In the final part of this brandable domains mini-series I’m going to talk about a lot of different techniques and strategies I’ve seen over the years as a community administrator for the largest domain investors community in the world, NamePros! Many of the more seasoned in the industry will already know the majority of these strategies, however, whether you are a veteran or just starting out, you may want to bookmark this page and use it at a quick checklist reference. Sometimes, we forget the basics and need a quick refresher. I know I’m guilty of that. 😉
Before we get started I ask that you take a moment to first read the article I wrote in Jan 2013. The information in that article will help you get more in tuned with the psychological side of sales, which is critical in determining your success: Domain Selling Psychology
Legalities to keep in mind
Domain investing is a business model and may be subject to local/state/country laws. The two articles I wrote in 2012 below will provide you with more in-depth information for U.S. residents. If you are from another country, be sure to check with your local laws.
Here’s an article from another NamePros member that could prove to be useful.
Connecting With Your End-Users
An end-user is anyone that buys your domain for the purpose of development. The list below is of different ways to connect with potential end-users and is in no way inclusive.
Whois – One of the first things on everyone’s list is usually to check the Whois of companies in the same niche market as their brandable domain for contact information.
Search Engines – The next popular one on the list would be using your favorite search engine (Mine is Google) to locate potential buyers. Using a few different targeted search phrases you can pinpoint companies that may benefit from adding your brandable domain as their next project.
Phone Book – Never be ashamed to break out the good old phone book (I like the Yellow Pages). You can easily navigate to your target niche quickly and start compiling leads.
Online Communities – Not just any community, though. It needs to be targeted to your brandable domain niche. What better way to find a captive audience of leads than in a community full of thousands of members that love the same exact thing your brandable domain is for.
Purchasing Leads – There are companies that specialize in generating leads through surveys that they claim are exact target matches to your niche. This can get costly, especially if the leads don’t convert.
Old Databases – Now days, you can pretty much buy database lists of members from long forgotten communities. You can specify your target demographic and get a database that matches.
In Person – The good old-fashioned way was to walk into a business and shake the hand of the owner. It still works! Just walk out the door, down the street, and stop at every business that could use one of your new brandable domains.
Published Ads – Believe it or not, the published ads shouldn’t be ruled out. All those companies paying to advertise in reputable publishings may also be looking to expand or acquire new domains to develop into portals that target different keyword campaigns.
Referral – Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know if they might have a lead for you. Offer them a referral/finder’s fee.
Brokers – Using a broker is another good way to get your brandable domain in front of a potential end user. Let the broker do all the work for a % of the sale.
Marketplace – Never underestimate the power of a marketplace. With almost 1 million members (That translates into eyeballs on your assets.), I suggest listing your domains on the NamePros Marketplace.
Market/Advertise – Get creative and advertise your domains for sale somewhere different. Check out the list I created back in Jun 2011 of 247 marketing ideas and techniques. (You’ll want to bookmark that page as well)
Dining Out – That’s right, it can be as simple as handing a waitress a business card with your tip. To give a bit more detail on what I mean, feel free to read the following article I wrote in Jan. 2015: Closed An Unexpected Domain Sale With A Stranger At Denny’s
Preparing your pitch/presentation
Let’s not get the cart before the horse. The list of ways to connect with end-users is great, but you want to be prepared for when you meet them. You’ll more than likely need to create multiple templates to cover different techniques and study them for any in-person, phone, or cam communications.
There’s no easy way to get around this. You just have to dig your feet in, practice and perfect your presentation (Adapt, Improvise, overcome). What works best for one personal most likely won’t work for you due to many different variables such as, but not limited to; different target audiences and niches.
Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction:
The tips below are in no specific order. It’s up to you to place them where they need to be in your custom presentation.
- First – Be sure you already read: Domain Selling Psychology
- Address any concerns or challenges the potential buyer has – It helps to research potential challenges first and have some solutions ready for your presentation.
- Let the potential buyer talk – It’s common for us to get carried away with excitement about the perfect brand for a potential buyer. This sometimes causes us to talk too much and makes the buyer uncomfortable that they can’t get a word in edge wise. Let them ask questions or make statements.
- The shorter the better – Let’s not get long winded and shoot ourself in the foot. The shorter your presentation is, the better. Be sure to have all the key points ready. No need for fluff.
- Feedback – Ask past buyers for their valued feedback. You can use that information to strengthen your presentation later.
