Like just about everyone else who’s forked over a fair sized chunk of their year’s marketing budget to achieve a killer online presence, you’re looking forward to a rush of new sales, right?
Bad news: it isn’t going to happen. And that doesn’t mean your website isn’t good – it’s more likely because your website’s been left to go it alone.
The simple truth is that in the majority of cases websites for businesses is a sales tool, not a sales vehicle. So if you want to dramatically boost sales and see your website as an ideal place to find new prospects, you need to incorporate the same techniques used in face-to-face selling to make them convert. That, of course, begins with prospect follow up.
About 80% of the sales initiated through website contact are made after several contacts have been made. Why? Because people rarely visit a website and immediately buy (unless it’s an e-commerce site), so if you don’t maintain ongoing contact you’ll miss out on a significant amount of potential new business. Don’t let that happen – make the most of every selling opportunity by offering your site visitors information of value so they will tell you who they are in order to get it. Case studies, white papers, check lists, guides and e-publications encourage visitors to come back regularly looking for fresh content – ask them to identify themselves and you can actually notify them when that new content becomes available, along with whatever else you’d care to promote. Once you’ve established the contact, follow up with more of the information they’re looking for and your chances of getting them to buy will be far greater. Here’s how to begin:
Credibility = Trust
The more useful and relevant information you provide to prospects, the more belief they will have that your business can be trusted. By offering credible information that delivers value, you demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. As a result, site visitors will be willing to provide you with their email addresses so you can give them even more – they may even fill out short surveys to tell you what they really want. Before you know it, Presto! A brand new prospect list is born.
Playing With Emotions
With every message you send to your new list, you should emphasize the “want” your product will satisfy. Saving money? Saving Time? Adding convenience? Remember that people buy first because they want and second because they need, so your messages need to address both the emotional and the tangible.
Each time you contact your prospect the value of your “offer” should grow. It might be a limited time bonus, special discount or something else you know your prospect will appreciate. By limiting the time available to act, you work to push your prospect toward making a buying decision.
Making it Real
Once you’ve hit the emotional element of decision-making, be sure to focus just as pointedly on the practical. Give prospects sound, logical reasons to buy, based on facts. Pinpoint the results they will see, the savings they will realize or the efficiencies they’ll gain. Be specific and use examples – pie in the sky just isn’t credible.
Testimonials in the form of case studies work well to attract prospects with similar “pain” to your customers. Because, if you can eliminate your customers’ pain, it stands to reason you can do wonders for your prospects’, too.
Now – take a good hard look at your website. Does it offer value? Does it give prospects an opportunity to ask you for more? Does it give you an opportunity to learn about them? If it doesn’t, shouldn’t you be doing something about it?
Knowledge is power. Make it work for your business.