This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

April 10, 2014

Shut up and take my money!

One of the worst mistakes that you can make in sales is to not shut up and take someone's money. Oddly enough, this is so common that it's a frustration for me when talking to clients. I imagine that most of the time they are thinking that it would be too abrupt to make purchasing something from them easy and simple, so they add multiple layers of complexity.

When someone goes to the hardware store to buy a hammer, they really don't want to hear the *History of Hammers through the Middle Ages*. They want a hammer. They want to know what it costs. On the web they want to know if there is a delivery charge. They want to see a photo of the hammers you sell.

A bad website is like a bad salesperson. Just talk, time-wasting, nonsense. Instead of presenting useful information and answering questions and objections, the bad website, like the bad salesperson, is just yammering. On and on...

If you have a good product, then shut up and take the money. And that's done by removing obstacles from your customer's way. If they have to search for, or God forbid, click to another page to find what you sell and how to buy it, you might as well ask them to stand in line at the DMV. Any person with any sense does not want to wait, nor do they want to be hassled. A good website that encourages people to take action, does it through what I call "tiering". This is how it works:

• Start with telling people that they are in the right place. This is no time to be clever. Your headline should be descriptive and as simple as you can make it. *Mike's Hammers* would be enough.

• If you have a phone number that you care to use for your business, display it prominently. And be sure to either answer the phone or to have a professional-sounding voice mail. You might be surprised that people already know about your product and are willing to buy. Display this number very large and on all of your pages.

• Show photos. No, not generic stock photos that you found on the web. That just makes you look like you're scamming. Actual photos of your product. If you can't take a photo, find someone who can. All cell phones have cameras. If you're selling an expensive and glamorous product, you will want to hire a professional photographer. If the photo looks like a crime scene photo, that's bad.

• Describe in simple language and complete sentences. People like simple, complete sentences. Use them.

You can do a second and third page where you can go into more detail. This is usually called an *About* page. No, don't show photos of you on vacation with the kids, but do show your face. Use the same image from your Google+ profile.

And there you go. Now shut up and take the money!

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