Darren Roberts
Copyright © 2001, All Rights Reserved

Each day in our normal day-to-day life, we communicate to our fellow person. For example, when we order a sandwich: "Multigrain bread please, no butter, cheese, sun dried tomatoes and tuna, with a dash of pepper". There you go, not hard at all and the person with whom we are communicating knows exactly what we want or asks questions to clarify our request: "Would you like Cheddar cheese or
Mozzarella?" Good question as there are lots of different cheeses!

Well, you say, what is so important about ordering my sandwich? I do that every day, lots of people do it daily So, what is special about it?

It's a good example to show us how important communication is to each and every one of us. We need to communicate effectively to be understood. It's highly unlikely you'll get a positive response from the person making your sandwich if you can't make your preferences known. A key step in getting what we want is the way we convey our message to our fellow person.

Your web site is no different. It is a communication medium. You're communicating what you have to offer. The information super highway has gained serious momentum and provides millions of people with the information they are looking for in the comfort of their own homes.

As competition makes it ever so much more difficult to gain a piece of the market in your specific field of interest the days of the Internet cowboy are all but at an end. Professionalism in all areas has lifted the quality in the ways we present ourselves online.

To increase the likelihood of not just making a go of it, but thriving at our online business, we need to convey our message with clarity, free of ambiguity and fully supported by our high standards of customer service with our personality emanating through.

Everything revolves around your ability to communicate. You must ascertain at what level your audience is listening and adjust accordingly. Since "The Net", in comparison to face-to-face liaison, is impersonal, you must take further steps to bridge this handicap and get to know your audience as well as you can. It is quite likely that more than 90% of visitors will walk into your store and walk out again without having undertaken a transaction. It's not necessarily bad - just business of a different nature.

You need to strategize from an E-Commerce standpoint. If you don't, figures where 95% do not buy from you may make it harder to get the ball rolling and gain necessary momentum.

When you walked into the cafeteria to order your sandwich, you would have most likely been met with a cheery "Hello", a smile and a courteous "What Can I Do For You Today" greeting. This would immediately warm us to them and we would go about making our order with little reservation.

One thing, which is a little more difficult online is to establish rapport with your potential clients. Rapport is communication driven. You need to establish it with your web site visitors immediately upon their entrance to your Cyberspace Warehouse. Give them an opportunity to see the face behind the graphics and sentences that make up your online shop.

How Do You do This?

Firstly and foremostly, you're going to need to set up a powerful web site that provides easy navigation as well as an excellent and uncomplicated layout. Coupling this with well written copy enticing your visitors to read on will lead them to availing you their name and email address for future correspondence.

On your site, you'll have information about who and where you are. You may even upload a photo or two to allow visitors to literally see who they are communicating with. This is, very generally, the first step.

Now that you have created rapport, you will want to capitalize on the relationship you have built with your visitor. This is where you will have provided a quality of information so high that your visitor will yearn for more. Since your web site is packed with top-notch material that your visitor has an avid interest in, now is the time to ask for their personal details.

Chances are, if they like what they've seen and would readily take as much as they could lay their hands on, then you can ask them to subscribe to your informatory ezine. It is when they subscribe to your publication that your chances of selling your products and services to them are greatly enhanced.

The reason for this is because your credibility has increased. They know that you aren't a fly-by-nighter who will disappear into thin air overnight. You are gaining momentum as an information provider and with it, the likelihood of selling your products and services in line with your business theme is increasing exponentially. This will avail countless opportunities for you to present your wares to a receptive target audience.

If you aren't the best communicator in the world then E-business is going to demand more from you to develop this quality. Communication is the central point of any business. Develop and refine the way you interact with people. Learn from your errors, adjust and re-fine your ways & methodologies.

Communication is a wonderful ability. We need to make the most of it in order to achieve what we want. Ultimately, it is paramount in making our web site an effective business medium.

Darren Roberts
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