Day 21 – Feedback

domain feedback

This is it, the final day in the 21 days to becoming a better domainer.  That said, this is not the end of your journey to improve, to become better, to reach your goal.  It’s nearly the end of this series.  So let’s get on with it.  On Friday, we talked about assessing how and what you have been doing.  Adjusting what isn’t working against what is working. This is all internal to you.  Your reflections on your experiences.

 

“There is no truth. There is only perception.” – Gustave Flaubert

Now it’s time to ask for some external feedback. on what you’ve been doing and how you could improve.  This is valuable because you maybe doing things that you think are positive and effective, but if your potential customers find them not to be, then the reality is they are not positive and effective.  This is often hard to fathom.  “How can they not see the value in this?”

This is where external feedback is extremely helpful.  What are some ways to source this feedback?

  1. Ask for feedback from recipients of unsuccessful email campaigns you have sent
  2. Ask customers you have successfully sold to
  3. Bounce your methods off of some of the trusted mentors and contacts you developed earlier in this series

Ask for feedback from recipients of unsuccessful email campaigns

You’re probably thinking, “if they didn’t respond to my sales email, they aren’t going to respond to a request for feedback.”  You’re probably right…. well mostly.  I recently sent out a batch of emails on a restaurant name with no responses.  It was pretty frustrating because I really thought it was a great name for the recipients I targeted with my email.  I had high expectations and zero results.  WTF.

In my frustration, I decided to send a second email about two weeks later to the same group.  I titled the email “What can I do?”  My email stated:

I understand you don’t have interest in acquiring this domain name. This is a big part of my small business effort and I’d appreciate any feedback you can give me on what I could have done differently to have at least gained your interest.  You don’t owe me anything but I would consider it a favor from one small business owner to another if you would reply.

Out of the batch, I only received 2 responses.  Hey, that’s a better rate than my original email.  One email stated “Let me talk this over with my business partner and I’ll get back to you.”  Wow, either this person didn’t originally see my first email or he is considering the purchase.  Great!!  The second email said “The domain has nothing on it and doesn’t have any traffic.  If you can build it up and get some traffic, I might be interested.”  Great feedback here.  Not part of my sales plan, but something I will certainly consider for this name.  I can see how that would make it more attractive than trying to build the initial traffic yourself after buying the name.

Ask customers you have successfully sold to

As off this writing, I haven’t actually tried this one out, but I plan to.  What better source is there for what a customer wants then from one that has made a purchase from you.  While I haven’t contacted a buyer for feedback, I have contacted buyers for repeat sales and been successful.  It’s worth asking, “what made you buy?” to gain some insight into what works.  Maybe they already understand the value of a keyword domain and other buyers don’t.  Maybe you worded your initial email in a more persuasive manner.  Ask.  Find out.  Adjust. Repeat.

Bounce your methods off of some of the trusted mentors and contacts you developed earlier in this series

Hopefully you have gained some new contact on the message forums, reaching out to bloggers, working on Twitter.  These are people in the industry with a whole different set of experiences than you’ve had.  If you’ve developed a strong enough relationship, reach out to one or more of them and say “Here’s what I’m doing…  What’s worked well for you?”  You’d be surprised how domainers are willing to share.  I’ve said it before in different ways, overall, domainers I have meet have been stand up, quality people.  There are the exceptions, but overall a very good group!

Hopefully this series has helped some new domainers take some actionable steps toward growing with their new found passion.  I also hope that some of the seasoned domainers have found some reminders of old habits and dusted them off for re-use.  Remember, this is not the end.  This is the start.  I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions so feel free to post you thoughts in the comment section or shoot me an email.  Good luck!

Day 20 – Reflect on your experience

sharpen the saw

Day 20 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer and today is about taking a look back on what has worked and what has not.  It’s only been 20 days, but periodically, you need to stop and take note of what’s been going on.  Often times, you’ll get so caught up in the hustle of doing that you forget to pay attention.  You need to check in with yourself an discover what’s working well for you, what is not, and make some adjustments.

An example might be your email pitch.  If you’ve sent out hundreds of emails and have gotten no replies, there are plenty of things you need to analyze and revisit.  Here are some questions to ask.

  1.  Is my email server actually working?
  2. Does my title suck so bad that everyone is deleting my emails?
  3. Are the names I’m trying to sell of no interest to anyone?
  4. Am I targeting the right audience?
  5. Is this the most effective medium I should use?

