If you have a website, it serves one purpose – to sell something!

Whether you’re selling goods and services or ideas and opinions – websites are about selling. If you have an offer, you want people to buy it. If you like something, you want people to try it. If you believe something, you want people to believe it too. And if you know something, you want other people to know it as well.

It doesn’t really matter how you slice it, the point of a website is to sell something. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a website? To display pretty pictures for everyone to see? Of course not. Websites are about selling because as people, we’re selling all the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

You see, selling is merely an exchange of something that’s valuable to someone. That’s it. Selling is nothing more than an exchange. It’s nothing to avoid, be concerned about or even fear. We’re selling all the time. I’m selling you my opinion right now. And if it has value, you’ll buy it and make it part of yours.

I think where selling gets a bad wrap is when we remember those annoying little experiences when someone was trying to pressure us into something we didn’t want. You know what I mean. The appliance salesman who really doesn’t get that sales is about relationship rather than the next commission to be made. Or the car salesman who follows you around the lot when you just want to look around. In these cases it’s pretty obvious that some sales people just don’t understand that selling is a natural, human process. They try too hard, really. And from our experiences with these sort of people, we feel icky about selling.

But there’s no need to fell bad about selling. As I said, we’re selling our ideas, our thoughts, our beliefs and our opinions all the time. So really, selling is as natural as having a conversation. And it’s through conversation that we go about selling –

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even on our websites. We use the conversation on our websites to develop relationships with people who may want to buy what we offer (e.g. what we’re selling). That’s the entire point of having a website.

So here’s some pointers I’ve put together to help you with selling on your website – and in your business as a whole. Use these suggestions and don’t be afraid to see yourself selling what you know, think or believe. Embrace it and find a new freedom in giving what you have of value to people who value what you know.

  1. Don’t try to sell. If someone’s contacting you, they have some level of interest already. Find out what their want or need is first. Then, give them the information they need to make a choice. On your website, identify their problems and help them see that you can help them solve them.
  2. Engage people. One of the most important aspects of selling is engagement. You want to engage your prospective clients and customers fully. Use your website to meet people where they are and engage them in conversation. Stay in the conversation as it organically moves toward a transaction. Not all will, but if you engage more people will buy than not because you’re showing them you care.
  3. Care damn it! Really care about the people who you engage and who visit your website. Caring is the single most important aspect of selling. Listen to what they want, be empathetic about where they are and just give a crap about them as people. They’ll know the difference.
  4. Be authentic. Selling is a natural as having a conversation. But we don’t often approach it that way. All you need to do is be yourself. People will naturally gravitate toward you when you’re real with yourself and with them. And forget all the sales techniques and just be a person trying to help people. You’ll refine how as you go.
  5. Be transparent. Be a real person being real with people. Read that again! If you don’t know something, be honest about it. There’s nothing wrong with finding out the answer and getting back to someone. People will be pleased when you say you don’t know. More importantly, it will build trust with them.
  6. Know what you’re selling. Clarity in what you’re selling is so, so important. If you don’t know, you certainly can’t share it and if you can’t share it you can’t sell it. So find out everything you can about what you’re selling. See it from different angles and approaches.
  7. Know why you’re selling it. So often overlooked is this question of why. But you must know the answer. Is it just to make money? Or are you wanting to make meaning and a difference in people’s lives? If your product or service is about helping people, then know it and sell it that way.
  8. Know who you’re selling too.  This is so often missed…you’ve got to know who you’re selling too. Not the person so much, as their need, their likes, their dislikes. That means, listen. Listen to what their need is first. Get as much information as you can about what they believe they need.
  9. Match your solution to their problem.  If you listen well, people will tell you exactly what problem they’re trying to solve and specifically why they called you to solve it. At that point you merely need to match your ability to solve their problem to the problem they believe they need solved. Don’t change or reframe their problem for them , reframe your solution.
  10. Remember, it’s okay to sell. Selling isn’t a dirty thing. Remember what I’ve said above,  we’re selling all the time – our thoughts, our ideas, our beliefs, etc. So selling is natural. The oddities come in when money’s involved. And there’s nothing wrong with selling what you have to someone who needs it and making money, even a lot of money, from it. It’s just an exchange.

Now, don’t treat this like every other blog post

Really, I mean that. Don’t just read this post, leave a comment and then go on to the next thing to do. Use what I’ve given you here. Sit down with it and look over your website, your marketing, and how you convert your prospective clients. Refine your sales process. And if you don’t have a sales process, create one. Honestly, it will make a massive difference in how you do business.

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I’ll even make the 10 key points here into a PDF for you to download. Just click the icon at the right and you’ll download the 10 keys here right away. No email address or opt-in of any sort. All I ask is if you find value, share it with your friends:

Remember, selling isn’t a scary thing and it’s not a bad thing. Selling is a natural part of being a human being. So embrace it. You can sell with integrity and give your more people the chance to be helped through your products and services.

How comfortable are you with selling? What’s your own sales process?

Let’s talk about it.

(note:  image from  darma communications on  Flickr,   some rights reserved)

Reader Interactions


  1. Automotive SEO says

    Great post. So many business owners have websites that are nothing more than glorified business cards. Websites and blogs present a great opportunity to do the hard job of selling long before any personal contact is initiated.

  2. Mobility Scooter says

    How about “don’t over sell”? Did you ever see those website that seem to go on and on forever? You get interested, but the website never gets to the point. You are left wondering “How much does it cost?” or “What do I have to do next?” After a while you give up in frustration.

    By the way, I tried to click on your PDF file and it didn’t work. Not sure if the problem is on your side or mine.

  3. Steve Dresel says

    Love The Tips! Engaging and caring about your site viewers will turn potential customers into long-term customers. I like the ways you recommend being subtle about selling as well.

  4. Cruzeiros Maritimos says

    I believe that everything that was put in this post is meaningless, but the competition and a point to be addressed or rather the tools used by the competition. You can adopt many pipelines but is not appearing in searches with relevant terms related to the product or service is complicated. A good post would be winning the competition when you’re small.

  5. Ricky Callihan says

    For those that feel that they’re not really selling, but just writing, in a sense they are selling; they’re selling their opinion to their readers. This was brought up with me when I said that I just write what I think of events in the world that interest me.

    I’m going to try out some of these steps, see if they will help increase my sales and get more customers to stop by. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. justin bieber and his girlfriend says

    Your first tip is great. If you don’t try to sell, I feel like more people are willing to buy.

  7. xander says

    Yep if my website didn’t pay me.
    For what keeping them.

    It’s terrible to keeping liabilty on when the other side they don’t give you any benefits.

  8. JB says

    Be authentic and know what you are selling are the two most important in my book. I would also say that most people don’t understand that no matter what you do you are in the marketing business.

  9. Rencontres says

    Hi Dawud,
    Let’s suppose I have a website with free content and try to decide if I want to sell something on it. Let’s assume I’m afraid to sell something because of the possible difficulties of paid content.
    What should I do ?
    I have good contact and I am very natural with people so they feel at ease, but in this case I’m not comfortable with selling…

  10. Lani says

    Enjoyed your information and insight. I stumbled on your youtube video on drop down menus with wp 3.0, great stuff you shared on your clip.

    I will absolutely use the tactics your recommended. Mahalo, Lani

  11. London Ontario Web Design says

    Disagree with Andy and Xander a bit…Alot of people create sites as some what of a hobby. They get value out of interactions with people and providing information or services. I think that saying that if site is not making money, you should get rid of it, is a generalization. I think the net is already clogged up enough with abandoned get rich quick sites

  12. Martin says

    I like that you emphasize the importance of honest care. Salesmen sometimes obsess with profit and advantage, but I agree that caring is one of the most important things.
    Thanks for posting, you always have interesting point of views!

  13. Altax says

    A great thinking. I have not thought like this till now. From the starting “websites are about selling” itself the blog startd to be interesting. I really like this blog. great post keep up the good work. I have bookmarked your site.

  14. Kimberly @ Female Hair Transplant says

    Nice Info.Stumbled upon your site and found it insanely useful. Thanks for providing pdf , comes in handy

  15. Play Arcade Games says

    A lot of useful your sales tips. In fact, your article reminded what some of my websites are really about.

    Thanks for the download.

  16. Nightlife Brighton says

    I totally agree with you, especially the point no.1.
    I find it that if someone contacts you and you provide genuine, helpful information it sales your services/product a lot better than just trying to sell it!
    It’s same with the website, the more helpful information you provide, the more people will like you and are more likely to buy your products.

  17. france says

    couldn’t agree more with you! Sharing your views. ideas or thoughts is just like selling your product to someone but the money is never involved in this case. You do get a valuable comment for the writing you have done.

  18. fashion says

    What I hate the most is when someone trying to sell me things that I don’t want and I don’t like. Too eager to sell can put us off, Discounts are one of these. That’s why I never use discounts on my ecommerce website.

  19. Teena says

    As always your website is like your own store front, manage it as if it physically exists, handle customers the same way you handle your own walk-in clients. Sell products/service the same way you’ll do in your store.

