By: Thomas Young
The Internet is currently the most dominant force in marketing. Yet, most companies are struggling to implement strategies needed to make their web sites pay-off and increase their business. The first step is to bring visitors to your site. The best method to increase a site’s visibility is through old-fashioned sales and marketing; there is no quick fix. The sales professional makes use of their web site to increase sales and attract new customers. Here are a few tips on how to use the Internet to close sales.
Design a Web Site that Pushes Customer Hot Buttons
The web site should meet customer needs and build excitement about your products or services. This is absolutely critical, because the sales process may stall when a potential customer visits a poorly designed site. Develop a site that gets rave reviews and works for customers. Get outside of your box and get feedback from folks other than your site developer, friends or co-workers. Get feedback from customers. They will decide if your site adds value with a click of their mouse.
Send Everyone to Your Site
Be proud of your site. This confidence is expressed in how you ask people to visit the site. If you believe in your site’s ability to push hot buttons, your customers will believe. Send anyone you meet to your site. If the site pushes hot buttons, then the sales process will be much easier. Make sure there is something of value on the site for each visitor. This will usually come in the form of expert advice, or knowledge, about your product or service, not self-promoting content.
Deflect Sales Objections with Your Web Site
When objections arise, send people to your web site. Always validate the objection and let the customer know where to go on the site for help. Inform them that others have had the same concerns and the web site will clarify the situation. This educates the customer about how your company can help them. The web site will allow the customer to look at the information with no pressure to respond or act. It lets the customer stay in control. A good web site, that pushes customer hot buttons, will help ease objections and build the customer’s confidence.
Use the Site to Build Trust
The site should support your sales process by building trust. This trust is built through credibility and competence, which are the keys to building trust and reducing objections. A well-designed site communicates to your customers that you know what you are doing and you understand their needs. This builds competence by expressing to your customer that you know how to help them. It also builds credibility by showing that you have the savvy and knowledge to build a web site that works. Customers will return to your site because it provides valuable knowledge.
Web Sites Qualify Prospects
The Internet is still very young and there is some novelty to having a web site, as not everyone has one, yet. Prospects that are interested in doing business with you will visit your site. This is a great way to qualify potential clients. If they do not take the time to visit your web site, then they probably are not going to buy or move forward with the project. Customer feedback about your site will be very helpful as you assess their needs. However, don’t give up on prospects who do not visit your site, but learn from this process.
Follow-up with Email
Use benefit-oriented emails to connect with customers. Email is non-threatening and very customer focused because the client can respond on their time. Be direct with email and focus on benefits to the customer. Write about how you can help. Use the customer’s name and avoid referring to yourself too often in your email message. The email should clearly express what you are going to do for your customers and how it will be a direct benefit to them.
This is an exciting time for sales and marketing professionals. Research and develop effective Internet marketing strategies and watch your sales grow.
Tom Young, MBA is president of Intuitive Websites, a sales training and marketing consulting firm helping companies increase revenues. He can be reached at 719-481-4040, or email at [email protected].