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Many new to the Web dream of building a successful online business. It's not uncommon to find these newcomers putting up cash for a "business opportunity" that "sounds" good. They may even try a couple more before coming to realize these programs earn money only for those they bought from.

Next, they may buy into a package containing a strategy for growing a particular online business. And some such programs do provide what is needed. Yet failure is more likely than success.

Why Success Eludes Many

A common cause of failure comes from a lack of understanding about what it takes to do much of anything. LEARNING is required. There's WORK to be done. And you'll need to SELL successfully.

These are "stop" words for many. They feel they know enough now that further learning should not be required. They are not keen on work. And the idea of selling is somehow abhorrent. "Learn," "work," and "sell" stop such people dead in their tracks. Success is denied, online and offline.

Yet the essence of any business is selling. And there's work to be done behind the scenes to keep the business operating smoothly. What's more, there is a continuing flow of things to be learned in order to keep up with the times and ahead of your competition.

A Different Look At Selling

Selling is what business is all about. Profits come only from sales. Without an effective sales effort, profits will not amount to much.

But you may be looking at this word in a limited way. Selling doesn't necessarily mean stalking the Ford showroom floor or peddling encyclopedias door to door.

Think about most things you buy. How are they "sold" to you? Often indirectly. Here's an example.

How Your Local Hardware Store Sells Like Crazy

After entering the store, chances are you wander about, checking out this and that, collect a few items, then pay and leave. Just exactly who "sold" you anything? And how did they do so?

Simple. The store owner has stocked his shelves with the products you and his other customers need. And he's gone to some length to make it easy for you to find what you are looking for. What he's done is "offer" you the products he is selling.

One more element is required, but it can hardly be called selling.

If you can't figure which of two pipe wrenches to buy, a clerk will be happy to explain the difference between them so you can make an informed decision. This isn't a salesperson in action. This is a representative of the store owner helping you make the best choice.

The success of some online businesses depends upon a very strong sales presentation which may be most of the site content. However, many online businesses operate in much the same manner as your local hardware store. You can do the same.

Selling Online

It is common to "display" products with words, and often with pictures. Details of all kinds are available on a click. And there's contact details if more information is needed.

This is not selling in the classical sense of the word. It is simply a matter of making your products available to those who want them. Then providing whatever other information might be needed. And helping as possible with tricky buy decisions.

Selling a new gadget to make cooking easier that people have never heard about takes direct selling. But stick with products people want and understand, and they will need only the information you provide to make the buy decision.

Learning Is A Lifelong Task

Many people have learning mixed up with what was expected of them during their school days. Everybody was supposed to learn the same thing in the same amount of time. Which is nonsense, for we are not all the same. For those who did not rank high come grade day, learning became associated with lack of success at least, if not failure.

But it's different now. There's no teacher hounding you. No curriculum. If you love stereo speakers, dig into the details and find how Speaker A differs from Speaker B. Then share it with your customers. Charts and tables may be the extent of your "sales pitch."

This is learning. And except for keeping up with changes in the area in which you are doing business, this may be all that's required.

So Who Wants To Work?

Hardly anybody. But we do. And while it is work to set up a system to automate purchases on a website, there surely is not much required to sustain it.

In your online business, you may have to deal with delivery in some manner. This is work. Pretty dull and boring for the most part. Then you have to handle off-the-wall requests from customers. And, of course, complaints. Such tasks are not fun; they're work.

Run The Red Light

Don't let such words stop you. Run right through them.

Learn what you need to know as you go along.

Sell yourself, your site and products in a positive, understated manner.

Work as required to build and sustain a site that brings home profits.

If you are not prepared to sell and to learn new things as they come along, then forget about building any business, online or offline.

As for work, it's hard to figure a way to avoid it. It's what puts food on the table. The reasonable options amount to working for somebody else. Or for yourself.

About the Author

Bob McElwain Want to build a winning site? Improve one you already have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS. Subscribe to "STAT News" now! Web marketing and consulting since 1993 Site: Phone: 209-742-6349


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