3 Practical Lessons 37Signals Can Teach You About Selling Online

37Signals is one of the most successful and most admired web businesses in the world today. Why is that?

They are a spec compared to Facebook (in terms of employee count as well as estimated revenues).

This doesn’t matter though because they have been able to set themselves apart by staying true their philosophy, both in writing on their popular blog and in how they’ve run their company.

This philosophy is echoed in their sales tactics on their website. Here are five practical lessons one can observe by studying them:

Simplicity sells.

How many times have you visited a website and wondered in frustration: what the heck are they all about? What is the product and benefits?

If you visit Basecamphq.com or any of 37Signals other flagship products, you’re notice how their pitch for each is very straightforward: “Project Manage Themselves… The Leading Online Project Collaboration Tool.”

The language is basic and non-technical which makes it easy to comprehend quickly.

In addition, if you sign up for a free account you’ll notice how simple their interface it. There’s far fewer features that other similar services, but this makes getting up and running a quick task, even if you’ve never used the service before.

Scratch Your Own Itch

37Signals was originally a web design firm, like what PetoVera is today. Each of the products they sell today was born out of a desire to solve their own problems related to getting web design projects done for clients.

This is important to note because if you’re solving your own problem by creating a product for yourself, which you also plan to sell to others, that means you’re part of the target market. This makes you much better at pitching the benefits and value of your service since you understand, literally, from the customer’s point-of-view.

Plus, want to do marketing research? It’s much easier if you can just ask yourself and your team members rather than take a larger survey, whose results are more ambiguous.

Start a Blog, Build a Following, Have an Opinion.

A blog is a great way to build an audience or people who are passionate about the same ideas you’re passionate about. Writing a blog allows you to connect in a more personal and meaningful way with customers, friends, and fans.

When you do so, let you’re personality come out! Don’t be like a robot. Have an opinion on something, take a stance, contribute some original ideas!

For example, although this isn’t a blog post per se, in a recent interview with Jason Calacanis, 37Signals co-founder, David Hansson expressed the adament viewpoints that startups don’t need to take venture capital to be successful and that profitability is the purpose of any real business.

What are some other lessons we can learn about selling on the internet from 37Signals and others?

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