an important source of revenue.
Once they trust you it's very easy to tell them almost anything!
What should you offer?
The best thing about follow-up offers is that they don't cost you a single penny because you've already "eaten" the cost of attracting that customer as a first-time visitor. All you have to do is send previous customers a special follow-up offer by email.
Of course, you have to make sure that what you offer is something your customer base is actually interested in - so the kinds of follow-up items you offer will depend on your business. But consider the following types of offers and think of how they could apply in your business...
Offer products that complement your initial product
For example, if you sold golf clubs, you could offer customers a golf club bag to carry them in. But it doesn't have to be quite that closely related.
If you sold memberships to fitness programmes, you could also offer fitness clothing, fitness books ... you could even promote day care programme to provide active mums with more options!
Sell more of the product at a discounted price
Show customer appreciation by offering them a "special discount" on the product they're already buying. If your product is refillable, you've got it made.
Your customers will purchase the product repeatedly over a lengthy period of time - and this gives you a legitimate reason to get in touch at regular intervals.
But even if your product isn't refillable, you can offer upgrades, newer versions, improved models, or add-ons to the original product. And each time you contact your customer you can offer a special discount on a new or related item to help increase the urgency of the offer.
Use newsletter subscriptions as upsell or backend products
Once people trust you enough to buy from you, they'll likely be interested in hearing more of what you have to say. Newsletters are also an excellent way to stay in constant communication with your customers, answer their questions, respond to their concerns, and provide them with the kind of knowledge they'll need if they're using your products.
In the process you will establish yourself as an expert in your industry and a reliable source of information.
Try splitting up your current product
For example, if you were selling a book on research methods on the Internet, you could offer a basic version for £/$9.95 to generate a large volume of sales at a low price. Then, 30 days later, you could offer them an advanced version for £/$29.95 or even £/$39.95 and increase your profits dramatically!
You could sell the smaller, individual parts of your product separately but also offer a package deal with everything included for a bit of a discount. That way you’ll cover a couple of different price points and appeal to a wider range of customers.
Try selling your customers an upgrade to their product
If they've used and liked your basic model they'll be open to suggestions provided that you can show them why and how the upgrade is better.
Write a book or create a video or DVD
Consider writing a book on a topic that is related to your product or service. For example, if you sell gourmet puppy food, you might consider writing a book titled. “Training Secrets That Will Have Every Puppy Housebroken and Learning Basic Obedience in Less Than One Week!” You can package it using software like eBook Pro and then sell it as an eBook, which is delivered electronically - so you keep nearly 100% of the selling price.
Or you could even offer a special video that complements your product or service. For example, if you sold fly-fishing gear, you might offer a video that teaches people the intricacies of fly-fishing.
Offer someone else’s product!
It may sound a bit odd but as long as the product or service is not in direct competition with your own you can make a good profit (and further develop your relationship with your customers) by recommending someone else's product for a commission of each referred sale - and the easiest way to do this is by joining affiliate programme.
Joining affiliate programme can be a very lucrative way to increase your sales. With an affiliate programme you have the opportunity to give a highly credible personal recommendation to your customer base (which is one of the most effective sales techniques) and claim a percentage of each sale - without having to develop a new product of your own. This can be a big time saver and done right can make up a significant part of your business.
In fact many people earn considerable online incomes these days just by promoting affiliate products. You have to do your research, though, and make sure that you only recommend products that you truly believe in.
Also, keep in mind that the affiliate products you recommend need to closely relate to your market's interests - and the reason they're in contact with you or you risk damaging your credibility and losing lifetime customers. Keep your focus narrow and your niche well-defined.
Pricing strategies for backend products
Many businesses are under the impression that backend offers to customers need to be priced lower than whatever it was the customer originally purchased from you. For example, a site that sells golf clubs would offer lower-priced items like golf balls or golf shoes as a backend product.
While offering these less expensive items as follow-up products isn't a bad idea, you should also consider testing follow-ups that offer more expensive products too. There is absolutely no reason why you can't go back to clients who have purchased golf clubs from you with an offer for a luxurious golfing holiday, or even an electric golf cart!
There are countless examples of companies that make the bulk of their profit selling extremely expensive backend products to their existing customers. Have you ever seen an ad in a magazine that promises you a high-quality atomic watch - that can automatically tell what time zone you are in - for less than £/$20! The reason they can offer this product below cost is that they will come back to the people who buy the watch with offers for much more expensive products!
Of course, you CAN offer your customers lower-priced items as well - anything that complements their original purchase will usually work well. If you let your customers know that you are making a certain offer available ONLY to your existing customers, you can add real value to your offer.
When doing this, it's a good idea to set up a separate order page just for them so that they know that not everyone is getting the same price they are. Not only does this increase your chances of closing the sale (since everyone likes to think they are getting an inside deal), but it also goes a long way to building your customer loyalty to you.
Many small businesses make the mistake of thinking that they must always give their existing customers a discount. This is not necessarily true. The goal is to create more perceived value in the product than the price you're asking, which you can do through sales copy that emphasizes benefits and extra purchase "bonuses”.
I hope I've shown you that there are really no limits to what you can offer your customers. One of the biggest mistakes that online businesses make is not targeting people who have already made purchases from them with backend products and follow-up offers. Remember - if you are doing things right, you'll be making 80% of your profits from just 20% of your customers.
And the best part is that sending your customers follow-up and backend offers can be easy, provided you're using, which allows you to send unlimited follow-up autoresponders to your customers and subscribed - FREE!
I’ve devoted this entire session to giving you powerful ideas about how you can follow up with your customers - from offering products that complement your initial product, to using eBook Pro to create eBooks you can deliver electronically and keep nearly 100% of the profits.
Each one of the strategies I've outlined has the potential to dramatically boost the amount of money you can make from your online business.
I've also outlined some important pricing strategies that you should keep in mind for your follow-up offers. Don't make the common mistake of thinking that you can only send low-cost "add-on" products to your existing customers.
Once you've earned their trust and made that initial sale, you can target them with just about any offer you can think of - as long as it is relates to their original purchase. (You shouldn't try to sell a gravy boat to someone who has just purchased heavy machinery from you!).