It’s all very well using SEO and sales funnels to drive people to your website, but what is the point if once they get there, they don’t take any action?
Not a lot really.
So many small businesses market their websites to the nth degree but fail to look at their site from a viewer’s point of view as to what message it gives and how easy it is to navigate. I have found this recently with far too many websites that I have looked at. I have been intrigued by marketing messages and followed links to sites where I have been left confused and disappointed. I can’t find the information I was expecting, links didn’t work and my interest (and trust) was rapidly lost.
If you aren’t getting the results you want from your website, check out the following points. And then get someone else to check it out for you also as a visitor. Too often we know what we are looking for with our sites and so miss the blindingly obvious (been there, done that and got the tee-shirt!)
What you do
Is it clear exactly what your business does as soon as people come to your site? It’s amazing how many sites fail to get this point effectively.
And, as a simple rule I would suggest:
- Pre-head: What problem do your ideal clients have
- Headline: How can you solve this – what big promise are you giving them
- Sub-head: Why are you different, better and easier than whatever else they’ve tried. Include here a reason for them to believe you such as a strong testimonial.
Get your core information in the fold of the website home page (the top part of the page that people see first without having to scroll down.
Make it easy for people to be able to contact you. Don’t let readers have to search around for some tiny link that can be easily missed. Make your contact details such as email and phone number prominent and obvious. It can also be worth letting viewers how long it will take for you to respond or when your working hours are.
Up to date information
So often sites have links to information that is years out of date. This is simply lazy. Either update the information or get rid of it. If you don’t, you run the danger of visitors wondering if you are still actively in business or whether you have lost heart.
Look at the following when checking to links leading to information:
- Blog posts
- Latest news
- Social media links – So often I come across links to social media pages that haven’t had a post on them for years upon years. Either update your social media channel with relevant info or remove the link – it’s one of my top bug bears!!!!
- Offers – if an offer has expired, remove it!!! You don’t want to get a viewer all excited about something you are offering only for them to discover it isn’t available anymore.
Don’t overload your home page with so much information that people get lost and confused and don’t where to go first. Speak to your ideal and their problem. Lead them off to specific pages for more information. Keep your home page simple and uncluttered so readers can see what they want quickly and clearly.
Is your site easy to navigate? This again is an area where I strongly getting someone else to check your site out for you. You may know where all the key information is but do your readers.
I was recently taking part in a mini-course on a site where I got totally confused as to where I needed to go to access the key information. Links weren’t working and it simply wasn’t obvious where to go. When I flagged this up to the site owner, they gave me instructions which resulted in clicking on no more than 4 separate links to get where I needed to be.
Really? No! One click from grabbing someone’s attention to take them where they need to be. Hasten to say, I gave up on the mini-course and won’t be making any purchase from this business as it was simply too confusing and time-consuming trying to work the site out.
If you want to make prospective buyers feel confident enough to part with their hard-earned cash and buy from you, you need to have some basics in place. It is crucial to have terms and condition on your site to inspire trust and avoid future conflicts.
These terms and conditions should include as a bare minimum:
- A clear definition of what products or services will be provided
- Payment terms – how to pay, when payment is due
- Any guarantees or warranties offered
- Delivery times and any additional delivery costs
- Returns/refund policy
- Cancellation policy
It still amazes me how many sites are missing this key information. I was going to make a purchase a while ago of a product for a present, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not find any information on how long the delivery time would be. As I needed the item for a specific date, I didn’t place the order.
As mentioned previously, once you have checked your website for all these points, go get someone else to check for you also. I offer this service to members of my Small Business Kit and give feedback as to how to improve their sites so come join up and I’ll check your site for you.
I do my best to support small independent traders, so just recently I made several purchases from members of my Facebook group along with a few from promotions I had seen in other groups, all of whom were small business owners.
I made a point of letting people know I had purchased in order to help boost their posts and help promote their business.
The response I got was quite varied.
The first lady I purchased off and left a comment for, saying how excited I was to have placed my order and was looking forward to receiving my goods, completely ignored my comment. Not even a like even though I had tagged her! However, a comment below mine got an instant response from someone who was obviously a friend as she said she would drop the order over when they went out for drinks later.
How did that make me feel?
Ignored (obviously) and that my purchase was insignificant and not of any value to her.
A few days later I received my product and that was that.
The second purchase that I left a comment for did manage to get a ‘like’ but no reply or further interaction with me.
How did this leave me feeling? That she wasn’t really bothered by my purchase either. Another example of how not to create raving fans for her business.
Again, product received but this time with a card asking me to rate the business on social media. Hmm! Now then. As I had been ignored previously, would I take time out to do this. Maybe, maybe not.
How to create raving fans
Now take a moment to compare this was another purchase further along the line.
Here I did exactly the same. Completed the purchase and left a comment on their promo post whilst tagging them so they couldn’t miss it.
The difference in the response I got here was so far removed from the first couple.
Hallelujah!! Someone cares!
I had a reply to my comment thanking me so much for my support and that she was as excited as I was about sending my purchase to me as I was in receiving it as she knew I would love it.
