Let's start at the other end of the spectrum and work backwards. Starting at the finish. So you get contacted by the end user. This is what he is thinking:
"You're not doing anything with that domain." followed by "If I owned that Domain Name I could make millions."
Aren't those the words/thoughts of a person or entity looking at your domain name? That is their starting point. Recognize it and the big job to sway them to reality. We all want to hook up with someone that would look at a domain name you own and say "If I owned that Domain Name I could make millions." But don't ignore the other thought in their mind. That's YOUR starting point.
Chances are they don't have millions to invest in their idea. But they do have $1000/month, $2000/month, $5000/month, $25,000/month and more depending on the domain name, the audience and the traffic a domain gets. And yes, it IS about traffic. If your domain is getting 20 visitors a day it is likely more than many physical stores get depending on what they do and where they are located. I know. I have worked retail and I know the value of a customer walking in the door. No sale, no eat!!
When you see the world through my eyes and through a prism with a 20 year bridge, it is clear as day where we are going. We have headed in this direction for many years. Almost decades! Nothing has changed except the fact that what would have been thought of as a joke then is a real business today.
Look, I am not the first to lease domain names. (Maybe I am. 1996 anyone?) But I saw the future back then and everything that has happened since then has simply been a foundation that has gotten stronger and broader and more important. Many ideas and domain owners have come and gone but this idea has survived throughout the ups and downs and there are many active domain leases right now. Perhaps thousands.
We are humans ruled by nature but somehow we are wired in different ways. Some folks make $35,000/year and are perfectly content. $50,000/year and are perfectly content. $100,000/year and are perfectly content. $250,000/year and are perfectly content. $500,000/year and are perfectly content. $1MM/year and are perfectly content. $2MM/year and are perfectly content. $5,000,000/year and are perfectly content. $10,000,000/year and are perfectly content. $25,000,000/year and are perfectly content. $100MM, $250MM/year and are perfectly content. Some are never content. Point is we all have our comfort level and to be frank the lower tier is not going to work. The passion may be missing. Maybe not. But passion is a key element.
So it becomes obvious who your target is. The perfect match.The highest and best use. The best partner. The right partner. A BIG Vision as opposed to a limited one.
Have we ever talked about domains as being a "Strategic Asset"? Because it sure as day is. Folks find that out the day after their competition gets the category defining domain names and has the potential to be trans-formative. That is the day the strategic asset in your hands is a world better than an asset that can destroy you in the hands of a competitor. And it can.
Line up the comparisons, not only will the category defining .com be competitive, it will surpass many of the old standards in sector after sector. There is an infinite amount of domain names. However, there are a finite group of category defining domain names that generally come with traffic, visitors, buyers.
I look at leasing a domain name as I would running an ad in a magazine or newspaper. At the end of the year you evaluate and see if the ad made you money. If it did you will renew and maybe expand the ad. If it does not work, you might dig a bit deeper and see exactly who are the new customers and see if it will pay for itself down the road. They make a decision on that. When I ran hundreds of monthly ads I just wanted to break even. Because if I was breaking even I was making good money on what I could not track and the business still to come. If you run a Superbowl ad, spend $1MM and can track in the first 30 days a break even point, I think you can rest assured there is still more money to be made from that ad. The gravy. The profit. The new customers. The repeat business. The lifetime value of each new customer. etc. It's a winner!
But when you only see a spreadsheet you only see the numbers that already happened. You need more dimensions to evaluate. Those that do understand. Those that don't will argue the point. But it is meaningless. The picture is much bigger and the end game is to plan decades into the future or your competition will win.
Each visitor to your site is a real human being and they should be treated at least as well as somebody on the phone if not standing in front of you. No business owner in their right mind would let 1000 customers walk in and out the door without buying something and not ask WHY???? Yet every day on the Internet that is exactly what business owners do. Since they are invisible, they treat them that way. And we are talking about 95% of every site out there. So there is HUGE room for growth and understanding.
A domain name can be the Main Entrance or a side door. It does not matter the use. Customers are there now with the only door being Google. You pay $6/click for our traffic and we get 6 cents. Seems to me we have a common interest here. You want to pay less than $6 and I am sick of the 6 cents.
I look at things from the viewpoint of an end user because that is how I came to be online to begin with. As an end user. As a retailer and as a wholesaler. I did it in different mediums over different decades in literally dozens upon dozens of industries. All different industries and all with threads that were exactly the same.
There is something intuitive and memorable about a vanity 800 number or a domain name with type in traffic. It just makes it easier for others to remember, to tell others, to help you market to places and people you could never get to. And word of mouth is still the most powerful, valuable and least expensive ad tool known to man.
This post is not about leasing domains, it is about unlocking sales. Sales. The thing that pays bills. The thing that actually makes a brand and branding possible. The thing so many on the Internet REFUSE to see and understand and focus on. BUT THEY WILL! And that is why I can be so certain exactly where this train is going because I know and understand the goal. Sales! When business comes to understand that they have to rethink things and come to different decisions. I can't chase them or even convince them. (tho I try with posts like this) Too much work. So I sit on the beach knowing they are looking for this specific beach. "Sales Beach". And when they arrive on "Sales Beach" as they are beginning to now, everything falls into place. Piña colada anyone?
Have a GREAT day!