Get More Sales: How a Sales Professional Can Use the Internet to Increase Sales

Author : , Date : August 11, 2014

get-more-salesI’ve been in sales virtually all of my life and the one thing I’ve learned over twenty years is that you have to find ways to create relationships with your prospects and customers that are not intrusive. Experienced sales professionals understand that meeting people where they are at and solving their problems is the entry way to a meaningful, lasting, and profitable business relationship.

In the world we live in today, sales professionals must learn how to market themselves! After all, do your customers buy you or do they buy your company when they first meet you? I think you know that answer?

Yet, many in sales still market themselves in the old traditional means. I walked the other day into a Chamber of Commerce and saw their display board filled with hundreds of business cards and brochures. I asked the lady at the table how many people still visit the display?

She said;


“Not many. We’ve talked about doing away with it because many of the cards and brochures have been there for a few years.”


That’s telling isn’t it?





In another instance I was in the lobby of a company preparing for a meeting to share how this company could increase their online influence. As I waited a young man entered the office with the purpose of soliciting his product. He was promptly asked to leave. He tried at no avail and then was told to leave immediately.

He actually made the receptionist angry. That certainly didn’t help his cause did it?

I met this company online through social media where they clicked on a blog article on my website. They then chose to contact me to schedule a meeting.




Which instance do you think is preferable; the intrusive walk-in or the inbound marketing online?

While there are many, many examples of people getting it wrong in sales there are many more that are getting it right! It all comes down to training and experience. You don’t just one day wake up an instant sales success. Or at least very few do.

To become successful in sales you have to learn to think like and entrepreneur, as if you own the business. Many companies want and expect that of their sales professionals. If you don’t own it and believe in your company, why should your prospects?

In a previous article titled “Mastering Your Business – 5 Areas You Must Perfect to Succeed” I shared how mastering your business is the key to success. While I’m talking to business owners in this article the principles equally apply to any sales professional.


Why a Sales Professional Needs a Website


Most corporate or business websites rarely mention their sales teams and how to contact them. In many instances, I find that many companies only shares their senior executives.

Who cares? Are they going to be the ones out making the sales? Probably not, but they are sure going to be the ones who hold the sales team accountable aren’t they?

A good sales professional must become a good marketer. When you become a good, or better yet GREAT, marketer sales come much easier.

What should be on your website? Here are a few ideas:


  • What problems you solve for your customers
  • How your product or service you sell is part of a solution to your customers problems.
  • Information about your product or service
  • Information about yourself – your interests, hobbies, why you chose this profession or company to work for.
  • How they can contact you
  • A blog – this is critical!


Using a website properly as sales professional shows that you take yourself and your company seriously. It says that you are willing to engage people and build relationships with them through the value you offer via your blog.

We live in a time where we have to give our prospects a reason to buy us. How you can best do that over and over again without having to make the same presentation over and over again?

A website can offer that for you. It can offer efficiency and the prospect of a larger audience than you can meet at one time.

Think about it for a moment. You may find that you get a lot of the same questions over and over again. What if you created a short video and put it on YouTube. Then you created an FAQ page and started answering the repetitive questions you get on a regular basis with the text and embedded YouTube videos.

How much time could you save yourself if you had that available for people?

I guarantee a lot! And we all know that time equals money!


How To Use Your Sales Professional Website


Having a website by itself is not enough. However, any good prospector ought to be learning how to use the internet to help fill their marketing funnel that turns into leads and sales.

We all know this, but few sales professionals actually do it.

Your website ought to be loaded with valuable information that helps solve your prospects and customers problems. After all, that’s why your company exists.

It either manufactures a product or sells a service for the purpose of helping someone. If you know what that “really” is imagine how much that changes the game for you and for them?

How do you do that?

You have to identify the problems you “really” solve through story telling. Your blog if done right will be the main catalyst for your website traffic. It will be the initial touch point. As you offer more information that is helpful to your prospects and solves their problems they will over time (maybe a month or three months into it) start connecting and resonating with you.

You will be earning trust and the opportunity for them to reach out to you instead of you having to reach out to them.

Wouldn’t that be a nice problem to have?

The goal of your website is to create more opportunities for sales. All sales are driven by relationships that start with competency. Once competency is established they will decide if they feel they know, like and trust you.

If you create the environment and then validate it with great articles and testimonials you will start to see an influx of new sales opportunities.


So I Have a Website; What Now?


As I mentioned above it takes more than just having a website. You will have to promote and market your articles.

The principles online are the same as they are offline. Keep it simple and don’t complicate it.

