Comparison Shopping and Starting an Internet Business
by: Don Berthiaume
Stop for a minute and think about how much we are, by nature, comparison shoppers. How many times a day do we compare things and make a decision based upon this comparison? It is so much part of our daily lives that we tend to overlook it or not really think about it.
When we shop for groceries, clothing, computers, vacations, hotels, airfare, automobiles, gas stations, insurance and investments. Where we eat out, when eat in, watch TV, go see a movie – and all those choices lined up along the wall at the local video store!
And it really doesn’t stop there, does it? Think about if you have ever had to hire someone or promote someone to work for you or with you. Didn’t you have to ขcomparison shopข then as well?
The list goes on and on – we are faced and expect numerous choices. Sometimes our decision is a ขnobrainerข and sometimes it may be among the most important decisions of our life.
Aren’t we always looking for the best value for our money, the best look, the best feel, the best taste, the best experience, the best person, the best enjoyment, the best…whatever?
We want what we want
And why is that? We could sit here and rattle off a number of reasons. But it comes down to one thing – perceived value; how it looks to us, how it feels to us, how it tastes to us, how it fits, how it rides, how much we enjoy it, how much money it will make for us, what we want to do at that very moment.
This perceived value is the result of the comparison of more than one product, service, or professional against another. A choice we make based upon our individual tastes, desires, moods, feelings and expectations. Is it what we want?
If we only had one choice there would be no decision other than yes or no.
Good, best, better
It’s as simple as a product or service claiming to have a specific set of features or benefits over another and each of us having a sense of what it is we feel fulfill our needs and desires.
Yet it’s as complicated as a trying to match the features and benefits offered by one party, with the needs and expectations of another; to find the right fit between what is being offered and what is needed.
Information overload – too many choices
We have 4,952 channels on television and nothing on! We have 24 varieties of peanut butter, 57 versions of the ขsame productข; low sodium, no sodium, low fat, no fat, regular, lite, ultra; 14 aisles of breakfast cereal. We have junk mail, we have SPAM, and as of my last check 7,930,000 search results in Google for ขstart internet businessข (but it only took 0.36 seconds to compile this list – impressive!).
The power of persuasion
Let’s face it, most of us still work hard for our money and we don’t want to see it go to waste. When we know we have a choice, we often take advantage of these choices and choose what we feel is right based upon the information we have at hand, or our knowledge base.
It is only when we are afforded no choices, given the impression or made to believe there can be no other product that would benefit us more, made to believe time is of the essence we will lose out if we don’t act immediately – we abandon our ขcomparison shoppingข.
It is then we can be more easily persuaded into believing what it is we ขthinkข we want or need.
Sometimes we relinquish the responsibility of ขcomparison shoppingข to others; a committee, a professional in the field, or someone who has done the necessary research to help us decide. We ask the waitperson what they recommend, we look for specials, we employ brokers, and we send someone else to the grocery store!
Sometimes we gladly pay to be able to be advised ขwhat we wantข or at least have the field narrowed down so we don’t have to spend as much time choosing.
Your Internet business
Here you are today, wanting to start an online business or make an existing one more profitable. But perhaps you lack the specific knowledge on how to do it. So your first step and every step thereafter is to seek out the knowledge that you lack.
Your decision to start an Internet business is not of the ขnobrainerข variety. It is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. It is one that will cost you time and money.
The averages predict it is unlikely you will score the big one on your first attempt or any subsequent attempt. Sobering as it is, less than 5% of all Internet businesses survive.
ขBut to try when there is little hope is to risk failure. Not to try at all is to guarantee it.ข (Anonymous quote – not mine!)
I would say a success rate of less than 5% qualifies as ขlittle hopeข. But it doesn’t say ขno hopeข does it? And even if it did, to change your way of thinking, I recommend you pick up a copy of Napoleon Hill’s timeless treasure, ขThink and Grow Richข.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it
Experts and socalled experts abound and are more than willing to get you to spend your hardearned cash on their advice, their solutions. So what do you do?
With 7,930,000 search results with Google on ขstart internet businessข you need to somehow narrow down those choices and select from a smaller field of proven and profitable ways to start or expand your internet business.
You need to narrow down your selection to a smaller field of experts who are included within the less than 5% who have actually succeeded with their Internet business.
There is not one expert out there that, on their ขsales pageข, offers comparison information for other, competing programs. Their ad copy is intentionally made to make you believe you have no other choice and you need to purchase their plan and do it NOW, or at least before Midnight tonight!
But you can wait. You don’t have to fall for the sales hype or sense of urgency. That is what the ad copy is intended to do, and that’s OK. You will find there are people out there who earn a sixfigure income coming up with this ad copy and you will be using it yourself with your Internet business.
The point is, in all likelihood the same offer will be there tomorrow, you do have more time than Midnight tonight!
So, in order to narrow down your selection, you need to maximize your efforts – your time and your money. You need to ขcomparison shopข.
Selecting an expert you can trust
No, you don’t have to click on each of the 7,930,000 links that Google provides! Just make up your ขlong listข. Make a list of 75100 ขexpertsข that are out there promoting their strategies and solutions and visit and read each of their websites.
Then, once you’ve visited each site, your task is to keep narrowing the field. After visiting the sites, many of the socalled experts will become apparent and can be taken off your ขlong listข.
Here is a partial list of what I recommend you check out with your long list:
Understand the topics of information covered
How informed does the expert really seem to be on his / her ขexpertiseข
What is the expert’s background
Affiliations / Commissions
Provision for customer assistance / support
And finally, learn to read ขbetween the linesข of the ad copy.
Once you have the field narrowed down, come up with your short list. Revisit the sites of your short list and review the information provided on the sites once again.
Think about the different expertise each expert possesses. Not all of the strategies and techniques will be used in the early stages of your Internet business, but rather later on as you grow it. Keep these experts in mind as resources for your growth.
If you have questions or concerns, I recommend you email the expert to see if you get any type of personal reply, and not just one from an autoresponder! Make sure your questions and concerns are addressed.
Do realize, however, many of the true experts have busy schedules and may not get back to you within 2436 hours…but despite how busy they may be, the good ones WILL get back to you! They have learned well, the value of a lead and potential customer.
Your goal is to narrow down your long list of 75100 to a short list of 1015.
Will it be time consuming? Yes it will but it will be time well spent. This list of 1015 experts will be your Internet business shopping list and the list from which you will have all of the resources to have the potential to make your Internet business a success.
The final key will be your desire, your willingness and most of all your commitment.
About The Author
Don Berthiaume is the owner/webmaster of ขInternet Marketing Plans – A Beginner’s Guideข and publisher of the ขInternet Business Start Guideก. He spent many years as a multimedia developer and has designed and developed numerous websites. If your swimming in a sea of กInformation Overloadก and arenกt quite sure where to turn to learn the fundamentals of Internet marketing, visit his website at http://www.thebeginnerguide.com
This article was posted on March 16, 2004
by Don Berthiaume