- Connection/Commonalities – Make a connection with your potential buyer through commonalities. Part of your research before contacting a potential buyer should be their hobbies/interests. Identify one you have in common and use that to break the ice on first contact. The more comfortable a buyer is with you, the easier it is for them to pull the proverbial buying trigger.
- Animation – By this, I mean your body movements or digital expressions. many presentations can be boring and people get side tracked in the middle. You want to retain their attention through the whole pitch. Being animated helps you keep their attention on you.
- Demonstration – Since domains are digital assets, there isn’t much in the way of a demonstration except to have some examples ready based on their competition (Also part of your research). It also helps to have visual assistance, which is where branding your brandable domain comes in handy. It gives a visual representation of what their brand could be instead of just a URL.
- Confidence – It’s important to have confidence in your brandable domain. Confidence has a way of emitting an invisible aura around you that people can feel through you. Potential buyers like to know they are making a good investment. If you have no confidence in your domain, neither will they. Or they may take advantage of you and low-ball for a fraction of what the domain is actually worth.
- Desperation – Avoid desperation at all costs. Potential buyers can smell desperation all over you. Just like with confidence, it emits an invisible aura around you. The last thing you want is to run off a potential buyer because your desperation made them feel like they couldn’t trust what you were telling them. Not many people want to do business with someone that’s acting like they would do anything (Even lie) to make a sale. You want to build trust, not destroy it.
- Research – As I already mentioned a few times above, research is very important. So, I’ll reiterate; The more information you have about the potential buyer, their company, their target audience, their products/services, their competitors, their industry, etc. the easier it will be to effectively communicate the benefits of your brandable domain.
- Notes – Before, during, and after a presentation, you want to always be taking notes. There may be a small but significant detail you overlooked that could help close the deal later when you prepare a counter.
- Countering – Negotiating is compiled of a few different elements. One of which is a successful countering. You don’t want to drop too low too fast, but you still want the potential buyer to feel like they are also getting a good deal.
Here’s an example of a counter I did in the past that worked:
- Buyer: Your price is too high
- Seller: The value of this domain is well over my asking price of $5k. I’m taking a loss already letting it go for that.
- Buyer: $5k is way out of my budget. It’s just a domain. I’ll give you $1k for it.
- Seller: I can certainly understand your limited budget. Keep in mind that we’ve already established that this domain could potentially triple your investment in a matter of months. It’s all pure profit for you after that. I can help you out on the price a bit and come down to $4k. You can initiate the payment here (Insert your payment method here)
- Buyer: I know what we talked about, but the most I could do is $2.5k
- Seller: It looks like we are at two completely different price ranges regarding this valuable asset. I’ll tell you what, so that we can both feel like we made a good deal here today, let’s meet in the middle at $3.25k. What is your registrar information so I can get this domain to you after payment confirmation?
- Buyer: You drive a hard bargain. My registrar information is: (Insert registrar info here).
Sales Letter Example
Everyone seems to be asking the same question when it comes to emailing a potential end-user. Are there any sales letter examples? The answer is simple, yes, of course, but you will still need to customize them for your target buyer. Without any customization, you’ll be wasting a lead. Don’t fall into the bad habit of copy/pasting generic opening presentation letters. If you put some effort into it, you’ll start to see better results.
Here’s an example of a sales letter I used in the past that worked
(Insert Potential Buyers First Name Here),
I was doing some research today in the (Insert their industry here) industry and came across the following inconsistencies in your competitor’s campaigns.
(Insert your target demographic research here)
I noticed that there was an opportunity for a company such as yours to take advantage of that and dominate your market. I’m sure you are well aware of how beneficial a solid brand and campaign is, so I won’t waste your time talking about what you already know.
My proposal for you today is to consider how acquiring (Insert your brandable domain here) can put you ahead of your competition. Here’s a few things that a brandable domain like that can accomplish for you:
(Insert benefits and comparisons here)
I would love to take a little time to sit down and talk to you more about your companies untapped potential. When is a good time for you?
(Insert your name here)
I would love to write more about selling your brandable domain to end-users, however, as you can see, this article has gotten pretty long already. Rather than inundate everyone with a forever scrolling page, i’ll take a step back and maybe start a new series at a later date that covers some of the other aspects of selling domains. Besides, I can’t give away all the secrets, right?
If you have any suggestions as to what you would like me to write about next, please comment below. I’m confident that what I’ve covered so far will be an asset to your sales arsenal.
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Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries.
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