Eight (other) ways your prospects are judging you


Share on LinkedIn

It would be great if prospects evaluated your proposal purely on its merits – what it is, what it does, what it could enable or unlock or solve for their business. But none of us work and make decisions that narrowly. We want to have confidence in the business we’re buying from, as well as feel good about the individual we’re directly working with.

Your prospects are judging you, just as much if not more than they’re judging what you’re selling. How you come across to them, passively and via online channels that take mere seconds to uncover, is incredibly important. And it’s more than just the first Google search.

If you’re lucky, prospects find and judge these channels after they’re already engaged with you, so you at least have the opportunity to combat or debunk something they didn’t like. Unfortunately, you’re likely losing a lot more business from prospects who see a warning sign and never call you in the first place.

The following list is far from exhaustive, but is a good place to start in identifying potential weak points in your current public face. Some of these may seem intuitive, but I wouldn’t raise them if they weren’t still such a big problem for businesses and individual sellers.

  • Google: What do they find with a simple search? Success stories? Customer complaints? Your amazing content both on your site and published throughout the Web? This is the external evaluation tool most companies think about. The following, however, are at least equally important.
  • Your home page: Anything up there that dates you? Demonstrates you haven’t been keeping the content fresh? If the headline on your Web site sidebar announces a partnership signed in 2009, well, what have you been doing since then?
  • Company social networks: When’s the last time you updated or engaged? If it’s been dormant for awhile, it may imply (rightly or wrongly) that you’re not doing business anymore. There are a variety of tools you can use to at least automate the curation of new content into these networks, with minimal time and effort, to keep them fresh.
  • Company blog: Even if you keep it active, is it mostly posts and news about your company? Prospects today expect blogs to deliver value independent of what you’re selling. The occasional announcement is fine, but as a rule, expect 90 percent of your blog content to be about the customer and their problems, not yours.
  • Personal social networks: The prospect may be evaluating your business, but they’re checking you out (personally) as well. Anything on your Facebook page that might be a bit embarrassing? Any personal tweets that may not put you in the best light?
  • LinkedIn: Is your LinkedIn history up to date? Does the profile for your current role not only “sell” you as a professional, but also how your business can help its customers?
  • Press release archive: Maybe you’re not very active in PR. That may be fine. But if your last press release listed is from three years ago? Not good.
  • Upcoming event listings: Many company Web sites list upcoming events – trade shows, webinars, customer events, etc. Unfortunately, many companies fail to keep these actively up to date. Even a recently-completed webinar that still appears on your site as if it occurs in the future can make you look dull. Easiest way to solve for this is to make recordings of past events available on-demand. These still count as events, but make you look good without worrying about a “live” date listed in the past.
  • Misspellings and grammar mistakes: The little things matter. Misspelled words, clear punctuation mistakes, and similar problems can be perceived as the tip of the iceberg for how your company does business, pays attention to detail, and generally operates in a professional manner.

What’s missing from this list? What warning signs do you often find (online or offline) that turn you away from prospective vendors or partners?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here