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Taking and placing orders is the best part of doing business. And taking orders online or by phone is easy for anyone to do. And once you’ve taken a few orders online or off, then the whole process becomes routine and a pleasant one as well.

How to take and place orders online:

After the customer places their order online, an order confirmation email is sent to you, the seller, from your shopping cart system. This order confirmation email will include the customers’ name, billing address, shipping address and the name of the product ordered. You will not see or receive the customers’ credit card information in the email as this information is processed in a secured and encrypted manner through your payment processor.
However, once you receive the order confirmation then this also confirms that the customers’ credit card has been approved and authorized for the charge and you can now proceed to place the order on the distributors’ website or by calling the distributor and placing the order over the phone.

For example:

You’ve just received an order confirmation email with an order for a Nikon digital camera.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check to see what camera the order is for, (make and model number), and where the camera is going to be shipped to.

Then you’ll want to check, shop and compare amongst your preferred electronics and computer product distributors to see which distributor has the camera in stock, at a warehouse location closest to your customers’ “ship-to” address, and at the lowest price as well.

The closer the distributors’ warehouse is to the customers’ ship-to location then the lower the shipping costs will be for you, the reseller. The customer will still pay the same flat rate shipping charge while you the reseller will be able to save on the shipping rate and thus allowing you to make a small profit on the shipping charges as well.

Furthermore, if the distributors’ warehouse is in the same state as the customers’ ship-to location then the product can be shipped via UPS ground at a much lower rate and arrive at the customers’ door step on the very next day.

However, if you’ve offered the customer “free ground shipping” and the customer has opted to take you up on your free shipping offer then your main objective becomes to find the distributors’ warehouse closest to your customers ship-to address in order to save yourself some money on the shipping charges.

Once you’ve determined which distributor you’re going to use then you can proceed to place the order on the distributors’ website or over the phone as well.

If your pricing is already set with distributors at a certain pricing level then you can proceed to place your order online on the distributors’ website.

1. Find the product on the distributors’ website
2. Order the product (or add the product to the order)
3. Enter the customers’ ship-to address
4. Select shipping method, i.e. next day, 2 day, ground shipping
5. Select payment method, i.e. credit card, net terms, EFT
6. Complete order
Or, if you were able to find the same product from another distributor, at a lower price, yet from a warehouse located further from the customers’ ship-to address then you may want to call the first distributor to place the order by phone in order to try to negotiate the price down by a couple of dollars or more, or at least match the price of the other distributor as well.
Many times, sales reps are authorized to discount the price of the product for a few dollars or more and in such cases it may be worth your while to call the distributor instead of placing the order online. However, again, if you’re already on a fixed pricing level then it may be easier and faster for you to place the order online rather than taking the time to call the distributor to place the order over the phone.

After you’ve finished placing the order with the distributor, then the product will be shipped out to the customer that same day.

At the end of the business day, the distributor fulfillment system will send you a shipment tracking number for the order or you can login to the distributors’ website where you can view the shipping and tracking information online.

You can then proceed to send the tracking number for that order to the customer (via email) along with a “thank you for shopping at your store” message as well.

Many resellers prefer to place their orders online to make sure the order is entered in correctly so that nothing can go wrong. And doing so is a simple matter of copying and pasting the customers’ information from the order email onto the distributors’ shopping cart system leaving no room for error. Yet, over the phone, it is possible (although unlikely) for the distributors’ sales representative to make a human error in the ship-to address for example.

Furthermore placing orders over the phone takes more time than placing the order online. Being placed on hold or having the sales rep repeat the order to you, spelling out the customers name and shipping address can become rather time consuming and counter-productive as well, especially when multiple orders are coming in throughout the day.

However, if you feel more comfortable placing your order over the phone with the distributors’ sales representative then you may want to do what works best for you. But if you want to save time and place the order without having to speak to the sales rep or being placed on hold then go ahead and place the order online. Simply copy and paste the customers shipping information onto the distributors’ shopping cart system and complete the order online.
How to take orders by phone

There may be times when the customer would prefer to place their order over the phone rather than placing it online. And if you provided a toll-free phone number on your website then those types of customers are more likely to call you and place their order over the phone.

There will also be times when the customer already knows exactly what they want and will call you to place their order over the phone without asking any questions at all. And these of course are the best customers to deal with.

These types of customers will simply call and say, “I’d like to place an order”.

