The one thing you need before anyone will buy from you

A few weeks ago I was offered two very similar products. One was free the other cost $100. I bought the $100 one. And there is one reason why I did that – something that applies to any product or service for sale on the internet. I’ll tell you what it is.

A few weeks ago I joined a mailing list for a very successful marketing duo
Or at least according to their own claims there are successful – and I have no reason to disbelieve them. I think they make a lot of money. So in that respect they are what they say they are.

Anyway they were offering a very good and inexpensive deal on an Autoresponder course on DVD.

Actually it was free and all I needed to do was pay the shipping.
I even clicked through to the order form a few times …


Over the time this promotional offer was running I got quite a few emails from them and each one made me less inclined to buy. You’ll see why later.

The promotion is now over and I didn’t buy. Even though I have a need that matches what they offer exactly
(I needed some help and direction with setting up my own autoresponder course)

Then a week or so back I got an email with a link to a post by Perry Marshall.

He too had an autoresponder course.

Only this wasn’t free – it was just under US$100 and really seemed to be not much more than a simple PDF doc with some extras thrown in.

Guess what – I bought it.
And it’s very very good. It was exactly what I needed without the fluff.

This made me ask myself though

Why did I buy the more expensive one over the the “free” offering?

What stops people from buying

So why did I buy the more expensive one over the free one?
The free one promised more than the one I bought – apparently
I was in the frame of mind to buy as well.
So I was a “hot prospect”

There’s a great book – now out of print unfortunately – by Les Dane. It’s called Big League Sales.  In it Les describes how sales resistance is the armour – the brick overcoat – a prospect wears.
They want to buy and the job of  the salesperson is to discover how to get through the armour first and then to spur them into action.

It’s worth getting off Amazon or Ebay if you see it.

Les knows why I didn’t buy….

Because I didn’t trust them enough.

Why I didnt buy the free offer.

It added to my sales resistance rather than removed it.

1. Firstly there was presentation of the first (free) offer. It was one of those long, sales letter sites. Complete with the video, testimonials, bullet points and all the other bits the formula for a sales letter says you must have.

You can see hundreds of them on the web today. Not a good start. Already I am subconsiously associating them with every over-hyped product I have ever seen. Regardless of how good their product is

2. And to add to this it was written with the obligatory very over-the-top hype sales pitch. Yes got me the first time I read it. I almost bought on impulse. 


Left me cold the second time through though

3. Then the follow up emails encouraging me to take up the offer were more of the same. Hype about how this is the answer to very single problem in my business right now and I should be sitting on a beach sipping champagne .. yada yada yada

I unsubscribed and never bought a thing from them. Probably never will.

Maybe they are the real deal and I am sure they will make thousand of dollars.

And maybe I am being cynical but I have found those who employ that type of hype and sales letter and who promise the world NEVER DELIVER.
I’ve tried enough to be fairly sure of this.

You could be excused in thinking it was their “same here” sales copy that killed it for me.

Yes… but no.

There’s more to it than that

Why I did buy

Now Perry’s offer however was different.

He had a sales letter too. But it was part of his blog.  Written in a very informative style. Appealing to a different buyer – not after an impulse buy as much as an informed decision.

Just reading the sales letter by itself and doing nothing gave me valuable data I could use.

And I didnt but straight away on impulse. I left it for 24 hours came back and re-read the sales page

And bought


Well sales technique aside there is one thing Perry has that the others didnt. And they failed to establish …


People buy from the people they trust

Whilst I don’t always agree with what Perry says I do trust him. Enough to invest a hundred dollars anyway.
And that trust was enough to overcome my sales resistance and pay for a course even when I was offered (and declined) a similar one for free.

Trust is the commodity that allows one to transform  an interest into to an action (sale)

Do your visitor’s trust you

I asked myself the very same question when I realised this. Do my visitors trust me?

The answer is – sometimes.

They trust me to the degree that I am real to them

See they can’t see or touch a product on the internet.
And I offer a service – web design – so that even more esoteric.

So really, why should they trust me?

Currently I demonstrate trust as a web designer by showing people what I have done for others – my portfolio.

Not enough.

I will re-enforce this by adding in testimonials

But really what makes one real and trustworthy is communication. And valuable communication – not a bunch of hyped-up sales letters.

So my plan is my new autoreponder course (thanks to Perry’s guidance) which will build that communication, make me real to people and whan their interest matches what I offer I will have established enough trust for them to want to do business with me.

Would you trust yourself?

So have a look at you own website.

Pretend you’re someone else

Would you trust it enough to do what it says ie to buy or inquire or whatever the call to action is? (you do have a call to action, right?)

If the answer is (like me) “sometimes” then you’re looking at a surefire way to improve your site right there. Get started!

Here’s some ideas off the top of my head.

  • Start a blog and offer help without a catch or buyline
  • Start an autoresponder course offering useful data
  • Show people how you have helped others through case studies or testimonials
  • Allow reviews of your products
  • Have as many pictures as required. User guides and more.

If you need some help contact me- I might just have an email course that will help you.

Ronald Sayegh
Business Web Design
For website design you can afford.

Websites: art or ads?

A business website is an ad! So why the obsession about FLASH animation and delicately drawn pictures over ease of use and good copy?

So you’ve got a website. Great ! (if not – stop reading and go here !!)

And how is this pinnacle of marketing genius judged  by friends and family?

By it’s looks! Let’s not be so shallow people!
That’s like judging the best Olympic swimmer by her looks rather than her ability to swim ( oh wait we do that as well!)

I’d just like to say here and now for most people a website is a business tool. It’s job is to inform people of what you sell or do, create a desire for those services or products and then facilitate the getting of these.

A business website is an ad! So why the obsession about FLASH animation and delicately drawn pictures over ease of use and good copy?

Try this experiment:

Recall the best ad you have ever seen on TV?

Got it? Great. Was it funny? Emotional? Catchy?

Now what was it for?

Cant remember?

Most people cant.

Try another one…

Many adverts fail to even mention what product it is they are advertising, never mind telling you how much it is or why and where to get it.

And so people think that this is what an ad is for. To look good or entertain.

It’s my belief that advertising is not all about looking good and being clever or funny and winning awards for “best ad” .

It’s about creating and fulfilling a need.

And if you can do this whilst also looking good or being funny your onto a winner.

A website is no different. It doesn’t have to be ugly – indeed it should have some aesthetic value to it.  But do you think Ebay or Amazon are good looking sites?

So when you get a website built please think function before form. Ask yourself

  1. Is it fast to load?
  2. Is it easy to navigate?
  3. It is clear what its main message is?
  4. Is it easy to maintain and update?
  5. Is there a call to action or some way to take the next step easily?
  6. Is it well optimised for google and friends so that it ranks well in the search engines?
    And finally
  7. Is it pleasing to look at?

And how is this successful website assessed?

Not by its looks but by how well it reaches its target audience and gets them to take a desired action (such as emailing an inquiry, or by sales generated.)

Give me an ugly site that sells over a beautiful award winning graphic masterpiece that sends me broke anyday.

Or come to me and I’ll give you both; a nice looking site that sells !

Rant over!

Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist