In the natural order of things, after you’ve done your marketing, the next step is sales. Since the whole world moved online, the Internet has become a very crowded marketplace indeed.

Contrary to what you might have seen some other businesses doing, the way to convert customers and generate sales is not to shout the loudest or use cheesy ‘before stock runs out’ messages.

Gone are the days of pressure sales tactics. Consumers are wise to website plug-ins that tell them ‘somebody just ordered this and only 3 remain in stock’. They know it’s fake, and that loses their trust.

Trust is actually what you need, and should be focusing on at every step of the customers’ journey; from marketing, to sales, and then to the aftercare and general customer service.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make customers buy from you.

Communication and contact details

I already mentioned the importance of trust building with your customers. Communication is a key aspect of trust building, and being open with your contact information shows that you are available to communicate.

Have a choice of ways to contact you, or your customer service team, at the footer of your website so it is available on each page. Some large companies (telecommunications ones are a common example) like to make their contact information hard to find. Consumers hate this and it damages trust.

In a competitive world, it’s these small, customer-focused differences that make you stand out as more trustworthy, and a better company to do business with.

If you have the capacity to offer a text chat service on your website, these can make a huge difference to your conversion rates. Being able to answer customer queries in real time, without them having to make a call, is a huge bonus.

Yet not many businesses are onboard with this yet, leaving space for you to utilize it and steal some customers from your competitors.

Be a solid brand

The look and feel of your brand has more influence than you might think. Of course, a familiar brand or household name is the King in your industry. But you can learn something from these brands to use for yourself.

Think about the household names you know. They have simple, short names that are memorable. The logos are simple, clean and instantly recognisable. The brand colour palettes are simple; not too many colours competing for attention.

Big brands also give you a feeling. You will likely have an emotional association with them. I know that might sound intimidating to a small business, but with time and persistence anyone can build a similar emotional connection.

Starting with your brand’s appearance, you also want to go for smart and simple. If you are starting over with new branding, then there are some great free tools you can try. Check out logo creator and colormind.

As for building an emotional association, that really comes down to communication, brand values and customer service. Treating your customers well, following up after sales to check on their satisfaction, and generally being communicative gives you a great start.

You can also make use of your social media channels to share your brand values, and keep the lines of communication open with your followers. Try to respond positively to all comments on your social posts, and generally keep people engaged.

Think beyond the first sale

That first sale from a new customer is a great step, but it isn’t the end goal.

You want to focus on generating repeat custom, so that means your point of sale isn’t the end destination. You want a good automated delivery update system, and to delight those customers with your service and communication.

According to Hubspot Research, 93% of customers are likely to buy again when they have received great customer service. If that doesn’t make you focus more on aftercare and communications, I don’t know what will.

Customers who buy only once are more expensive acquisitions. If you only have to romance them with marketing once, but they buy again, then those repeat sales have a much higher ROI for you. In summary, repeat customers are the key to increased profits.

When you get your marketing and customer service right the first time, you only have to ‘make’ customers buy from you once. If they have a good experience, the stats say they will return to buy again.

This is crucial for a sustainable, scalable business. When you have a healthy list of repeat customers, your marketing efforts (and cost) can be scaled down, as your profits scale up.

So remember to focus on gaining trust and loyalty for the long term. In the short term to get those first sales started, simply show that you are trustworthy with clear communication and strong branding.