    To sum it up, it’s a great article.

  20. Web Development says

    This is a great list and I like that you really encourage people not to just read it but to make a change. It still shocks me, given the prevalence of the web today, that people still neglect their online image/reputation/impression but doing things shoddily.

    I suppose them realising they need to prioritise their online presence is what keeps many of us in a job!

  21. DropShip says

    Nice set of pointers, thank you so much for sharing. All of them are important, but I think #4 is probably the most important in my mind. Definitely need to be honest and authentic.

  22. Jason says

    While selling can be a risky endeavor, it is impossible to get ahead without some sort of risk. Calculated risk however, and random chance are much different. Always research before you make any sort of sale!

  23. Human Biology says

    This is very good information posted here. Your websites giving the good information about selling. Thanks for providing pdf, it may help for me. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  24. Business Logos says

    I disagree with the comment “don’t sell” I think in many cases you need to take the step to ask for the sale, and that is soemthing many fail to do.

  25. Jim Hub says

    I think the capability to flex and fold is a great asset in selling online. Sometimes you need to swoop clients off their feet and sometimes you just need to let them think it through. The most important thing is you need to present your products properly.

  26. Terry says

    Thanks for sharing your own experience with others. Im new on the online marketing world and all the informations that I posses from more experienced bloggers are really valuable for me. I will try to use some of your sales tips in the near future.

  27. foto schilderij says

    Very True! That’s why websites are provided to give accurate information and excellent services so why be afraid to use and explore it…?

  28. Andy @ U Comment - I Follow says

    You know, I’d never really thought of it that way before- that even if it is an inspirational blog, you’re still selling something. And we are constanty selling. Great points that you made in this article! Thank you!

  29. Rachel Dickman says

    Well thanks for the post. Its true that your website serves as a showcase where you could display your products or services. It is however important that the information which you provide should engage the interest of the readers. The pdf which you have provided is quite useful. Great job! keep it up!

  30. Herbal Magic says

    I am totally agree with Andy that your website is a profit generation point. If you’re not selling, you’re not making money. If your site isn’t making money, it’s a liability.

    Why keep paying for a liability?

  31. Sidney Carter says

    Great point. So many people are scared to sell from their website. Info will only get you so far. Always be closing and you will see better results.

  32. Lingerie Blog says

    Thanks for the 10 keys .This will be very helpful for me. There is always something new in this business. You always have to read and learn new stuff. And like you said when you are selling your website or content that is a must .

  33. Airport Parking at Gatwick says

    I agree with much of what you have said, however in some cases, customers can just be sucking you for more information, which can effect the time spent on actual customers that are really interested in making a purchase. Anyway, thanks for the many helpful tips!!

  34. Melissa White says

    Some very good tips here. What I find hard to do is to get the word out for people to be able to see the content of your site, so they can read what you offer, and then contact you so you can close a sale.

  35. Matt Chandler says

    So many website owners are caught between a rock and a hard place. They know that they can’t “sell” to people, but they also know they need to “sell” to people (if that makes sense!)

    The result is a million websites that don’t work. They aren’t very good at educating and they aren’t very good at selling. They become ambiguous, diluted, and ineffective.

    Websites are the most powerful sales & marketing collateral any business has, so the work of web marketing must be given a lot of careful thought and planning.

  36. Jon Thomas says

    We simply try to design quality, eco friendly home products relevant to people’s lives. An item people really want will sell itself!

  37. Andy Hayes | FourZeroFour says

    Great tips. For me it all comes back to your Ideal Customer. Who is it your site is for? What should it do for them?

    Know who those people are and treat them like you do know them, and you’ll be more successful.

  38. Yoga says

    If you’re not selling, you’re not making money. If your site isn’t making money, it’s a liability. Thanks for the download.

  39. Jim Hub says

    The everyday website does have numerous applications and its greatest edge is definitely on sales. However, not being able to utilize it carefully can lead to a business flop. Keep in mind that TV and Newspaper advertising strategies never work online.

  40. Alex @ Jacksonville Roofing says

    Besides being positive about selling with your 10 listed points, we need to know HOW to sell as well. I just bought a book by Drew Eric Whitman, Cashvertising. Good read! Teaches how to use words to sell.

  41. Jimi H says

    Great article, sometimes simple can be good in terms of user friendliness on sites. Remember userability is a very important factor. Thanks again for the stips

  42. Kansas City Marketing says

    I’ve been trying to hard to focus on thinking outside the box when I write, that I’m not paying heed to what my audience comments on. Thanks for the reminder to stay grounded and get back to the basics of selling.