Then you could respond with, “Sure, I can help you with that. What product would you like to order?” And if all of your orders were placed in this fashion then running an internet business would be easy and enjoyable, all the time. However, this is not always the case.

There will always be customers who have pre-sale questions to ask before making their final decision to buy. Yet even these types of customers can be pleasant to deal with and can help you progress in your customer service skills as well. (If you’re going to take orders by phone then you’ll need all the practice you can get).
For example:

A customer calls you to place an order over the phone:

You: “Hello thank you for calling ABC Company, this is David speaking how may I help you?”

The customer will proceed to ask you some questions on a certain product or maybe even ask you for a recommendation for a product as well. And in such cases it’s important to have your website open at all times in order to use your own website as a reference for you. And you can click on the product page of the product for which your customer is asking about or be ready to click on your comparison chart as well.

If the customer asks a specific question on a particular product then you can click on the link for that product page and use that page as a reference to help you answer the customers’ question(s).

If you followed the instructions on “How to Build Effective Product WebPages” then everything you need to know about that product will be right there on that product page. And this will make it much easier for you to answer all of their questions.

However, some customers may not know exactly what they want or what they need and may need your help and assistance in choosing the best product for them based upon their budget and their needs. For example, if you were selling digital cameras on your website then the customer might ask what digital camera you would recommend for them to purchase if they were going to use the camera in the dental industry.

Then you could click on your digital camera comparison chart to find out which cameras offer macro capabilities which is needed to get clean, clear, close-up shots.

Then you can narrow the selection down by price, make and model and let the customer choose from there based upon how much money they’re willing to spend on a camera. And once the customer has made a final decision on which camera to buy then you can proceed to take their order over the phone. However, this may also be the best time to up-sell the customer as well.
Up-selling on products and accessories

Up-selling is a sales technique where you offer the customer some additional items to add to their order in an attempt to make the sale more profitable. And in this case for example, you can offer the customer a carrying case for their camera, a travel charger, an extra memory card, an extra set of batteries, and/or anything else that the customer may want to add to their purchase.

Studies conclude that it is 70% easier to get an additional 3% in sales from an existing customer than it is to get more customers to equal the same dollar amount in sales. In fact, many businesses usually combine up-selling techniques to enhance the value that the customer receives from the business while maximizing the profit that the business receives from the customer.

If the customer accepts your offer for extra accessories (and many times they will), then you can proceed to close the sale and take the order over the phone.

NOTE: While you’re taking the order you will actually be adding these items to the shopping cart on your website yourself as if you were placing the order in the customers place. In other words, you will be placing the order on your website as if they were placing the order on your website themselves.

You: “Your total cost will be $289.70 and this includes the digital camera model XZY, the extra memory card and the carrying case. Where would you like your order to be shipped to?” And then proceed to collect the rest of the customer information as well. (i.e. credit card, billing address and shipping information)

Enter the customers’ ship-to information, (on your website shopping cart), followed by their credit card and billing information which includes the credit card type, (MasterCard or Visa), credit card number, expiration date of the card and their billing address, (where their credit card billing statement gets sent to).

You can enter the customers’ information onto the shopping cart of your website as they provide this information to you over the phone.

You can also write down their billing and shipping details on paper as well and then enter it into the shopping cart once you’re off the phone. (Whichever way works best for you.)
Once you complete the order on your website then the customers’ credit card will be authorized and approved for the transaction instantly.

Then complete the sale.

You: “Thank you for your order. Enjoy your camera. Have a great day.”

Then you can proceed to shop and compare with your preferred distributors to see which distributor has the product(s) in stock, at a warehouse location closest to your customers’ “ship-to” location and at the lowest price as well.

Once you have located the product and have decided on which distributor to use to fulfill the order then you can proceed to order the product from the distributors’ website or call the distributor to place the order with a sales representative over the phone. And again, you can place the order with the distributor in whichever manner works best for you.

At the end of the business day, the distributor will send you the tracking number for that order or you can login to the distributors’ website to retrieve the tracking information online. Then you can proceed to forward this information (via email) to your customer.

Taking and placing orders is easy to do and can be done by anyone as well. All you have to do is take the order from the customer, online or over the phone, and then place the order with the distributor, online or over the phone as well.

The distributor will then ship the product directly to your customer for you.

The customer receives their order; you’ve made a profit and have gained a new customer in the process.
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