This is where social media and connecting with other influential bloggers become important to helping you establish and grow your audience who will in turn become sales opportunities or referral partners.

Here are some links to a few articles that share how to build your targeted website traffic:

If Content is King, Why Isn’t Anyone Reading My Blog

How Promoting Your Articles Turns Into Shares and New Friends

Why Should I Visit Your Website, Stay On It, or Buy From You?


Challenges of Having Your Own Sales Professional Website


Outside of putting in a little effort and energy to writing two articles per week and promoting it, the biggest hurdle you may have is the out-of-touch business owner, executive, HR department, or sales manager.

It’s amazing how short sighted and narrow minded some people can be. They may be working from an area of scarcity and fear. I have heard it all:


  • Anyone can say what they want online  – you’re right and they are anyway regardless of whether you have a presence online or not.
  • We are allowing our sales team to prepare to leave – bad news… they will eventually any way. Will it be because you push them out or because they spent a lifetime helping your company and they have earned the right to retire early?
  • This online stuff doesn’t work – you’re right. If you create the conditions for it to fail it certainly will.


The biggest challenges you will face will be mindset challenges from yourself and from your co-workers and maybe even your bosses.

Here is the reality: if you like the results you’re getting then keep doing what you’re doing. But if what you’re doing isn’t working or getting the results you want then you will have to change what you’re doing in order to get what you want.

It’s really that simple.


The Benefits of Your Own Sales Professional Website


The benefits of having your own website are HUGE. Let’s just list a few:


  • You can target your specific audience
  • You can bring your offline audience online to expose and share with them more
  • You can bring your online audience offline to personalize their experience with you at a more meaningful level
  • You can be more efficient at answering people’s questions once instead of one-at-a-time
  • You could be meeting tens, hundreds, or thousands of your prospects at one time
  • You have a platform to create many relationships you would never have otherwise
  • You can create competency, authority, trust and confidence quicker
  • You can shorten your sales process long-term


Do those benefits sound appealing to you at all? They sure do me!

Every day I gain new opportunities for leads. Want a few examples that came as a result of my website, blogging, and social engagement (see article above on If Content is King…):


  • A medical student finishing his residency wants to discuss building his first website for his new upcoming practice.
  • A fellow blogger needs help to create a new website
  • A bio technology company wants to create a comprehensive online strategy
  • A light construction company wants to build a new website and hire me to coach them through their business to help them learn how to properly message and market their company
  • A non-profit is hiring me to help them work through how to use the Internet, understand who all their different audiences are and how to message to each one online


The list goes on and on. In addition, in my comments throughout each article I receive messages like these:


  • Great job here Don and no wonder your business is booming. You know your stuff and I bet every company you work with is singing your praises.” ~ Adrienne Smith
  • A 30-60 minute FREE conversation with Don might be just the thing I need!” ~Tina Ashburn
  • Great information for business owners. I am going to send a friend your way. I think you could really help them.” ~ Rebecca Swenor


I could fill up this whole page with similar quotes. If you look throughout the blog articles you will find them buried everywhere, and it’s also all over my social media pages.

I guess I need to make a compilation, lol… I’ll add it to my list of things to do.


Here’s the point; How is all this for validation and credibility? And, it’s all in two months time. You can’t tell me it cannot be done. It’s all in what are you willing to give to it for a while so that it can get easier in six months, nine months, twelve months and in twenty-four months from now.


Your marketing and the benefits get easier with time. This isn’t my first go around and I’ve done it and seen it over and over again.

Success comes to those who earn it by contributing great information online, sharing it, connecting with influencers in your industry who serve the same audience you do but in a different way, sharing their content on your blog and social media.


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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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38 thoughts on “Get More Sales: How a Sales Professional Can Use the Internet to Increase Sales

  1. After reading this I am tempted by the offer of a consultation. I am based in the UK – do you think your thinking translates to across the Atlantic? My experience of different cultures would make me tend to say yes and no. Yes that people are motivated by the same or similar desires, but no, in that the routes to doing things are different.

    1. Hi David,

      Yes, absolutely it translates. The reason it does is that the “why” doesn’t change but the “how” might. However, from my experiences with folks from the UK to the US there is a lot of commonality.

      In my opinion, the why is what’s really, really important in sales and marketing to be begin with. Even in the US you’ll find different ways of doing things culturally. New England is very different than California and Texas is very culturally different than the midwest.

      That’s why the salesman must know his / her target markets and be able to communicate with them.

      I would love to chat with you David. If you’re interested please fill out that form and let me know and we’ll schedule some time on Skype.