I’m sure you could come up with plenty more to help you get to a better place.  May you need to do some research on writing sales emails.  Maybe you need to do some research on investing in better domains.  What you know for sure is you need to take action and try something different.  Then, after some time, you need to stop and ask yourself if that change has had an impact.

Another example might be that you found when making sales calls, you actual make a sale every 1 in 50 calls.  If that’s the case, you know how many calls you need to target for your next sale.  You can also ask yourself how you can improve that rate.

  1. Am I calling the right people?
  2. Am I saying the right thing?
  3. Is there a better time of day I should be calling?
  4. Should I speak with a British accent?
  5. Any patterns that can be identified?

It could be that you find that by calling before 8am you are more likely to get a hold of the company owner, thus the decision maker.  Maybe most of your successes happen on Tuesday’s after 10am and before 2pm.  Then you know when you need to spend your time making calls and when not to.

You could be making more meaningful contacts at one particular domain message forum than another.  It may be worth your time adjusting home much time you spend on each site.

There are hundreds of other things you could assess.  The answer to all these questions can also change over time.  That’s why it’s important to stop and look around every once in a while.  The grind is great.  The hustle is power.  But you just want to make sure you are doing the right things more often.  Call it sharpening the saw, call it the 80/20 rule, call it whatever you want. Just make sure you do it.

Day 19 – It’s time to make the call

domain name sales

A couple days back I wrote about the importance of the domain sales email.  It’s how I’ve made the majority of my sales.  It works.  It’s not easy, but it works, sometimes.  I’m always surprised when I send out a batch of emails on a domain name and get no takers.  I’m convinced I worded something poorly or titled the email in a way that was not intriguing enough to bother clicking on.  Email is a great way to reach many people at one time.  Or is it?

According to HubSpot, 76% of sales emails go unopened.

Plan B

I am no salesman, let me be honest with you.  Never have been and never will be.  Not in the traditional sense.  I just don’t have that type of personality.  I’m in the wrong business, right?  I have to let the product and facts speak for themselves, which is what I did when selling a couple of geo business names.  Since the names were local towns, I decided to pick up the phone for a more personal touch.  Instead of sending out a couple dozen emails, I picked up the phone and started calling.  I used my land line because I thought it might be more appealing for the prospect to see a local number coming in.

The first time I tried this was for a GeoPlumber.com name.  I decided to pick those plumbers that were paying for Google Ad Words for the term and give it a shot.  I called about 5 businesses in the area.  I talked to administrative assistance, voicemail boxes, one guy I’m not sure spoke English, and finally a plumber.  We talked for about a half hour and I explained to him why I thought he could benefit from the name and some options he could leverage using the name.  He asked me to come by so I swing into his office for about another half hour.   When I left, I had a check in my hand and a new contact in my list.

According to Grasshopper.com, “Phone calls are 10x more likely to lead to sales.”

I took the same approach with some geo chiropractor names.  It worked for a couple of names but not for a few others.  In one case, I was invited into the office to pick up a check for the name.  While I was there, I noticed on his paperwork that he had a practice in another town nearby.  I went home and registered that name.  I called him back a week later and made a second sale.  I’m not sure if I’m ashamed of that or proud of it.  I think I’m proud of it.  Grabbing ahold of an opportunity and doing something with it!

I’ve had luck with this approach with geo names, especially those local to me.  I plan to implement this approach more often for all my names, no need to limit it to geo names.

I came across a domain called SorryNoCalls.com.  It’s an article about a guy who doesn’t often take or make calls.  Some of the reasons he gives for not taking calls are the exact reason why you should be making calls.  Here are a couple:

3. I have a really hard time saying “no”. – Well, yes, of course.  That’s why I want to talk to you on the phone and ask for the sale.  Most people have trouble saying no.  It’s easy via email, just delete it.  But on the phone, there is a real live person on the other side.

4. I’m pathologically polite, and just can’t get the timing right. – Yet another perfect reason.  It’s easy to be mean via email.  Mean by not reading it, mean by not responding, mean by writing bak with some type of sexual insult about my grandmother and prehistoric animals.  But on the phone, people tend to be nice. They “hear you out.”  You actually get to make your point.   You can talk about monthly searches, Google Adwords, type in traffic, building out another site.  You can provide examples of what other companies are doing and the person is actually more likely to listen than if you were to send an email

There are times when a phone call just isn’t going to work.  If you’ve been breaking rocks at the day job from 9 to 5 (or longer) you probably have missed the window of opportunity to catch someone during business hours.  You don’t always have the option to leave a voicemail or message and to be honest, it’s just not the same as talking directly to someone.  The weekend might be another time that phone calls don’t work as well.  It’s the weekend and although you’re hustling your ass off, most people are not.  There not going to be sitting by the phone waiting for you to call on Saturday afternoon.  In these cases, an email is a great alternative.