  43. Erin Kipling says

    I must admit the article is great and I commend the author for doing so. Selling wise, yes the article conveyed substantial info useful to readers like me. However, when it comes to flipping websites, I’m afraid there is much to learn. It may be as simple as buying and selling, but doing it the wrong way could prove costly.

  44. Ysabel Lawrence says

    Brilliant post. Sometimes people have the tendency to focus on the what’s in or what’s hot. Some tend to forget how selling is done or business in general back before the internet came. Great job. I hope this reaches lots of people especially those in the business and marketing sector.

  45. Webentrepreneur says

    I appreciate your article. It felt really personable. I have taken several notes to go over and apply in my own internet marketing campaigns.

  46. George says

    Very informative. Too many people and business owners have the wrong idea when it comes to their website and what should be done with it. There are actually people out there that still thinks traffic magically comes to your site once it is published. This is a good eye-opener and reminder for all who wish to promote their site. It is a sales tool. I couldnt’ agree more.

  47. pthomas says

    Great points. Number 3 is the one i’m always telling my employees and associates. Even if for self serving reasons, you must truly care about your customers. Their happiness = more sales. I’m not sure how we got away from being a stand-up country with honest businesses but it seems we surely did, but the internet is turning us back to our origins of truth, honesty and dealing fairly with our others.

  48. Management Courses says

    I agree with what you wrote. I mean, why hesitate? I really like number 2, ” engage people” this is really one of the nest aspect in Sales.

  49. Sky Conferencing says

    I think a lot of companies view starting a website as “something they need to do” rather than as a tool for sales.

    A lot of traditional outlooks on selling are still hard to overcome! But at the end of the day, the website is an online representation of your image, your company and your services…your raison d’etre!!!

    thanks for the article.

  50. Brenda Starr says

    Wow, great article. I get so bogged down with “content” for my website. I just need to keep it simple and focus, as you said, about what’s important and to just go with it. My broker, Sky Realty, has a huge internet presence and they are very generous about sharing their knowledge to help all of us be more successful. Thanks again, good job.

  51. lån uden sikkerhed says

    your sooooo right. i see again and again that people are scared to sell. Or even scared to send out newsletter more than one a month.

    Great article

  52. onggia2009@gmail.com says

    great points. A website is more than a presentation, it is a way to promote something. Nobody expects you to be modest on it. Put your best food forward and shoe what you’ve got.

  53. Jon says

    Great points and my view is that people see selling as being direct selling and that only. A website allows you to draw people in and is more of a subtle sales tool. How its used exactly depends on the market but it certainly allows a company to be transparent. Your point of being authentic struck a chord with me.

  54. Design Chester says

    Again nice post. A lot of useful information. I only recently found out that the cost of a website can be offset against business tax (UK only I think). This is now my key phrase when speaking to clients.

  55. Radio advertising says

    Hey Dawud,

    You are completely right, sometimes I hate the whle idea of having to ‘Sell’ to people, I don’t know if it is past stigma attached or just my own issues but you frame it well – it is a necessary exchange and that is all. If people stick your ten points then it is fine but I guess all too often, people don’t and that is what can fuel those stigmas.

  56. Goa custom thesis says

    Firstly yu should not forget about the purpose, why this site is importatnt and what aims you are going to gain with its help…You must be a good seller, but also try to be a good customer…this may help you to improve your services

  57. True Blue Web-Development says

    A website is as good as the leads it generates, or the sales it brings in. Unique web and print solutions we create for you aren`t just pretty to look at, they also bring results. Contact us if you would like consultation about web design or a web development project.

  58. electric mouse traps says

    Good pointers. Using our websites as a sales tool would surely be beneficial to our company. I’ll try to keep everything in mind. Thanks for the tips.

  59. public relations says

    I do agree with you that website are sales tools and we are here to sell. And to be honest with you, I’m buying your opinion here. What’s the point of having your website if you are not onto gaining profit. Through this, we want to inform other people about our ideas, opinions, perceptions, services and goods. If you do some effort in selling, you’ll earn. And those tips that you’ve shared are simply helpful to us. Thanks!

  60. Online Business HelpDesk says

    I certainly agree, and would add that in business today, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you are in sales and you don’t have a website. Customers are always doing research on companies or products they are buying. This give you the opportunity to give them a second sales presentation.
    Let’s say you talk to them and get their interest. They then go to your website, go through a 2nd sales presentation by browsing your website, and now they are ready to buy and call you back. It works with me all the time.