  2. Don, I’m in the midst of an entrepreneur class and the marketing guru confirms what you are saying. Having a website is a must! Or, unfortunately, it’s like you don’t exist.

  3. Solid information with lots of well-outlined points for up and coming sales professionals, though I think this can be applied to anyone. I guess at the end of the day, we’re all in sales and are selling our brand. Whether it’s a product or just our writing, we need to be savvy. Great guide!

    1. Hi Carl,

      You are right, it can be applied to anyone, but you know the old saying; if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one, lol…

      You are right, if you own a business or are employed by a business then you’re in sales. If the person who answers the phone is rude, if customers service does deliver, if the product shipped is wrong; you decrease the odds of a future sale.

      Thanks for commenting Carl. I hope you’re having a great weekend!

      ~ Don

  4. Very informative post Don. It’s definitely important not to come across as pushy when you are in sales. Salespeople generally have a bad reputation, so it pays to change people’s perceptions if you can.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you! You’re absolutely right. There are so many problems when it comes to sales people and I outlined a few. Here is a few more:

      1. Most people in sales should not be
      2. Most sales people are not trained properly
      3. Most sales people live in scarcity and fear
      4. Most sales people don’t have the relationship skills

      I appreciate your comment Christine and your candidness!

      I hope you’re having a great weekend.

      ~ Don

  5. I enjoyed your post, Don. I wrapped up a 35-year career in insurance underwriting last year, and while it didn’t involve direct sales to end customers, it did require a level of sales acumen to win the support of brokers / agents / intermediaries. I like that your focus is directed to the mechanics and technology behind effective sales, rather than the ‘pizazz’ of selling. I’ve always thought that while there is some value in having the ‘sales personality,’ the customer will always take substance over glitter. I like that your approach makes use of technology for effectiveness and clearly demonstrates to the prospect how the products / services add value and solve problems, in their world.

    1. Hi Derrick,

      Thank you for the kind words! I learned a long time ago that if you’re having too many no’s and no money in the bank account, there isn’t much pizaazz in selling, lol…

      I think customers make first impressions based on personality, friendliness and authenticity. But, it will not last long if you bait them into marketing and then they began to feel the tension. You must have substance and have it quickly if the “likeability” is to remain in tact.

      People continue the sales process when they feel your competent and you’ve given them a reason to feel good and continue moving forward. Still, they only buy when there is a genuine reason for them to do so.

      In many regards, a website for a sales professional can be the first step to establishing competence and can validate why someone should proceed to the next steps.

      I hope you’re having a great end to your week. Thanks again for stopping by!

      ~ Don Purdum

    1. Hi Jeri,

      I love that and there is definitely a place for it. But we need to find out and learn where our audience is really out and determine how are going to talk to them.

      Thanks for the admission. Love your openness!
      ~ Don

  6. That is good article. I am not great at selling.I am pretty sure, you will find new customers. But, the dentists I work with are getting good business without doing much marketing and without a website. I can see how much they want to avoid marketing people and the new ideas. It might be a different story with young entrepreneurs.
    Wish you great success Don.

    1. Hi Bindhurani,

      Good marketing will make your sales much easier. As I said, many confuse the two and that’s when pressure is created and things fall apart in the sales process.

      Dentist are like medical doctors. They are trained in their field… not marketing. Just I am well trained in my field be have no clue how to take care of someone’s dental health.

      I do hope the younger ones get and understand. Just imagine if their business is good how much better it could be!

      Thanks so much for commenting Bindhurani!

      ~ Don

  7. hi, this was a solid article; I love how you continued to bring the reader back to the key which is know your customers and potential customers and solve their problems. If you do that, then they are predisposed to buy from you the next time they have a need for the product or service your company offers. thanks for sharing, max

    1. Hi Max,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      I appreciate your feedback. The reason I keep bringing them back to that is because if your marketing does its job sales ought to come easier and more frequently. The overwhelming majority of sales people keep marketing in the sales cycle and they end up losing the deal because they didn’t stop, listen, and solve the problem.

      When you do that you are teaching, educating, showing your value. Not marketing about how great your company is or how many assets are under management, blah blah blah…

      We have to give people a reason to buy us, not a reason to not buy us.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      I hope you have a great day!

      ~ Don

  8. I have never considered myself much of a salesperson; just didn’t have that passion for the sale like I do for writing or traveling. That said though, your article really puts things into a simple context that even makes me wonder. I know I have to get out there and market so am glad this post is out there for me to reference.

