I remember a few years ago I was chatting with someone who I am friendly with, we were talking about the domain business and I said as a salesperson you need to think about your selling strategy. He replied back, “How dare you !”
I was like wait,what ? “Don’t you ever call me a salesperson, I am a branding expert.”
I asked him how many companies have hired him for branding advice ? Pause…”well no one, but I think of these names and how they could be brands.” I said that is great and liking words and visualizing an advertisement, a marketing campaign, etc… help in the business of domaining. I said that doesn’t take away the fact that you need to sell these domain names to reap the rewards of your time and effort.
I asked why he seemed so offended by being called a salesperson ? He said he thought of a slimy, used-car salesman whenever he heard the word salesman. Delving deeper into the conversation, he did not like to sell, did not think he could do it. He went on to say that the names he regged were quality and that buyers would find him.
If you have a portfolio like Anything.com then you can take that approach, but for 99% of those in the domain industry you are going to have to work.
There is a lot of competition out there, the liquid stuff, 2,3,4 letter/number.com, one word generic .com, will always have multiple people interested in your inventory. When you get into the brandable category or long tail keyword stuff, alt extensions like the new gltds, there is not an active liquid marketplace where you can just sell whenever you want and bring home top dollar. You need to think of what part of the market do you want to be in ?
There are hundreds of millions of domain names registered, the reg it and forget it formula is not going to work for most. Now of course everyone does not have the time or desire to be cold calling prospects all day. Email marketing must be done in the proper way as to not run afoul of any spam laws.
The domain investors who have taken a more proactive approach toward sales tend to do better, there are excpetions, those that own the top-tier names that generate interest from around the world. Rick Schwartz does not have to get on a phone and cold call people about Candy.com or Porno.com.
The vast majority of domain investors in the world do not have those kinds of names, they have some good names that have competition from other domain investors who own similar quality in similar niches. Whenever I have read someone write get on the phone, the majority of comments have always been, “I don’t like the phone” or “I am afraid I will say the wrong thing”. That’s fine to not like the phone, most people hate cold calling and if everyone was good at it then everyone would be a super salesperson.
I am not telling anyone they have to do any one thing, it is more about looking at your business and deciding how can I make more sales ? There is a tremendous amount of inventory out there, supply greatly outstrips demand, you need to find ways to make yourself standout and get the business others are overlooking.
If you don’t want to sell directly you may want to seek out a domain broker, now one caveat is that they are going to be looking for the highest quality names as they get paid on commission. So maybe throw out your top five names that have some better than average quality and see if a broker can work with you.
If you are not going to use a phone, other methods may include buying an ad in a publication that deals with the industry of the domain you want to sell. Certain publications may be too expensive but if you look hard you just may find something you can use. The other thing you may want to do is find someone not from the business and coach them up, there are people who think they can sell anything, put together a list of prospects and some selling points and get someone you know to do some cold calling for you.
Another way is in the offline world, go to meetings, ask to speak in front of a group of people and position yourself as a branding/digital marketing expert for their industry. Education goes a long way, these are not traditional routes because everyone wants to just work from home and make that money fast, but if you own 1000 names, with 0 sales, it may be time to think about other sales techniques.
Best of luck