Give the phone a try.  Work on your pitch. Fine tune it.  Revise it. Master it.  Let me know how you do and your thoughts on this approach.

If you want to catch up on this series, visit 21 days to becoming a better domainer.

Day 18 – Can reading a book make you a better domainer?

domain name books

The end is near.  Day 18 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer.  Let me take your back a bit.  When I was in school, I HATED reading.  Alright, hate is a strong word and I would actually have had to do some reading to be able to hate it.  I guess I did read a little. The ingredients of the cereal box in the morning, the back cover of the book I was doing my report on, the answer key floating around for the literature test coming up in 9th hour.  But that was it.

My first summer out of high school, I actually bought a book one of my friends recommended.  No, it wasn’t a self-help book, just a fictional book and I actually enjoyed it.  I mean, I read the whole thing and I didn’t even HAVE to.  That was pretty much my slow climb to the point I’m at today where I really enjoy reading.  Mostly non-fiction, business related books.

There is a lot off information online and you might be thinking, “there’s no need to read books, that’s old school.”  I beg to differ.  When I first started domaining, I couldn’t find enough information.  It was all available on the internet, but in 10,000 different places.  I wanted to know the history.  I mean, I wanted to know why in the 90’s it cost $70 to register a domain.  Who were the pioneers?  Then I came across a book.  The Domain Game.

It’s full title is The Domain Game: How People Get Rich From Internet Domain Names, which I feel is very misleading.  Maybe good for sales, but it’s really more of a well written history of domaining.  You can read my review, but I learned a ton.  Foundational stuff.  Not how to sell, but how it got to where it is today.  You’ll likely even recognize some names in there.  But this is info that hadn’t all been gathered in one place for me to read online.  It took David Kesmodel’s time and effort to research and interview people to put this together.  Many other books are just like that.  They collect great related ideas, concepts and information all in one place.

Since then, I have read dozens of books on domains, website development, marketing, sales, business principles.  Some have been great and well worth the time while others have completely sucked and were a waste of time.  But you won’t know until you start digging in, asking for recommendations, or just taking a chance.  I’ve learned more from reading and trying then I learned in college, which makes sense.

As I mentioned in a prior post, podcasts and audiobooks are great, but reading a book is an experience of it’s own.

 

Day 17 – The Domain Sales Email

domain sales email

I don’t know about you, but even just writing these past 16 posts has re-energized my domaining flow.  I’m pumped.  Do the kids still say that?  On to day 17 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer. The other day we were all about landing pages and listing your domain names for sale online.  That’s all well and good, and you really need to do that.  But sometimes its the more direct approach that gets you the sale.  By that I mean targeted emails to highly qualified potential buyers.  That, in my book, is not spam.  Because my book has never been published, I will give you the Google search result for “define spam”:

domain sales letter

The fact that we want to target relevant end users in a small population, we are not dealing with spam.  Now, if I were to send the email to ever domainer that walks the earth, which I have seen happen, I would consider it spam.  But those are my rules.  Debate amongst yourselves.

As far as I have found, there is no one, solid, end all domain sales email template that will ensure you get a sale every time.  But there are a few variations I have found more successful than others.  Here are a few posts I’ve written about various emails I’ve tried or received.

  1. Domain Sales Email – From a Domainer to a Domainer
  2. A Domain Sales Email That Worked!
  3. Domainer Emails
  4. The Domain Sales Email that Caught My Eye

No matter what you do the single most important thing you need to do is to tailor your email to your audience.  Don’t try to blast out some generic templated mess that could be churned out by a VA in a Mexican prison for $.30 per day. Think about who it’s going to and why they might care about the name.

Some are cut and dry.  If you’re selling ChicagoBakery.com then there is not much you need to say if you are emailing bakeries in Chicago.  When I first started domaining, I sold a bunch of spray tan related domain names by emailing spray tan services.  I didn’t say much other than the name and my price.  However, if its less obvious to your buyers, you might want to explain why it’s relevant and how many searches per month are done on that term.  I’ve done that with names that I thought would sell easily.  Then I found I had to pack in more evidence to support it’s worth in my next set of emails because it didn’t sell the first time around.

You’re going to have to stumble and try different formats.  See what works and what doesn’t.  What works for some types of names may not work for others.  Scan the forums to hear what’s worked for other people and what they advise against.  Domainers are a pretty good bunch and tend to help each other out.