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Selling Online Products in the Offline World

By Scot Dantzer
Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Making online affiliate-based sales is becoming easier every day thanks to the growing sophistication of online sales tracking methods and affiliate marketing support.

It should come as no surprise that a large number of online purchases are for computers, printers and accessories. After all, these are things web surfers use every day.

But nearly every day I field questions from friends, family and colleagues who are getting ready to make their first computer purchase so they can get on the internet. In many cases, these folks have never even seen the web or have spent little time online. This dilemma presents a special challenge and a unique opportunity at the same time.

How does the affiliate make this offline sale?

The answer to this question is a simple three-step process. First, sign up for one of the many computer equipment affiliate programs available on the web. I use a Dell computer and heartily recommend them, so I signed up for the Dell affiliate program through (

The next step is to create a sales page that you load to your website. If you don't have a website you can simply sign up for a free site from one of the many free providers. A favorite of mine is at (

This page doesn't need to sell your customer; it simply needs to provide the links through which the customer will click (many affiliate programs such as Dell contain hidden codes that require your customer to click from a web page.)

For an example of my Dell sales page visit (

You'll notice that the page isn't a hard sell; it's a simple page with affiliate links to the Dell site. When my customer clicks on any of these links I'll be credited with any purchases he makes.

The third step is to get your customer to your sales page. This is the obstacle, since your customer may not be on the web yet.

If necessary, ask the person over to your house. Give your him a hands-on demonstration of the very product he's thinking of purchasing. Once you have your customer online, show him around the net.

Let him navigate. Show him some of your favorite hangouts, your website, your favorite discussion boards, favorite game sites and anything that might interest him. After a few short minutes on the web he'll absolutely NEED that new computer!

Wrap up your presentation by taking him to your sales page. For an extra-special touch, name the page after your customer, such as "Mark.html"

By now he's thoroughly hooked on the web and thinking about a purchase. Let him do it by clicking from your sales page.

Now the Dell affiliate program pays a very small commission, but what I've gained is far more important…a relationship with that customer that he can't get at an offline computer superstore.

I've walked him through the web, shown him all the bells and whistles on my own computer (including some add-ons he might like) and established myself as a valuable source of technical information.

The next time he wants to make an online purchase, who will he ask? When he wants to buy software who will he come to for advice? And most importantly, when he has questions about affiliate programs or starting his own online business, who will he ask? You guessed it!

The value of this customer is far greater than the few dollars I made on this original sale…it's the lifetime value of the customer.

Keep your eyes and ears open for offline opportunities such as this. When you discover someone with a specific need, create a specific page to provide the solutions. Your new customer will thank you many times over with repeat business.

About the Author
Scot Dantzer is a media consultant and entrepreneur in Philadelphia. Download his newest book, "Dimes-2-Dollars: 8-Steps to IMMEDIATE eBay Profits" from (
Internet Marketing for "The Technology Challenged." (


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