“Currently we have a tradeshow circuit we do, but I would love to leverage the web more because we wouldn’t have to fly all over the country with a booth. And a website is 24/7/365! I want people to experience on our website what they would experience at a tradeshow. How do you make a site as personal as meeting someone at a tradeshow?” Dave Malda
Dave’s question highlights the fundamental opportunity of the web and its biggest problem. Like Dave, I’m sure you know a web site presents a global, 24-hour marketing opportunity but… how do you make it bring in as many sales as your best salesperson does?
Let’s take a look at how well face-to-face selling and selling online work and why.
What percentage of sales do you close when you’re face-to-face with a prospect? 30-40% is respectable and not uncommon.
What percent of visitors to your web site make a purchase? A few sites convert up to 3-5% of visitors into customers. For most web sites, the number is much smaller, often only thousandths of one percent.
Do these numbers represent your success in person and lack of success online?
Here’s how to make your web site as effective as your best sales person:
1. Target People Who Are Looking To Solve a Problem
People come to trade shows because they are looking for a product or service. When they walk up to your booth, you know they’re at least mildly interested and want more information.
Online, the best ways to attract people who are looking for your products and services is to make sure your site can be found in the search engines, to use pay-per-click ads like Google Adwords and to get your articles published everywhere you can online.
2. Start a Conversation
What’s the first thing you do when a prospect walks up to your booth at a tradeshow? Do you immediately start spouting product features and prices, or do you introduce yourself and try to get a conversation going by asking them a question? Of course, you don’t immediately try to sell them. First you find out what you can about their business and which product would best suit their needs.
The same is true online. If you immediately try to sell people, you’ll turn them off and they’ll go away. Instead, write marketing copy on your web site that begins a virtual conversation with prospects.
Start by asking them the biggest or most common question on their minds relative to your product or service. Continue to ask questions about their problems and aspirations. Use this virtual conversation to spell out their concerns and, once you’ve defined them, explain how the solutions you provide solve their problems.
Find out how to make your site engaging to get visitors’ attention and prompt them to contact you and buy from you. Use this link >>
3. Build a Relationship by Being Helpful
Where does your best business come from? From clients you’ve been helping for years; clients who know and trust you. When you’re standing in front of a prospect, you can hand them a free report, answer their questions directly and demonstrate your expertise.
Converting online prospects to clients involves doing the same things with your web site marketing. Offer a free report to prospects to prompt them to give you their contact information. List commonly asked questions; then answer. Include content on the site that demonstrates your expertise and knowledge of your customers’ business needs.
Think about how many ideas and how much information you’d share with a prospect in a 15 minute face-to-face conversation at a trade show. Your web site needs to present at least this much information. In fact, it gives you the opportunity to present more.
4. Make it Personal
Make a personal connection with your prospects. If you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, use your web site to help prospects get to know you. Help your prospects see you as more than just an anonymous site that wants their money. Do this by:
- Putting up snapshots of yourself in your office or on the golf course. (In the last couple of weeks my subscribers have seen me on my bike and on my sailboat.)
- Using audio and or video clips with ideas prospects can use throughout your site.
- Providing free telecalls. Not only does this give your prospects a chance to hear you demonstrate your expertise, it gives you an opportunity to find out what they’re really thinking about.
- Using ‘Live Help’ on your site.
Most businesses have hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors and many of them market similar products and services. Whether you’re marketing in person or online, your best competitive advantage is the strength of your relationship with your prospects.
For getting a conversation going or closing a sale, nothing beats being there in person, talking face to face with a prospect. But your internet marketing can and should do as good a job. You don’t have to live with conversion rates in the thousandths of a percent. Put the four ideas above to work and make your site sell.
Tired of waiting for your site to transform itself into the lead- and profit-generating machine you’d hoped for? Discover what works from someone who is already highly successful online and make your site more profitable.