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How to sell a site

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Foggy, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. #1
    I don't even know if this is the right forum for this thread but mods please move it if it isn't.

    I've been studying what people sell here and how they sell it and I've put together what I think are some good principles on running a results oriented sales thread. They are very general and may not suit everybody but if it helps even some people then I haven't wasted my time.
    SEMrush
    Planning your thread

    1. Get all your stats, screenshots etc together carefully, and compile your sales post to include all major details. If you don't wish to disclose a link to the url you can always mention it as my**site dot com (remove **). But to avoid your thread becoming 600 posts of "Send me details by PM," disclose as much as possible in the original post.

    2. Post it at a time when you are going to be around to answer questions and not just before you go on vacation (yes, some posters do that!)

    Managing your thread

    3. It's a business thread so keep it business like. The more professional it is the more likely you are to sell. Some threads are easier to run than others but your job is to keep your thread running smoothly. Mess it up and you'll lose potential buyers. Have the thread go sour, go argumentative, get abusive ... and you've lost some of the best buyers - they don't want to deal with you anymore even if yours is a fantastic site!

    4. Be prepared for negative comments. People will try to antagonise you, don't let them. Nobody who is interested in buying your site has anything to gain from talking the site up and saying that it's worth a lot more money. It's always in their interest to say the site is worth less. Your mettle shows in how calmly and professionally you handle this negativity! These negative posts are the most important ones in your thread and you can usually convert them into positives by the quality of your reply.

    5. There are often people who drop in to say what a good deal your site is, how they'd love to buy it but it's not a good time for them etc. These are called rubber necks - and they are a waste of time. It's very nice of them, and they may help by defending you against some negativity, and you may like what they say but getting dragged into public conversations with them is de-railing your own thread. If you have to thank them or reply to any suggestion or comments they've made you can take it to PMs (and become good buddies - that's fine). But you're here to sell a site and they have no money to buy it - ignore them in the thread.

    Marketing

    6. You are selling something. So behave like a salesman. Salesmen don't shout at people (even if those people are not customers. Bear in mind that "potential" customers are watching you and won't be impressed). Behave like how you would expect a salesman to behave. Answer questions politely, don't be sarcastic or argumentative, don't be rude or condescending. Verbal victory against some known idiot may feel good but it ruins your thread. It doesn't matter what anybody else says - you can't control that - buyers are judging you by what you say.

    7. Answer all genuine questions. Someone noticed that there was a break in WHOIS last year but you are claiming it's a five year old site? Ouch! Apologise straightaway. Everybody makes mistakes. Buyers won't hold a mistake against you but if you are publicly seen to be trying to cover it up... that does you no good. But, do answer questions as honestly as you can. Very often the eventual buyer is just watching from the background and not saying anything but carefully analysing all your responses.

    8. Talk to people. Look around, see who's buying what. Send a few PMs to people who might be interested (Send blanket spam and you'll annoy a lot of people. But carefully chose recipients and show in your PM that you know what their preferences are and those people will feel flattered!)

    Get Real

    Be prepared to admit to yourself that you may have gotten it wrong. Sometimes sellers - including myself - are so sure that they have a good deal they are unwilling to accept anyone else's advice or opinion. No matter how sure you are of something you could be always be wrong. There was a thread recently where someone with a very average $10 domain name wanted a five figure sum for it. Everybody kept laughing at him and he was dishing out red rep and negative trader feedback and getting very irate. And that just encouraged more people to criticise his unrealistic expectations.

    Two lessons there:

    9. If it's going badly - pull out. There's nothing to be gained from dragging out a sad, argumentative, bickering thread. Let it die, leave it a while and start a new one (and run it differently)

    10. If you haven't sold at the listed price and if you haven't got offers even close to your reserve (whether a publicly disclosed reserve or not) then do consider that you could be wrong about your valuation, wrong about the attractiveness of your site, and wrong about what people are willing to pay for what you've got. Either admit that or sit on your site and keep dreaming (and looking a bit silly too).

    That's it. Thanks for reading. :)

    Some content reproduced with permission from Merkersarl's site.
     
    Foggy, Jul 31, 2006 IP
    valueman, iqra_psh, routed11 and 4 others like this.
    SEMrush
  2. britishguy

    britishguy Prominent Member

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    #2
    Solid, sensible, and constructive advice
     
    britishguy, Jul 31, 2006 IP
  3. iqra_psh

    iqra_psh Active Member

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    #3
    Very good thanks,
    Have some green :p
     
    iqra_psh, Jul 31, 2006 IP
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  4. Phoenix Network

    Phoenix Network Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Yep nice one mate, stars and green added :).

    Regards.
     
