Recently I was checking my emails as I always do. One email was from someone who apparently has been on my main database list for a few years; someone who has been receiving my information month after month for several years.

Her message was not unlike others I have received from readers who at some point signed up for one of my free items and then, after I had built name recognition and trust, decided it was a good idea to purchase something from me.

The message got me thinking about the number of times someone has bought a product from me and then shared they had been on my list for either a few months or a few years. It is more common nowadays for people to receive information for a period of time before they make the decision to buy. Not just from me, but from you too.

As a matter of fact, I just purchased another expert’s product on a topic I have an extreme interest in. A topic designed to take my business to the next level. The product was not inexpensive. Not at all. Actually, it cost more than just about any other product I have ever purchased and more than most people would even consider spending. (I tell you this to make a very important point)

In thinking about what got me to the point of making my decision to buy this expert’s product I realize that I have been on her list for a few years. I have received regular correspondence from her during that time. She has built name recognition, trust and credibility with me. (and not just me, all her readers).

Because she is consistent in how she markets, because she has her systems in place, and because she established a level of trust with me (the buyer), when it came time to buy a product on the topic she was selling, bingo, I made the purchase.

I am not telling you about my decision to buy the product to make small talk. I am telling you because it is a model of success I use; the expert I purchased information from uses; as does virtually every other successful online marketer I know.

Not only do online marketers use a system like this, successful businesses of every description do.

In the last few days I have had conversations with more than one person about their frustration with not selling their products from their website. Their frustration stemmed from the fact they sent out one message, put a product up on their site to sell, or made a blog posting and the flood gates of sales didn’t miraculously open up.

I’ve got news for anyone who thinks sales are going to happen with one contact with their market…IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

The fact is the process of selling online or driving sales to a consulting business or a brick and mortar business is just that, a process. Part of the process is keeping in touch.

Before you can keep in touch, you need to build a database. Before you build a database you have to give people a reason to leave you their contact information whether it be with an Ezine, weekly tips, articles of interest, a report, a white paper or a teleseminar.

Once you have someone in your database you have to continually find ways to create value and trust. And believe me, that won’t happen with one article, one tip, or one short message.

As I prepare to go back to sleep my question to you is this, “Are you establishing trust with your market? Are you constantly looking for ways to increase value for your market? Are you establishing yourself as an expert?  Are you positioning yourself as a resource before you are a vendor?”

If yes, then you are among a small percentage of folks who “get it”. If not, isn’t it time to begin?

Something else occurred to me about the product I just purchased. It came neatly boxed and wrapped with a great welcome letter. Unlike the majority of people who buy products and then let them sit, I opened the information and have been delving into it for days now. Not only will I read and listen to it once, I will read and listen to it several times with a notepad in hand.

Is it because I am a slow learner I need to listen more than once? Not at all. It is because I am really smart when it comes to my investments. I want the greatest ROI – return on investment – I can get.

After I dissect the information, I will implement step-by-step what is recommended. The way I figure it is if this woman is making the kind of money she is making, then she must know something that can work for me.

Sure, I could try shortcuts, I could eliminate steps or I could think to myself how interesting her information is without applying, but that won’t get me the kind of revenue increase I am wanting.

Chances are there will be some people who buy this woman’s information, read a bit of it, listen to one or two CDs and then go on to the next “magic bullet”.  There might be some who are tempted to say her information doesn’t work. At that I have to laugh. It’s not that her information doesn’t work, it’s that the information wasn’t utilized. Shoot, when someone is making over a million dollars a year with the very information they are teaching, then they are worth listening to, studying and modeling. (A few years ago this same expert was barely able to pay her rent).

As my business continues to grow through the magic and power of the Internet, I smile when people tell me how lucky I am. I venture to say luck has very little to do with it. Systems, time, consistency and commitment are more a part of the mix than anything.