Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

In his book, Succeed and Grow Rich through Persuasion, Napoleon Hill listed eleven traits that the successful salesperson must possess. I have adapted these and created my own Nine Traits a Successful Salesperson Must Have:

  1. Knowledge of merchandise
  2. Belief in the merchandise or service
  3. Knowledge of the prospective buyer
  4. Ability to make the prospective buyer receptive
  5. Ability to know the right psychological moment to close the sale
  6. Initiative
  7. Persistence and the ability to follow-up
  8. Ability to listen and respond to your customers’ needs
  9. A good memory

The importance of listening to your customers’ needs cannot be emphasized enough. If your sales are not taking off the way you’d like them to, a reason may be that – for one reason or another – you’re not selling anyone wants to buy. If you are going to become a successful entrepreneur, you must always keep your ear to the ground and listen to both prospects and customers. You must know what makes your customers buy and what is keeping your prospects from buying. If you can determine, and then overcome, the major buying obligation of your prospects, you’ll greatly increase your sales.

If you choose to sell your product online, much of your success will ride on your sales copy. If you will be writing your sales copy yourself – either for your web site or marketing materials – be sure that you emphasize benefits of your product or service and not only the features. Customers may care less about the intricacies of your product than they do about how your product will benefit their lives.

Your email newsletters and blogs are great places to use things like case studies and testimonials about your product to help attract prospective customers. Always address your prospective customers’ concerns about what you are selling, and explain to them why your company is selling something more unique or better than your competitors.

I hope you have a great weekend, and I’ll be back next week for more email marketing tips and advice.


Ryan Allis

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