Monday, June 20, 2011

Making Sales With Amazon

How do you make sales?   This is a question that I get asked quite often and in particular I've had a spate of queries about it recently.   It's actually not an easy question to answer because it's not a straight forward formula, but I'll try and give you a few ideas.

The most important thing you have to do is find your voice.   This is really important, even though it may not seem it.   I worked in sales for quite a while and I remember going to a seminar that the company paid for and I took lots of notes and decided to try and sell the way the speaker had told us.    The manager asked to speak to me on the Friday...............she wasn't very happy (although I didn't realize it at the time).

So we have a chat and she's asking how things are going with me and what I thought of the seminar etc and then came the zinger - what's been going on with your sales this week?   I explained I was following what the speaker had said, but I obviously needed to work on it because the results weren't showing.   Then she asked me the simple question well what did you do before?   It turns out that I had been converting the most sales of anyone (even the guy who used to make out he was the best - I loved that feeling!) and she wanted me to go back to that.

I couldn't actually give her an exact answer as to what I did before for the same reason that years later I had problems role-playing how to handle complaints, despite handling them really well in a work environment.   I don't use a stock standard method.   Everyone is different so how I would handle sales would depend on the person, it's called active listening when you're face to face combined with body language.   This is a lot harder to do online, but it boils down to this -

You need to know your audience.

My way of selling is totally different depending on who my audience is, if you're not sure who your audience is then you will have problems selling anything.

Finding your own voice is all about how you communicate with your writing so the first thing you should do is look around at something that you use at home and would recommend to your best friend.   Check it's available on Amazon and then sit down and talk about it as though your best friend was sitting opposite you - what do you like about it, why it would be ideal for her/him.   If you haven't figured it out yet - your best friend is your audience!

Now you've talked it out sit down and write a lens on that one product (but finish reading this post first) - use an Amazon spotlight review module or your own associate link and only promote that one product unless you've told your friend in your imaginary conversation that you find it even better when combined with something else.

Depending on what it is you may feel you need to add some product details and that's okay, if you're not feeling qualified to talk about the technical side of things just (staying in your own voice) say something like for those of you who want the technical mumbo jumbo here's what the website has to say about it, but for me it's all about ...................

Now, how are you going to get the traffic if no one can find your product?   Obviously most of the time we hear keyword research should be done first and that's true once you've found your voice.   It's no good doing all of the keyword research if you can't write a good review that will sell.

Now hopefully you haven't actually written the lens yet, because you're still reading this post - I would suggest writing it all into word first so you just have to cut and paste it into Squidoo when we're ready.   Now  do some keyword research and make sure that you use keywords in your url and in your titles and/or subtitles.    Now read it through - sometimes you'll find you've added the keywords naturally without thinking which is awesome.   If you haven't that's okay too.

Have you used the word the when talking about the product?   If so add your keyword in it's place and read it back - does it still sound like you or does it sound weird/stilted/not quite right?   If it sounds okay leave it in otherwise out it goes.   The word the is the one I most often convert to a keyword in the final edit as it can often be naturally converted without sounding forced.

Now, how did you start your introduction?   You want to make sure that you use the keyword in the first couple of sentences so let's say you've been talking about a blender, start with something like this - Are you looking for the best ever blender?   I wouldn't be without my xxx blender and use it constantly in the kitchen for things such as xxx and xxx.   Read on to find out why this blender is the one I would recommend to my best friend.

Another type of lens that will convert well is a how to lens, many people want to learn how to make something ie how to make the best xxxx costume for Halloween.   They'll feel quite good learning how to make their own outfit, but then they realize that either time is running out or it seems harder to make than they realize or it's not such a big monetary saving after all.   What do they do?   Buy the product already made!    It's true, honestly, so if you're making a how to lens remember to have a module after the instructions with a ............or you could just buy it here type of comment.

There are other tips that I'll talk about in the future, but I really believe that finding your voice is one of the best things you can do if you want to convert your readers to buyers.


  1. There's some very good advice here Lou :)

  2. Nice tips Lou. Thanks for the reinforcement.

  3. One of the things I vowed to never do was sell, so when I realised that in fact selling is what I do, whether it be my ideas or physical products, everyone sells in one way or another. There really is an art to it, and I think you have the right idea. This post is definitely one I will return to so I can re-read your tips again and again. Eventually I hope to be able to write in a natural way, because I am constantly fighting the desire to write in the formal manner to which I am accustomed.