How to Turn Your WordPress Site into an Automated Sales Machine (Part I)
By the title of this post, you might be thinking that this is going to be about some whiz-bang, high-tech plugins or some other fancy-schmancy gizmo solutions. But that’s not where we’re going. These solutions are decidedly low-tech (or at least relatively so). Low-tech, but effective all the same.
And the reason why they are relatively low-tech is because sales, in the end, is low-tech—low-tech but highly personal.
Sales is about connecting with your potential buyer and meeting them where they are, giving them exactly the information they need to make the decision to choose you—not the guy down the street, not the website one click over, not somebody their cousin might know—but you.
One of the greatest assets any company can have is a top-flight salesperson. And if you have a website, then you have the makings of one. Your website can do that selling for you—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It can tell your potential customers exactly what they need to know about your products or services. It can answer their questions. It can create a relationship. It can build trust. And it can prod them to buy.
Unfortunately, if most businesses are any indication, there’s a good chance that your current website isn’t doing that. In short, your website probably isn’t being a very good salesman. It might be doing a number of things from that list above, but is it an automated selling machine? Does it consistently meet your potential customers needs and guide them down the psychological path they must take to the sale?
If not … not to worry. You can turn it into that top-flight sales staff with a little bit of work. You can turn it into that machine.
The Salesperson Gives the USP (Unique Selling Point)
One of the most important things a salesperson can do is to let potential buyers know WHY they should buy from YOU. In marketing parlance, this is called the USP (Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition). In other words: What makes you different from your competition?
It’s a simple but important point to remember that the buyer holds nearly all the cards in most buyer/seller relationships. Unless you’re selling goods or services that they desperately need and can only get from you (and let’s face it, that’s not a situation most of us find ourselves in), the buyer can move on from you much more easily than you can move on from the buyer.
Having a USP is Marketing 101, but many forget it. And many more may have never heard about it in the first place. There are legions of marketing experts who will tell you that your USP is THE most important ingredient to sales. And that makes sense.
Let’s think about it for a minute. Everything you buy in your life you buy for a reason. And nearly everything you buy, you buy from a particular place or a particular person for a reason too. Maybe you shop at your supermarket because it’s close to your house. Maybe you shop there because it’s cheaper than the others. Maybe you shop there because they stock items you can’t find somewhere else. Maybe you shop there because the quality of their produce is better. Etc., etc.
There’s a reason why you shop where you shop, even if you don’t think about it very often, and that reason determines where your money goes.
You, the Seller
As a seller, the first thing you will need to do in order to turn your website into an automated sales machine is to figure out what your USP is: How are you different? What can you offer that your competition doesn’t?
(Arriving at an effective USP can be relatively easy in some cases but more difficult in others. It might help to research USPs, look at examples, and see different ways you can approach the task. If you already have a USP, then great. You’re well on your way.)
The next thing you need to do is to make sure your potential customers know what your USP is. If they don’t know what it is, it doesn’t help you. This may sound blindingly obvious, but a look around a random sampling of websites would seem to indicate that it might not be.
And so to that point, we have …
Rule #1: Your USP needs to be EVERYWHERE!
So let’s go through all the places you should put your USP on your site.
First and foremost, your USP should be in your header. WordPress is perfect for this. You boil your USP down into one easily-digestible sentence or phrase, and you make it the tag line under the name of your site. If you use a custom header and don’t show your tag line, then make sure it shows up in the graphic of the header.
2. Put Your USP in the Body of Your Copy
Make sure you work your USP in wherever you can, as long as it sounds natural. You can also change up the wording when it’s in the body of your copy. In that way you’re hitting on the same idea but in a slightly different way. However, when you use your USP “out in the open” (such as in the header), make sure you stick with the original wording. Repetition is key. It’s likely not going to sink in unless your visitors see it again and again.
3. Put Your USP Prominently on Your Homepage
Your USP is YOUR MAIN MESSAGE. Why wouldn’t it be featured prominently on your homepage? If you’re afraid that it will mess up the design of your site, then redesign your site. Again, THIS IS YOUR MAIN MESSAGE! The design of your site needs to be built around it, not the other way around. This is the #1 thing you want your potential customers to know about you.
4. Put Your USP in a Widget on the Sidebar
Again, you will want to put your USP in a prominent position. This means near the top (if not at the very top.) If you can, create an attractive graphic for it that will draw attention. Don’t leave it in a clutter of category links and ads and Twitter updates. Make it stand out. This is your MAIN MESSAGE.
5. Use Your USP on Your About Page
Talk about your USP on your About page. Talk about yourself, sure, but remember to work it into your story. Then at the bottom of your About page, put your name (and possibly your signature). Under your name, put your USP again.
6. Use Your USP in Email
As you did on your About page, use your USP in the signature of all your email correspondence.
7. Use Your USP on Your Social Media Properties
Your USP is your mantra. Repeat it. Repeat it. Repeat it.
Of course in “real life” repeating your USP over and over would get old and tiresome. But here’s the great thing about the web: once you set it up (in your header, sidebar, signature, homepage, etc.), your USP gets AUTOMATICALLY repeated again and again and again to every single visitor of your site.
Now, the truth is even though you’ve gone to the effort to have your potential buyers run across your USP at every turn, they probably won’t notice it at first. However, little by little, ever so slowly, it will begin to sink in. And once it does, it will open a door in them that absolutely must be opened if they are ever going to buy from you. It’s the door that sets you apart from your competition. It’s the door that makes them take a serious second look. It’s the door that, in the end, makes them finally say, “OK, let’s do it.”