Between my order and my receipt of the same, the lady kept me fully updated via email. Again, I received an email thanking me for my order and with an expected dispatch date. I then received a lovely email saying how my order had just been lovingly wrapped and taken to the post office so would be with me soon.
When the order arrived, it was beautifully packed in tissue paper and tied with a piece of ribbon along with a business card that had a handwritten message on.
How did this purchase make me feel? It made me feel valued and warm and fuzzy inside that I had supported a small business that really appreciated my support.
Out of these three businesses, who do you think I will return to when I go to make future purchases? Which ones are creating raving fans and which ones aren’t? I’ll give you one guess.
The moral of the story here is that if you are going to promote your business on social media, then get social! If someone takes the time to make a purchase and flag up your business to try and support you, then at least have the courtesy to respond to them. It only takes a few seconds to say thank you.
Remember, it’s now what you say or what you do, it’s how you make people feel that matters and will determine if they return to you to buy from you again or not.
Does this resonate with you? Yes or no? Leave a comment and let me know below.
How many times to you get an enquiry from a prospect, send them some details and then file them away and hope they get back in touch? Too often I suspect. Some of these prospects could be good potential future clients but they do not receive enough contact to be converted to buying from you.
How many times do you think you should follow up a prospect?
People tend to lead busy lives and if the email you send or voicemail you leave arrives with them at an inconvenient time, they may forget to respond or, be full of intention to, but then something else happens that takes priority. Past research has shown that it can take up to seven touch points with a prospective client before they take action and with the huge rise in social media, this figure can now be significantly higher.
I have included a simple diagram which shows 13 touch points, but illustrates how the buying process can take time and most sales people do not make enough contact to keep in the potential client’s mind. You may not see yourself as a sales person, but in reality, yes you are if you are trying to gain paying clients.
Therefore, you need to set up a system to ensure regular activity to try to make contact and if no response is forthcoming after a set period, to at least add them to your mailing list for an ongoing newsletter (you did take their email didn’t you?).
After someone has requested some information on your business and you have sent it out, a simple seven point contact plan could be as below. Once a prospect buys from you, they would move out of the remaining sequence and be added to your client mailing list so that ongoing contact is still maintained. The types of contact you have will be determined by the information you have available so at the point of initial enquiry, get as much information as you can. Ask for an email as the bare minimum but if you can, take a phone number and mailing address.
- Attempt contact via email or phone call to see if info received and if any questions. If no response, leave message or send acknowledgement email (within 24 hours)
- Follow up call to prospect and if not there, leave a message (+24 hours from step 1)
- Send follow up email (+ 1 week from step 2)
- Send written letter (+ 1 week from step 3)
- Final phone call (+ 1 month from step 4)
- Final email (+ 1 week from step 5)
- Final letter – confirm no further contact will be made but will add to mailing list (+ 1 month from step 6)
Once prospects have moved off the main seven steps and on to your mailing list, this database of contacts can be used for sending out your newsletter, free advice and tips and for future marketing purposes including competitions/surveys etc.
To find out more about the follow-up process and how it can dramatically help you get more clients, watch my webinar recording on How To Double Your Sales In 90 Days. It may just be the most valuable 60 minutes you spend on your business!
Stop selling on social media and gain more clients
How to get more clients with social media
Do you want to know how to get more clients with social media? If so, I want to share a little tip with you if you use social media for business, and I also think it can be applied if you use social media for personal use. It is quite simple tip really. Here it is in all its simplicity:
Put the social back into social media
So often I meet clients who complain that they are not getting the results they want from their social media efforts but when I review their sites, all I see is ‘me, me, me’. They are constantly trying to sell to people.
As I always tell people, when posting on social media sites such as Facebook, it is important to be consistent and post regularly but not to constantly try to sell. The aim is to interact with others, or be social, (the tip is in the name ‘social media’) on these sites to in order to build a relationship with them so that people/potential clients come to like and trust you. They are then more likely to want to listen to your message in the future and interact with you and will remember you when they need the product or service you offer.
You wouldn’t go to a dinner party and just constantly talk about yourself and how wonderful you are, or if you did I suspect you wouldn’t be invited back again. So why behave in this way on social media.
Post on social media sites as though you were talking to someone in person. Give them hints and tips for solving problems related to your business offering and provide interesting information. Let people see the real you so let your personality shine through. Join in groups where your target market hang out and join in conversations. Give some free advice. This can then be interspersed with a sales message on odd occasions rather than turning people off by selling to them constantly.
I had a message from a wonderful lady I have been working with recently. She had just been posting sales messages and getting nothing back. She changed tactic just a week ago and has already seen her likes and followers grow daily and has gained 3 new clients. In her words “Amazeballs!”. You see, it works!
And in your personal life, don’t just talk about yourself. Take an interest in others. Ask how they are, what they are doing and help them if you can. No one likes to spend time with someone who is only interested in themselves.
So if you want to get more clients, start being more social on social media and see how your success increases.