    1. Hi Tim,

      One thing about sales that’s true is if you do your marketing well, sales is easy. The problem is that most people have no clue how to market and then the sales meeting or presentation turns into marketing with an ask. That’s when things become uncomfortable. If marketing is done right, it takes care of the sale so that your sales conversation is answering other questions and allowing people to buy so that they don’t feel they are being sold.

      Hope that helps?

      ~ Don

  9. Hi Don,

    I don’t even think that cold selling works at all anymore. Nobody likes to be sold and nobody likes to sell that way anymore either.

    One day an insurance salesman was in my house and as we were chatting he told me that health insurance bet on your being healthy and you betting on getting sick. For one thing, I liked that statement right away because as a personal development student and coach I can totally understand that, but back to the point, I really appreciated that salesman’s honesty and the fact that he wasn’t trying to shovel his insurance policy in my throat.

    The points that you mentioned are so true. For my coaching I do bring offline people to my blog and when they see what I write about they usually trust me more.

    You’re got years of sales experience, so this blog post is very valuable for anyone wanting to understand sales.

    So, bottom line, yes, sales work much better and often time only when we build a relationship with the potential buyer first.

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      That’s a great illustration of the point; allow people to buy without feeling they’ve been sold. Sales ought to be a natural and easy thing if your marketing is done right and well. It should be doing the hard work for you so that when it comes time for the sell it just flows because sales equals education and education helps people buy based on an informed decision they’ve come to on their own, in their own way, and in their own time.

      When sales people continue marketing it doesn’t feel normal, because it’s not. Yet, that is what most sales people are taught to do… keep on marketing. When you do that, you create pressure and plant seeds of doubt because it is forced and both parties know it.

      Selling is just a by-product that validates a person is making a good decision when they choose to buy. Marketing is the educational / informational persuasion and sales is the relationship that is earned to the point of sale and beyond.

      I appreciate that you shared your story. I love hearing great encounters like that as they are so few.

      Hope you’re having a great day Sylviane!!!!

      ~ Don

  10. Hey Don,

    Great article. If you think about it, everybody is in sales because you can’t make any money unless you sell something.

    So this is a great article for everybody really.

    As with any business, online of offline, building a relationship is always crucial – but alot of people still don’t seem to put an emphasis on that. Guess that’s why they’re not achieving the success they desire at the moment.

    I think every business person should have a website … give them a chance to engage with their customers, see what they want and learn how to better serve them.

    Your benefits of why to have a sales website is very on point … especially these two points:

    1. You can bring your offline audience online to expose and share with them more
    2. You can bring your online audience offline to personalize their experience with you at a more meaningful level

    There are so many more opportunities for any business if they cross-promote across various platforms (offline and online)

    Great article here Don.

    Wish you continued success. Have a great week.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      You are spot on! Everyone in a company is in sales. Why? Because sales equals relationships. If someone has a bad experience with a person it could be enough to end the business relationship if the experience was bad enough. That includes people who answer the phone, greet you at a door, or ignores you at a moment that they shouldn’t.

      The reason I recommend a sales professional have a website is because it is their personal marketing; and as I always say if your marketing is done right and well your sales should come easier and more frequently. Too many people continue marketing in the sales process and lose the sale because they talked the person right out of it or planted seeds of doubt.

      Marketing stops when a meeting or sales conversation starts. You’re not there to talk them into anything, just to educate and give them a reason to buy from you. You no longer have to persuade them for your time or impress them with stats, etc., you just need to solve their problem and I guarantee you will close the deal 80% of the time or more. Why? Because everyone else is still talking features and benefits and that’s marketing.

      I hope you have an awesome week Andrew. I will see you on your website soon my friend!

      ~ Don

  11. My sales and sales management career would have truly benefited from being online. With regularly being the top in my company, it might have meant always being the top. Your list is terrific. It’s worth sharing for certain. I do not believe this myth that is perpetuating – the real salesperson is going to be a dying career. I don’t believe that for one minute. Thanks for the thorough post.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Sales will never go away. How we market for sales is changing but in the end it is always about people helping people. There is no level of automation or artificial intelligence that can take away a persons need for a relationship with another person. So, I agree with you 100%.

      However, if in our marketing we work to build a community of raving fans, we will never again have to look for leads. They will be right there with us helping do our marketing and making our referral sales easy.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      I hope you have a great week!
      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don,

    My curiosity was piqued so I had to check out your blog post. 🙂

    I love that you bring 20 years of experience in sales to drive home the fact that developing a relationship with prospects and customers needs to be nonintrusive–very wise advice indeed, and a great topic for discussion.

