Some DNS Tidbits You Need To Know
As most of you are aware, the Domain Name Sales (DNS) platform is the brain child of Frank Schilling and has been adopted by numerous domainers across the globe as the place to park and sell your domains. While parking revenues are dropping and no longer the lucrative income source it once was, the robust platform with integrated CRM is an excellent place to sell your domain names. However, it appears that the great majority of domainers may not be taking the right approach in maximizing sales through the platform.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Jeffrey Gabriel, who is Vice President of Sales with DNS. Jeff is an industry veteran with over 70 million dollars in domain name sales under his belt and as he says, is a numbers and stats guy, because stats don’t lie. I’m a numbers and stats guy too and when Jeff shared his insight regarding the statistics pertaining to actual closed sales at DNS during an excellent presentation at Namescon, I knew I needed to change the way I do things on the platform going forward.
While Namescon broke the industry record for conference attendance, with around 900 attendees, not everyone was able to attend and with multiple sessions going on at any one time, there were many attendees who were unable to hear Jeff’s presentation. As such, I thought I’d put this article
together and share some of what I learned.
One of the more interesting statistics shared by Jeff was the fact that 78% of the sellers who respond to buyer inquiries on the platform do not provide a phone number. In fact, 40% of these sellers also don’t provide their full name when responding to inquiries. Most will provide a first name only, perhaps a last name or just initials. Sales is about trust and the more successful sellers on the platform always provide their full name, phone number, skype information, etc., making the buyer feel a little more comfortable that they can reach out to you if they want to. If you’re hiding or being cryptic, as most are, you are really just driving sales away from you!
As Jeff reminded us, to be successful in real estate, the main rule is location, location, and location. In domain sales, it’s comparable sales. Do your homework when listing names on the platform and be armed with comparable sales that have occurred. While this probably isn’t anything new to you, don’t make the mistake of only looking for comparables using just the keywords in your domain name. Look at other sales in similar categories, whether it be a specific sector (i.e. healthcare, education, travel, etc.), type of domain name (i.e. call to action, brandable, etc.) or specific consumer product domains.
One of the consumer product examples Jeff used was menswatches.com. Don’t just present comparable sales with the keyword watches like goldwatches.com, digitalwatches.com etc., also find and present previous sales with similar but different consumer products like earrings.com or rings.com.
Taking this approach often makes the light go on for many potential buyers who are not familiar with domain pricing and such similar sales will often legitimize the asking price you have presented.
Another great take away is to know your industry inside and out. While you may think you know all that you need to know, many domainers on the platform don’t do their homework and blow many deals as a result. Jeff’s example discussed the fact that many domainers will explain to potential buyers that the sale can be consummated using Escrow.com or similar escrow services. However, when they come to an agreement to sell a name for say $10,000 and send them to Escrow.com to consummate the deal, the buyer may be surprised to learn that Escrow.com’s credit card limit to purchase a name is only $5,000. Suddenly, the easy deal you thought you had might quickly disintegrate, as you sent them there and did not educate the buyer that this would be the case, because you didn’t even know it yourself. Did you know SEDO’s credit card limit for purchase is only $500?
Take the time to know all the ins and outs of your business, otherwise you’ll end up with egg on your face and will lose many deals that you could have had. There are many things you control as a sales person and doing them right can make all the difference in the world when trying to consummate a sale with a potential buyer.
Some of these are obvious like your image (i.e. how do you present yourself on Facebook, Twitter, etc.?), your professionalism (how do you respond to inquires? do you follow-up when you said you would ? Are you accessible ?) and knowing your industry (payment methods, transfers, contracts, etc.). All these things are within your control and the quicker you take control of these things, the quicker you will be successful in selling domains.
There were many other great points that Jeff shared, but I thought the most important pertains to price. You need to give the potential buyer a good experience in order to make a sale. The most common response given to an inquiry from a potential buyer who indicates that they want to purchase a specific name, is to say “we are looking for offers in the $XXXX to $XXXXX range”, or “we are looking for 4 to 5 figures for this name”. Again, it’s about trust and the buyer’s experience during the transaction. Most buyers will walk away at this point. What other industry prices its products or services as “4 to 5 figures”. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute…if you brought your car to a mechanic to get fixed and ask what the cost is going to be, what would you do if the response was “the cost will be in the mid $XXXX range”? The answer is obvious, yet the majority of unsuccessful sellers on the platform still use this approach.
Back to some stats, 99% of the time, Frank, Jeff and the brokers at DNS selling Frank’s names, provide a price out of the gate when an inquiry comes in. That’s how they qualify them. That’s how they get responses and reactions out of them, including offers. I learned a long time ago to do what successful people do and if you want to sell more names, you should consider it too. For an even more eye-opening statistic, 55% of people who consistently provide a price on the platform (again this would include 99% of inquiries into Frank’s names), sell 85% of all the names sold on the platform. If that’s not a wake-up call, I don’t know what is! If you want to sell more names when an inquiry comes in – set the price! At some point you’re going to have to anyways. If you do it at the beginning, the stats prove you’ll simply be more successful!
A big hats off to Jeff for sharing his insights! I know I’ll be selling a lot more names this year taking these approaches and I hope you do too!