Often times the very best way to approach having an internet business (or ANY business, really) is to be simply selling. You can choose a product or service that can be delivered automatically, or handled by someone else, with your focus strictly on selling. That is certainly the most profitable way to run any kind of business as it allows you to eliminate labor and inventory.
But do you like to sell? Most people will instantly say no, that they prefer to “just let people know” about their offerings and not be “salesy”.
Selling is just talking about your products. Telling people what makes them a better deal than getting them somewhere else. Certain styles of selling may be irritating to you, much like personalities of people themselves. Selling is not about coming on like a back country used car salesman, it’s about talking (and listening) with potential clients to see how what you have may fill their needs. If you’re talking about your offerings, you are selling, so it’s time to get over your dread of the word.
Remember this if nothing else. If you are unwilling to sell, you do not have a business, you have a hobby!
Now that bit of business has been taken care of, let’s talk about how to turn selling time online into profitable time for your business. There are literally millions of opportunities to sell products or services online, either for your standalone business or for others, including massive companies like Walmart, Target and Amazon through affiliate programs (available in the bottom navigation on most shopping sites). These opportunities allow you to just make a commission on what you recommend to others (when they buy) and the businesses handle the rest…order taking, shipping, payment etc.
You talk up a product, provide a link and they take it from there. You’re done, you just wait for a check at this point.
That’s a business transaction for your company and you didn’t handle inventory, pay for an ecommerce platform, pay out to a credit card company or spend any labor handling or shipping a product, so big win, right!
But then the check comes. That $100 of goods you sold just paid you a $3 commission.
Wait! Can that be right?!
Yes, it is. Many large programs pay out between 3-8%. So if it took you an hour to find people to talk to (or longer!!) pass the message and then wait to be paid, what did you just make per hour?
Do you have the ability to talk to far more people and make that $100 become $1000 in sales, the $3 jump to $30 for the same amount of time? Chances are you worked a lot of hours to get that audience, are you still willing to sell to them that cheaply?
Is the only answer to sell your own stuff so that you can get a higher margin? Then you’re back to handling product, taking orders, keeping inventory, paying credit card companies and a thousand other small costs that are eating that margin down too.
The answer is still the selling model, only with some additional rules applied.
This is where being selective about what kinds of things you sell come into play.
When I’m looking for products to sell, I first want to know about the quality and delivery of the product. After all, the people I’m selling to are my people and my relationships first and foremost. I’m not going to trade my personal credibility for a one time commission. Secondly, I want to know what the commission rate is. Some electronic delivery items can pay as high as 50% (or even more!) Which means if I sell an $80 item with a 50% commission, my take is $40. If I sold a $120 ticket with a 10% commission, my take is only $12.
It’s likely going to take the same amount of time to sell either one, as long as they’re quality products and relatable to my network of potential customers. So why not take the $40 instead of $12?
Now let’s take that idea a step further. We’ve recognized now that we want to use the most efficient means available to us to earn for our business. We’re eliminating as much time, labor and other business costs that we can, so what do we do next to maximize our time?
We follow the real estate sales model.
Many agents come from other sales backgrounds like autos, insurance, etc. They choose real estate why? Because it’s a higher ticket item that a single sale means more commission than many sales of smaller items. Top sellers will gravitate toward using their time to sell what they can make the most commissions on. If that means a smaller percentage but a higher ticket price, that’s what they’ll choose for the best overall commission for their time spent.
Beyond real estate, you can see that model hold true for traditional salespersons of luxury items, like boats, jewelry, vacations, autos, heavy equipment, etc. but can you do that online?
The answer is absolutely yes!
There are many opportunities to sell higher ticket items online that can make you greater commissions for the time spent than selling hundreds or even thousands of smaller items. Even some of the traditional items I mentioned above can be sold this way!
The point is to start looking at these higher ticket areas where you might be able to earn more for your time spent. Be sure to evaluate and compare them against the mix of items you’ve been considering. It doesn’t take movie star looks and expensive suits to get into the game, it takes asking a lot of questions of those in the field or related areas and savvy, solid determination to get out and sell, no matter what you choose.
So go wipe that leisure suit image from your mind and get out there and start talking! Your new business and new freedom await!