    Yeah, definitely – inbound marketing online is effective, but old school methods work too, but not the way that guy did it! lol

    Hey, I had a thought–what if you took each one of those brochures in the Chamber of Commerce rack, and visited their website, (if they have one) you could offer to bring them into the 21st-century with regards to methods to use to get sales, and would probably yield benefits for both parties involved. Or have you ruled that completely out?

    I completely agree with the list of things that should be on your website. I couldn’t agree more – all sales are driven by relationships that start with competency. Love that statement!

    Yep, it definitely takes more than having a website. Love the benefits you list of having your own sales professional website – any time you can go completely independent, the better it is.

    I’m very happy for your success, Don, and certainly wish you nothing but the very best as you continue to grow your business.

    Have an awesome day. 🙂

    – Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thank you for the encouragement. You always seem to know just how to say it!!!!

      I was talking with a business owner the other day that still relies on cold calls, tv ads, radio ads, and just happens to have a website so he can say he has one.

      I asked him how his advertising was working out. He said it was going poorly. Of course it is!!!

      No one wants to be bothered and that’s what most advertising media’s do. They annoy you in hopes they will get your attention. When I think about it, it just makes my head spin, lol…

      I thought about that with the chamber ads, then I wondered if that would be the wrong approach. Would it come across as spammy or intrusive? Especially since I don’t know any of them. Do you have any suggestions? I’m completely open.

      I just think every sales person should have an online presence and be taught how to sincerely and authentically use it to build a community. If they do it right for six to twelve months, they may never have to go looking for leads again.

      Thanks again for the encouragement Carol. I appreciate you!

      Here is to a great week ahead!
      ~ Don

      1. Thank you so much, Don, and I appreciate you also!

        Well, you could actually inquire about their business, I mean there are probably water park brochures and mini golf places and hotels… You could actually consider some of these as options for your family and make a personal call to get information.

        Lead in that way if you can find some brochures that you would actually like or be interested in their services enough to at least ask a few questions.

        Not double minded, but an old way of trading ideas I think. May or may not work for the companies listed in that rack.

        It’s cool to stretch our minds on a Monday afternoon, isn’t it?

        Now, I’m off to meet some friends for the evening.

        Have a good one.

        – Carol 🙂

        1. Good Morning Carol,

          It’s a great idea! I may head over to the Lancaster Chamber in the next few days and see what I can come up with. I appreciate the ideas!!!!!!

          You’re the BOMB!

          I hope you had a great evening?

          ~ Don

  13. WOW, what a complete list for anyone in sales. I am a former sales and marketing exec, so this really resonated with me on many levels.

    I would have loved to have had many of the tools now available in today’s sales environment. How different it would have been if we could had our customers in an on-line community. 🙂

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you for the kind words! It really is interesting how much has changed for the better in the last 5 years, let alone the last twenty years.

      My father in-law works in car sales and I still cannot believe the archaic, bullying, nonsense that goes on in that industry. If they were open to a new way of doing things with a great brand behind them they would be unstoppable.

      But, because too many are naive or think they’ve arrived, they will have to struggle until they either change or go away.

      I love sales and when done right it is an amazing experience to help someone! If every every sales profession learned how to build a community online that translated also offline, they wouldn’t ever worry about leads again…

      Thanks so much sharing Susan.

      I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  14. This really is a very complete list of the why and how to needed to succeed in sales in today’s world. I can’t help but be a little envious of the tools available today. When I traveled a 5 state area in my sales job, I would have loved the opportunity to bring my real life customers into an on-line community

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Isn’t that the truth! I remember when I got my first sales job with the New England Life and Investment Company in 1994. It was an amazing experience and the training was awesome. But still, it was radio, tv, print in targeted magazines and publications, trade shows, etc. Today, we can replace much of that with strategies that can more specifically target our desired audience and increase our opportunities in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago.

      Building a community that benefits others is the key to a successful online experience. Yet, so many are still in the “me” “me” “me” phase of the internet and don’t understand why it isn’t working for them.

      it will when and if they figure it out.

      I hope you have a great week Jacqueline. Thanks so much for commenting!

      ~ Don

  15. Great article. Great advice. The world is rapidly changing for everyone particularly sales people. I love the idea of each sales person creating their own site, their own voice online.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Thanks for the kind words! The world really is changing and so is the approach we can take to marketing and sales. If we work smarter and hard, imagine what we could accomplish?

      Thanks again and I appreciate your comment!
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Swathi,

      As long as you have a clearly defined purpose and strategies a website is an amazing tool! But it won’t help you just to have one for the purpose of having it.

      Thanks for sharing!
      ~ Don

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