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Your website is not the only place your clients will research what you sell. So how do you present what you have to offer?

Editor’s note: This is the third step in the series. Step 1 How to Manage the Sales Process with a Google Informed Client and Step 2 Isn’t Everything Posted on the Internet True?

Business people continue to tell me that,

“We don’t have to talk about our product if they initiate contact via our website. Since the customer is coming from the internet, they already know everything.”

Well, nothing could be further from the truth, as there are two extreme types of customers and everything in between.

Customer Types:

1.   Google or your website is just an entry point to contact you.

So many people today will talk to their device and ask for the information on a specific topic, service, product, and math equation.

For example, “Best Japanese food in this city?” Or, they will ask for the specific information on a Japanese restaurant they know. Knowing this is so common, what is a business supposed to do as a result of what a customer will find?

First

Make sure your business listing with Google is up-to-date, with the right telephone numbers, addresses, directions, and website.

This customer may simply use this request to get their mapping program to provide them with directions to your business, directly dial you from their phone, or go directly to your website.

For help with setting this up or making sure you have done this right, here is the appropriate link: https://www.google.com/business/

Second

Manage and be aware of what is being said about you on the web.

All too often, if you sell a product or service, the first items that will pop up on the web with this Google customer are review sites. They offer opinions of what customers are saying about your business and businesses of a similar category or name.

The most common places people can learn about your ratings are Yelp, Google+, and Facebook. You need to set up a business account with all of these review sites so you can respond and be aware of what is being said about your business.

To find out what is being said, type in the words “(your business) reviews” inside of the Google search box.

Third

Your website is a communication device like email or a phone call.

Make sure you keep your website up-to-date and double check that you are receiving the contact requests from that site. Almost every site today has a “Contact” or “Quote” button. Yet, so many business only provide automated responses without ever responding to a customer request. We recommend you inspect the following to make sure they are working:

  1. Make sure you have a contact and send button on your site. We have recently found two situations where clients have a contact us page, but no send button. Sounds ridiculous, but one of the examples is on an international brand you would recognize.
  2. We have found many situations where the contact information is never received by anyone, or is never responded to by the person who receives it. It is critical this be inspected when implementing a new website, or a website change.

Next- #2 Buying what you have to offer is a research project and #3 Somewhere in-between initiating contact and a research project 

2.   Buying what you have to offer is a research project.

Your entire team should be better prepared as to what the web has to say about your industry, your competitors, and your business. Especially those in sales and customer service.

The worldwide web is a tremendous tool for the consumer, which means the person communicating with those consumers must be constantly aware of what is being said about their product or service. Today, and even before the web, consumers were treating their buying experience like a research project. The internet has just made it easier for those types of consumers.

More than ever, salespeople need to be better prepared and more aware of the web. Imagine if you were to dedicate just 20 minutes each day to learn the following: What your website had to say; what could be found and learned on a Google search; what is being said about the industry in which you work; and where appropriate, read what consumers are saying about your business and your competitors online (online reviews).

3.   Somewhere in-between initiating contact and a research project.

If you prepare properly for one and two, you will be ready for anything that happens in between.

If you maintain this level of preparation, the only thing left to do is:

  1. Read all web communications carefully.
  2. Respond to contacts quickly (speed is critical).
  3. Follow-up to make sure they have received what you sent them.

Like in step two, being more engaged in offering up information about what you have to sell will provide more potential customers better data about why you are the obvious choice.

Opposed to how we ran ads and made clever presentations in the past, the web has become a communication tool that often requires more human investment in time, rather than a financial investment.

For help with learning how to convert more internet traffic into leads, and then into long term loyal clients, please contact the author.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.

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