    Phoenix Network, Jul 31, 2006 IP
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  5. routed11

    routed11 Peon

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    #5
    Nice advice, this should be part of a sticky for this forum.
     
    routed11, Jul 31, 2006 IP
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  6. Foggy

    Foggy Link and Site Buyer

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    #6
    Thanks :) ....
     
    Foggy, Jul 31, 2006 IP
  7. jaree

    jaree Well-Known Member

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    #7
    Very true and professional have a greeen :p
     
    jaree, Jul 31, 2006 IP
  8. sji2671

    sji2671 Self Made Mind

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    #8
    So quotes like the above should be kept out of buy/sell?
    I know you were not selling in the quote I took from you but it was from the sales forum of which you now describe acceptable behaviour.

    If you can preach to others about ethics on conducting yourself then should you not match those standards even when posting as a potential buyer?

    Don't get me wrong I am not saying I am whiter than white and for the most part I totally agree with your post, I would like to see better moderation in the sellers forum as there are far too many people with no budget that love to trash threads and devalue or value sites that they can't afford and pass judgement when it is not called for, so in principle I agree with your post.
     
    sji2671, Jul 31, 2006 IP
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  9. Jaguaros

    Jaguaros Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Great and valuable info :)
     
    Jaguaros, Jul 31, 2006 IP
  10. Foggy

    Foggy Link and Site Buyer

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    #10
    I don't "describe acceptable behaviour" of posters. That's ridiculous, you can't control what other people post in your thread. But, as the seller, your posts need to always be polite if you want to give a good impression. Others can rant and rave but you have to keep cool if you want to reach your objective.

    It's simple: Most people in forums are used to discussion threads like this one where the talk can meander away. But if a seller allows meandering in a Sale thread he's drifting from the goal.

    That's a good example thread you refer to (link later).

    My analysis, FWIW:

    Seller has a very useful site that he puts up for sale at $50K. Some Rubbernecks say it's a nice site. OK, no damage done. By post #9 he has a Troll who says, "I don't think you intend to sell anyway". Seller can ignore that but he chooses to engage and insult. Ouch!

    Someone else comes in and sounds like he may be a Troll or a serious Buyer. He seems to know one or two things about high value sites and a little research into his previous posts show he's bought/sold sites of this value in the past few days. Seller answers his questions politely. Brilliant!.

    The Buyer gets back to challenge some of the assumptions and predictions. Then he's followed by someone who looks like a Rubberneck, looks like he's on "the Seller's side" but what he does is attack the Buyer whom he seems to have some previous history with. Aha! This could really be a Troll pretending to be a Rubberneck.

    Pivotal point now. Seller has two ways of responding.

    Better way
    At one stroke he's removed this "problem" Buyer from the thread. If he's a genuine buyer he'll be just as happy to raise questions via email or phone and he seems to have indicated in a previous post that he'd prefer email. But, instead, the Seller makes it a chat thread and engages with the Troll! The sentiments of his reply to the buyer are:
    Boom! That blows it. Nobody is interested anymore and the Seller pretty much abandons the sale. Link to the thread
     
    Foggy, Aug 1, 2006 IP
  11. Foggy

    Foggy Link and Site Buyer

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    #11
    Thanks to everyone for their kind comments, and the generous green they've been dishing out, it's much appreciated :)

    I'm no world authority on selling sites and when I come to sell my own I'll probably make a big hash of it! :) But, I started this thread because I wanted to share what I've observed here so far. Feel free to add your thoughts!
     
    Foggy, Aug 1, 2006 IP
  12. starsoft

    starsoft Active Member

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    #12
    I agree! Great advice!
     
    starsoft, Aug 1, 2006 IP
  13. prettypeach

    prettypeach Peon

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    #13
    thanks for the advise!
     
    prettypeach, Aug 1, 2006 IP
  14. Foggy

    Foggy Link and Site Buyer

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    #14
    No problem. :)

    What? Nobody with other comments/insights?

    (Interestingly, it looks like someone gave this thread a low star rating. Whoever you are please do share where you think the advice is lacking or what can be improved :))
     
    Foggy, Aug 2, 2006 IP
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  15. Richie_Ni

    Richie_Ni Illustrious Member

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    #15
    Profesional article,learned something from it,thanks and green rep added :p
     
    Richie_Ni, Aug 3, 2006 IP
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  16. Nindja

    Nindja Peon

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    #16
    Nice advice ..thanks buddy :) Wanna sell my domain vigrx.org.uk he is N1 in google with keyword vigrx ,but sell very slow 400 - 500 $/month :(
     
    Nindja, Aug 4, 2006 IP
  17. Foggy

    Foggy Link and Site Buyer

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    #17
    Thanks guys :)

    Sorry, Nindja, I have no services I'm selling here but I'll gladly have a quick look at your sales tread draft if you want to PM it to me before going live. FWIW, IANAL etc.
     
    Foggy, Aug 4, 2006 IP