PREselling - What Is An "Open To Buy" Frame Of Mind?

This is a question that Rick asked in the Sitesell forum recently (you can read the entire thread here), and here's a post I made as part of the discussion...

It's been interesting watching several threads recently where a lot of people are saying things like "I've sent 1000/1200/1600 visitors to Sitesell and haven't made an Solo Build It sale".

As several people have mentioned, it's certainly important to understand the mindset of the people who arrive at any site you are promoting as an affiliate, and there are a number of factors that make a huge difference to your conversion rate when selling anything.

I recently built a site with a partner in a very competitive niche selling a high end coaching product, and we did very well in the first few months from organic search traffic, article submissions and Google Adwords ads.

As an example, had just over 300 unique visitors in January 07 and made over $16,000 in gross revenue (90% net - the average product price was $4000). 

Once we had the sales process sorted, we launched an affiliate program and some of our affiliates drove some pretty significant traffic to the site trying to get it to convert. In fact, affiliates drove another 14,000 visitors to the site over a short period of time.

The result? 

Not one affiliate sale. I was getting the same "I drove 4561 visitors to your site and I didn't make a sale; your program sucks" messages from my affiliates as I've seen in the forum recently, so I was concerned that something wasn't working correctly in the system.

On checking our traffic stats, I found that virtually ALL of these high traffic supplying affiliate's visitors were coming from Ken's traffic source group 3 Above - Traffic Swarm, paid to surf programs, and the like; just garbage traffic that had no interest in clicking on an Adsense ad, let along buying a $4,000 product.

Organic search, articles and PPC work, along with many other methods, but it takes WORK. 

That's the stumbling block for most people because compared to getting paid to surf, it's 'hard'. I'm not saying that Sitesell's affiliates are all doing this, but I was amazed at how many of ours were…

Another thing that continues to amaze me is people's reluctance to focus their site's Most Wanted Response on building a list. Nearly every big earner online (and many offline) uses lists (their own and joint venture partner's) to sell their products and services. 

Sitesell uses their lists very effectively to communicate various offers and information to us as Solo Build It owners and affiliates. If you watch what successful people do (as opposed to what some of them TELL you to do), you learn a lot about what works and what doesn't.

Carefully building a list of people, and then nurturing a relationship with those people over time, is the single most important business building activity you can do. If you do it right, many of the people on your lists will come to know, like and trust you. Then you can make product recommendations to them and because of the RELATIONSHIP you have, you will make sales.

Your PRE-selling is much easier when you have done it this way because of the trust you have built up. Many times it just goes something like this by email -

Hey John,

I found something that I thought you might be interested in. I used it and it doubled my email open rate/helped me to lose 9 pounds in two weeks after Christmas/solved my dog's barking problem overnight.

Anyhow, it might not be for you, but I thought you may want to know about it in case it was If you're interested, check it out here -


Let me know if this helps John, I'd love to hear your thoughts.



You can do this once you have built the relationship of trust between yourself and your prospects/customers, but so many people focus on trying to PRE-sell a brand-new, first time visitor to their site on why they should buy something, without first building that relationship.

No wonder it's a hard slog. It's just like that salesman walking up to you as saying "Can I help you?" that was mentioned earlier in this thread. Your response is often "Nah, I'm just looking (so leave me alone jerk…)" as the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you feel like heading for the door…

Another thing that can help to build trust and help in your PRE-selling efforts are testimonials from happy customers. 

If you don't have any testimonials of your own (and you should always try to get them from people who order products and services on your recommendation, even if you are selling affiliate products) do whatever you can to get them. 

If you have a list (there's that list again) and you see people buying a certain affiliate product, send out a message asking for feedback from those who ordered.

If the testimonials you get back are good, use them on your PRE-selling page for that product. If they are bad, start selling another product in that category. Your reputation is precious, you don't want to risk it over a few bucks.

Another thing I've noticed is that some people build hundreds of pages around keywords that will be a struggle to convert into sales. 

You do need a certain number pages built around 'generic' keywords to create the backbone of your site, but if you focus on keywords that people are searching on when they are ready to BUY a product or service, then you have a much easier job of PRE-selling them right from the start.

As an example, the mindset of a person who arrives at your site from a search for the keyword Pontiac GTO is going to be much different to somebody who arrives from a search for Pontiac GTO inlet manifold, Pontiac GTO tail light assembly or 1998 Pontiac GTO carburettor.

Specific searches like this are typically followed by a purchase of the product if the price and terms are right. All you have to do is PRE-sell your visitor on buying from you instead of somebody else.

Now imagine if you owned a Pontiac enthusiasts newsletter (or even better, a Pontiac GTO owners newsletter) and you sent out a message to your list about great deals on some Pontiac GTO parts you just uncovered. 

Why some of them are either going to want to order something from you (because you are their 'guru'), or they will know somebody else who is looking for Pontiac GTO parts, they'll tell them about you (somebody else does the PRE-selling for you) , and your job of selling just got a whole lot easier.

So, the steps that have worked for me are -

1) Focus every site's Most Wanted Response on building a list of targeted prospects (and then creating various lists of customers who ordered different products) so I can build a relationship with the people in my market. 

Most of the top online (and offline) business owners focus on this as one of their main objectives (you can't go anywhere these days without seeing a squeeze page with an irrestible offer above it). Watch what others DO and then follow their system.

2) Spend my time PRE-selling the benefits of joining my list rather than trying to sell products or services to first time visitors. You will earn a lot more money over time if you have taken the time to build that relationship and bond with your readers first

3) Focus the majority of my site's content pages on BUYING keywords whenever possible. On every one of those pages, I again try to get my visitor to join my list as well as share my knowledge of the product they searched on. If you do this right, you'll get a newsletter subscriber AND a customer.

4) Follow up regularly with both prospects and customers. I had a lady this week who has been on my Sitesell list for THREE YEARS who finally ordered Solo Build It. You never know…

Hope this helps,



P.S. Ried said earlier "Only recommend those things that you'd recommend if there were no profit at stake."

This is absolutely critical.

John Reese now tells his readers that he will be making a profit if his readers purchase through the link in his messages. Full disclosure doesn't hurt. 

If you are honestly providing value, it will help your sales because people want to deal with honest business owners and if you have already built that relationship with your readers, you can really do very well by providing honest solutions to people's problems.


I hope this short rant of mine helps you to make more money with your online business,

Warmest regards,