What Happened to Those Old-Style Sales Pages?

I noticed a little change over the last few years: I’d start a piece of content and it would disappear into the depths of WordPress’ navigation panel. No comments needed…

I’m not saying all old-style sales pages are bad: but that particular one is. But it’s missing a few important elements. In this post, I’ll discuss one of the shortcomings of selling like that.

Different Levels of Selling

Designers get to create fun content for e-commerce. But that’s not where sales end. The first part of selling (figuring out what people want) is incredibly important. But sales should go beyond that to get people to buy from you. It’s a continual negotiation.

In fact, you have to build a relationship with the person buying from you. Salespeople sell like salespeople. They don’t sell like designers.

Since most designers never sell and rarely get paid for that skill, that gives them some extra room. You can give an expert that power and control (of which, they really don’t want to give up). You can ask for or hint at things you wouldn’t ask from a designer. You can sell like a salesperson.

But that won’t work all of the time. Sometimes you have to get over that fear of talking to people like salespeople and simply make people talk to you like a designer.

This goes beyond sales pages. It applies to all areas of life: relationship building, explaining design concepts, designing new products and services.

All sales pages are one of those three levels of selling. I’ve built sales pages that work on all three levels.

An Old-Style Sales Page (vs. A Sales Page That Works)

This particular page was built to educate people. It could easily be used for that purpose. But I always have to balance teaching and selling. You don’t want to be selling people on your service, but you also have to teach them.

If you create a website selling electronics, explain that you’ll charge at least $250 per hour. Then let them talk to you about their situation:

“Hi there, I’ve gotten a few emails asking about a job installing Wi-Fi. How can I help you?”

In many cases, your selling power (what you offer) and your teaching power (what you know) cancel each other out. You’re going to be left there being quiet and letting people talk to you about something they don’t want to talk about.

If your website has a sideboard (or anywhere you put promotions), put all the contracts.

This sales page looks like it could work as a teaching piece. But again, sales is much more than that. You still need to make sure that when the person is signing that contract (and paying for your services), they’re buying.

A Sales Page That Works

Here’s a sideboard where you’d normally put offers and payments. I show you the sideboard, you put in your offer. But here’s what happens:

The person sees your sideboard and says, “I’m so busy and the project is in such a rush. I’ll just talk to you.”

Then you sit down and talk about that project (instead of just sending them to the site).

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