  61. muhte?em yüzy?l izle says

    If you’re not selling, you’re not making money. If your site isn’t making money, it’s a liability.

    Why keep paying for a liability?

  62. email marketing tracking says

    Websites are the easiest access the people could have in looking some answers with their respective queries and website is all about selling. They must contain persuading answers on people’s problems. I strongly agree with you Mr. Miracle in saying that, we almost sell in every dealings we have because persuading other people to believe in our ideals is a perfect example of it, as what you also discussed. This post is so beneficial not only for business-minded people but also for everybody who never thoroughly understand the world of selling.

  63. george bil says

    Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  64. arackiralama says

    I think online businesses have to work extra hard as of late. There are a lot of shady characters online that make a lot of money, but leave a bad taste in the customers minds for us.
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  65. shahin says

    Great points. Number 3 is the one i’m always telling my employees and associates. Even if for self serving reasons, you must truly care about your customers. Their happiness = more sales. I’m not sure how we got away from being a stand-up country with honest businesses but it seems we surely did, but the internet is turning us back to our origins of truth, honesty and dealing fairly with our others.

  66. naris says

    I found what is now the greatest power of the human story. Not to use wind power Prof does not require such light. Do not use streams. Does not require rotation. As it is still a power already I think that if one found, it would do me. It is very easy to find materials. I would like to seek advice Shopping unit told me that I have to sell Heycid where Money selling a lot. I am a Thai people offline. I highly appreciate.

  67. Calgary Web Design says

    Fantastic post with great points! I think your point about WHY you are selling what you’re selling is so important. Selling for money is just one level of interaction between relationships and for the most part it is a factor in our highest causes. I am definitely going to consider the points here for my web design business.

  68. Calgary Plumbers says

    I’ve been writing my blog for a few months now and I’ve tried to provide value to my potential customers instead of doing a “hard sell” with my companies products or services.

    Great post!

  69. Custom Homes says

    #7 is a great point – know WHY you’re selling something. But I would add to it: Be HONEST about why you’re selling. If you’re not looking to be charitable/make a difference in people’s lives, don’t pretend like you are or try to ride both lines. In the end, that’s pretty transparent and your customers will be unimpressed – misinformation never sells.

  70. Web Design Calgary says

    Very well put. We’ve been saying this since day one. There are way too many people paying high dollars for flashy websites that do absolutely nothing. A website has to have a purpose, and is an extension of your business. That means it should have an ROI at the end of the day.

  71. Online Business Listing says

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  72. Online Business Listing says

    My spouse and i ended up being very peaceful when Chris managed to conclude his investigations while using the precious recommendations he grabbed out of your weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just happen to be giving freely information and facts which usually some people could have been selling. And we fully grasp we now have you to give thanks to for this. The specific illustrations you’ve made, the easy blog menu, the relationships your site help to instill it’s all remarkable, and it’s making our son and us reckon that that matter is pleasurable, and that is tremendously serious. Thanks for the whole lot!

  73. seo says

    Along with the whole thing that appears to be building throughout this specific area, your perspectives are quite radical. Having said that, I am sorry, because I do not subscribe to your entire idea, all be it exhilarating none the less. It appears to everybody that your comments are generally not entirely justified and in actuality you are generally yourself not really totally certain of the argument. In any case I did take pleasure in reading through it.

  74. Bobby says

    Great tips, Dawud. They seem to be specific ways to simply ENGAGE more with your customers and give the business MOMENTUM, which is key for riding the ups and downs of selling. Thanks, your post is bookmarked!

  75. seo says

    Wow, great article. I get so bogged down with ?content? for my website. I just need to keep it simple and focus, as you said, about what?s important and to just go with it. My broker, Sky Realty, has a huge internet presence and they are very generous about sharing their knowledge to help all of us be more successful. Thanks again, good job +1 good

  76. seo services says

    It is certainly a set of properties for maximum performance. He could not know that ideas can be that specific variety. Enjoy all your willingness to provide such information below. Right now, the relationship is that only I could get an insurance plan th

  77. vintage clothing says

    I am very satisfied with the content that you mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article. I enjoyed every bit of his party and I’ll be waiting for updates

  78. Lipozene says

    I like the cut of your job 🙂 or at least your thought process but sorry to say, I honestly think you would have fully sold me on the idea had you been able to back up your premis with a substantial bit more solid facts.

  79. Calgary Plumbing says

    Great post Dawud! Couldn’t agree more with your points. Just be real and genuine and let that guide everything you do in business. If you offer good value and quality, and come across with integrity – your customers will love you!


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