Your website is there 24*7*365, and year after year, and is the virtual face of your company. Moreover, when you get an expected or unexpected visitor your virtual employee or sales person gets only one chance to capture your visitor’s attention and make a good impression.
The saying that ‘First impressions mean everything’ is especially pertinent to startup businesses. If you are a startup website, you have fewer seconds to make an impression than the site of an established brand. Whatever be your size and reputation, it is critical to making those precious seconds count.
When your visitor arrives at your website, they will be asking “What’s in it for me?”
The visitor could be:
- a potential job seeker who learns about a position at your company,
- a researcher who is trying to understand their needs better,
- a prospect who is looking at the perfect solution and a right partner to work with,
- an existing customer evaluating new offerings from you,
- a partner looking to expand their business by offering your solution to their clients,
- an investor considering investing in your company and thus aid your ambitious growth plans.
If it is an unclear, overwhelming, or poor experience with your website, then that is going to reflect poorly on your brand – and it impacts your ability to attract top talent and new business.
Your employees are your Brand Ambassadors
Every person you hire to add value to your business and increase sales requires an investment; you need to train them with few things that matter to your organization. You would never send a company representative to meet prospective clients if they do not have adequate information about your business and its offerings, so your informational expectations of the website should be no different.
As your ‘virtual salesperson’, its duty is to:
- Attract your visitors’ interest, invite further discussion to know about your company
- Demonstrate your understanding of their needs and concerns, make visitors want to learn more about the solutions you can offer
- Get visitors to consider seriously investing time to know you better and buy from you.
In the digital era, a company’s website has to be more than an electronic brochure to compete. In an information-rich, content marketing world if you want to win the trust and possibly win that sale, it is essential to help visitors get their questions answered.
“So you need to ‘Invest in your website like it is your new best salesperson’.
If your website were a real salesperson?
To create the shift from an online brochure website to a live, personalized website, you need to ask yourself – What things should this ‘virtual salesperson’ know? Moreover, what you need to do?
Does your ‘virtual salesperson’
- Know everything about your current product or service offering at an expert level?
- Explain your value proposition?
- Adjusts message according to the visitors?
- Have adequate content to manage needs of buyers in the different stages of their buying process?
- Is prepared to answer visitor’s queries regarding their needs, concerns, and aspirations?
- Demonstrate empathy by truly showing an interest in helping the client, emphasizing value first and foremost?
How do you measure the success of your ‘virtual salesperson’?
- Keep track of his/her performance
- How does it finds lead (or leads find it)
- Follows up with leads and completes a process of qualification
- Keeps your clients updated on new developments
- Closes the deal at the right moment, without the “hard sell” approach
How often do you train your ‘virtual salesperson’?
- Do you offer training on your business fundamentals, upcoming trends or economic impact in your local market?
Tips to make a first great impression on your website aka ‘virtual salesperson’
- Understand Your Audience – If the objective of your career section is to connect better with the top talent, you need to know what they want in an employer? The message would be different for millennial’s, Gen X as their needs and expectations from career and employer are different.
- Relevant and Clear Offering: Clearly express what you are doing, what your visitor can gain from it and how they can easily get it. Will it lead to pain or pleasure and what should they do about it so that you can subtly influence the decision they take. The content has to attract the audience to become engaged with your business or product.
- Consider UX (User Experience) – Imaging the plight of the visitor: If there are so many bells and whistles in your homepage that you don’t know where to look first the website or it has a confusing navigation or information that’s hard to find. The key is to engage visitors with an intuitive navigation and simple and easily digestible quality content, displaying your unique offerings.
- Keep Your Site Fresh – If your last press release was dated in 2012 and you are in 2015, it makes your company look obsolete. It is crucial to identify the dynamic sections of your website and have a regular content refresh, with new trends or economic changes in your local market or new offerings and wins.
- Stand Out From The Crowd – Your business’s existence is because your have some unique offerings. How does it serve its purpose if your website look like everyone else’s? So you need to shed your shyness and stand out by doing something different.
- Never Sacrifice Quality. Quality is everything in the digital era. Moreover, your website, is a business asset, and you should not cut corners while creating and maintaining it. However, quality, doesn’t necessarily equate to bells and whistles and something complex. To get started with your new ‘virtual salesperson’ design, ensure that the design is simple. The primary focus is to convey high-quality information that will gain attention and traffic.
Don’t ignore your most important salesperson – your company Website
If you have a brochure website, when a buyer comes to the site, it will merely provide the catalog and does not bother to contact the visitor again. If your human sales person behaves in this fashion, I am sure you would fire that person.
The best news is that your website can be redesigned to become your sales machine and generate sales. If it is well maintained, over time, it can deliver you with compound interest. Do note that only by improving your content will not do the magic, the design too plays a significant role. A poorly designed website can leave the visitor with the impression of a poorly run business.
Whether the purpose of your website is to provide useful and reliable information or produce sales, the design should represent your company’s focus, values and promise to the different stakeholders.
As a cost-effective business asset, if a website is developed and nurtured, it will grow your business, just like a human salesperson.
Look forward to your views.
Article was first posted in Marketers Touchpoint
Photo Credit: Wikimedia