If their website is poorly designed and difficult to use and they haven’t been active on social media recently, do you hit the ‘back’ button as quick as lightning and search for another business that you would like to do business with?
On the flipside, quietly in the night while you’re fast asleep, your prospects are checking you out! Well, not literally! They’re checking out your website and your online marketing. They’re searching for a solution to their problem and they want to know if you can help them. Night and day, they’re checking you out, without you knowing it! (Ok, so website statistics can give you great information, but not your target markets’ names!)
If someone from your target markets comes across your website, they’ll immediately decide if your website is professional and trustworthy. They will see if your services or products can help them, and if so they’ll look further.
They’ll get a feel for you and your business, they’ll check out other people’s comments about you and your business on your website, blog, social media and other review sites like Trip Advisor. They’ll look at your background, your profiles and your social media channels to see the activity (or lack of it) and community interaction. They are getting the details of the products and services you sell.
All the time they are building an impression of you and your business. And this is happening without you knowing; you’re either fast asleep or running around with your business or family! What messages are you sending?
This is the reality of the new marketing and sales funnel. In days gone by without the internet, people had no choice but to contact the business for information about them and their products and services.
Now, only after your ideal prospects have checked you and your business out online, do you receive contact from them.
So what does it mean to businesses today?
Firstly, they need to be able to find you on the web. Search Engine Optimisation is something you can do and is an ongoing process.
Secondly, if you are contacted by a prospect, congratulations, you’ve been shortlisted and they are evaluating your product or service with the intention of purchasing shortly. Your online presence has met their expectations!
Lastly and most importantly, you need your website and social media channels to work hard for you and showcase you and your business in its best light. Investing time, effort and money into your website and social media channels so you “shine online” is imperative when they are acting as your “online sales rep”.
Thanks to Steve Patrizi for the image.