Today’s post is from Peter Saydak, our friend from north of the border in beautiful Canada. Peter is an online marketing expert and he’s going to share how the internet has changed the sales process.
The Internet has completely changed the sales process and if you’re still trying to use the same techniques that worked in the past you’re going to lose business.
Before the Internet your customers probably had no idea what they wanted.
They were forced to look up your business in the phone book, drive down and talk to a salesperson to find out what they needed.
Businesses as a result had an entire sales process that they could run customers through with strategies for dealing with things like objections to price.
The Internet however has completely changed how this process works.
Gone are the days of customers who don’t know what they want and in many cases your customers probably know more about your products than your salespeople do.
How the New Process Works
When a potential customer starts off with a vague interest in your products they head to the Internet to do research.
They usually start with Google and learn more about the products in general to get a feel for what they’re looking for.
Once they’ve compared various products and they know what they want they turn their attention towards finding someone to do business with.
Again they’ll usually return to Google and do searches with terms like “awards shops near me” or “awards shops in my city.”
At this point not only is it incredibly important that you have a website for your business but it’s equally important that it’s optimized to show up for local search terms.
If your website doesn’t show up no one will visit your business. No one uses phone books anymore and everything is online.
The customer will take a look at the websites that come up and this is your only chance to make a good impression.
If your website has poor design or is out of date you’re probably not going to get much business.
Another giant mistake I’ve seen companies make time and again is not having enough information on their website.
You absolutely need information about your products, services, features and pricing.
Many companies are still stuck in the old pre-Internet mindset and want people to call or walk in so their salespeople can run their sales process.
If a customer can’t find pricing information on your website for example they’re not going to make a trip out or pick up the phone to find out that information. They’re simply going to click onto your competitors website. look at them next and you’re not going to make that sale.
This is why it’s absolutely vital that you have all the information a customer could ever need on your website. Don’t overwhelm them with choices but at the very least give them an idea what to expect for customization options and price.
The final step your potential customers will make before visiting you to buy what they need is to check out your online reputation.
They’ll look for reviews on sites like Google+, they’ll do searches for terms like “your business name reviews” or “your business name complaints.”
It’s very important that you manage your online reputation because even a single negative review can have a strong impact on whether a customer decides to do business with you.
If you’re online reputation checks out the customer will make the trip to your store. They’ll walk in knowing exactly what they need, purchase it and leave.
There’s no time for your salespeople to build rapport or go through any sort of sales steps with them.
As you can see the sales process today is vastly different from how it was just 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.
Instead of focusing most of your time, money and effort into salespeople at your physical location you need to focus on your website and online presence.
You need a beautiful website to make a good impression, strong search engine optimization for local search engine traffic, lots of information on your site to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they want and an excellent online reputation.
Without these elements you’re going to miss out on a lot of business.
With these elements you’re going to stand out from your competition and make people feel great about doing business with you.
Awardsly can help you build a fantastic website, dominate local search and make customers feel good about your reputation and doing business with you.