So You Think Your Website is Just a Brochure?

Not's your Online Sales Tool!

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A brochure website will never be an online sales tool. I recently had a client tell me, “people in my industry only do business with someone that’s been recommended to them.” Then he told me that in 7 years, he’d only had one contact from his website.

Of course, then he admitted that if one person had contacted them from the web, perhaps there were other web sales they were missing out on. Because their website had never been search engine optimized, it didn't show up in the search engines. Yet one person had found them. Who else was searching for their service but couldn't find them?

This brings up two points. Every company has at least one brochure. And brochures serve a purpose. They let people know about your firm and its products or services. And it probably lists some features and benefits.

But any good salesperson will tell you that no brochure has ever made a sale. When you hand someone a brochure, you are face-to-face with them. You always give them your sales pitch while you have their attention. And you try to get an appointment or make the sale before they can wander off to talk to your competitor.

But if you send someone to your website and it’s just a brochure, guess what will happen? With no powerful sales pitch to keep their attention, and keep them on your website, and no call to action to get them to contact you right now, or buy right now, they can type your product or service into Google and the next thing you know, they have dozens of your competitors to choose from.

Here's a list of five methods you can use to improve your website sales:

  1. Chunk your information.
    We live in a sound-byte world. Most studies have shown (and you may know from your own experience) that people don't read websites like a page of text. They scan it until they find what they're looking for and then read that. Use headings and sub-heads to break up information and give scanners a quick synopsis of each paragraph.

  2. Don't bore your audience.
    There's an old marketing maxim I've mentioned in my newsletter before. “People buy the hole, not the drill.” Your competitor is only a click away. Don't just list features and the benefits of each feature. Chances are your competitor can list a lot of the same ones. Think about what your visitor is really looking for. Is it more freedom so they can get away from their desk? To look good in front of their boss? Security? Power? Safety? Get primal and dig deeper.

  3. Talk to your customers.
    When was the last time you surveyed or just called your customers and asked them why they do business with you or, better yet, what they don't like about doing business with you? What services would they like to see on your website? What would make it easier to use? If you don't ask these questions of your clients and customers, you're just guessing . And your website will suffer for it. For that matter, your whole business will suffer for it.

  4. Take advantage of the Web's advantages.
    How many options do you give your potential clients or customers to contact you? The possibilities are endless and ridiculously cheap. Instant messaging is available through Yahoo, Skype, AOL and others. People use these things. A lot. I can call people for free on Skype and the quality is better than my cell phone. And there are plenty of other communication advantages unique to the Web . At the bottom of every page on your site, list every form of communication you offer. Do you accept texting? You should see my 18 year old daughter's fingers fly across her phone. She can text faster than I can type. Every communication option you can offer people is one advantage you have over your competitor.

  5. Everyone in your company should have an email Sales Signature.
    Every email that goes out on the web should be a commercial for your firm, your services or your products. I can't believe how many business emails I get with no signature other than a name. Or a bland listing of company name, address and phone number. Rather than expound on the advantages of a Sales Signature , let me close with my email signature and you can decide for yourself if it's more effective than just your name.

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