As a business owner who provides a valuable service (whatever it is), it’s easy to just jump straight to the sale when trying to engage with your customers. You know that you deliver great value, but your potential customers may not understand that right away.
Unfortunately, your customers may not be quite ready to jump right into “let’s do this thang!”
On Friday, my garage door opener went out. The guy who I had come out before to replace the springs last month actually came out Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. to take a look. I couldn’t believe he came out on a Saturday, and with less than 24 hours notice. The motor was shot, so I told him, “Just do it.” I already had a history of good results with him, as well as a friend who has had good experiences with him, so I trusted what he was saying to me.
I’ve said for a long time that, “Customers will buy into you before they buy from you.” If they don’t trust you (because they don’t know you yet), or aren’t quite at the point of being ready to commit to an engagement, they aren’t going to give you their money no matter what.
What Are You Telling Your Customers?
One of the first things I recommend that business owners do is look to see what their “call-to-action” is on your website. How are you telling your customers to engage with you? How do you want them to contact you?
- Pick up the phone and call you?
- Come in your store (they need your address)?
- Sign up for a newsletter or free download?
- Request a quote?
All of these are legitimate ways of asking your potential customers to reach out to you, and some or all of them may be valid for your business.
Take a look at your website and look at EVERY page (not just the home page). How hard is it for people to get in touch with you?
One of my favorite local restaurants has a take-out menu that allows me to get a quick lunch when I need to eat at my desk. Unfortunately, their phone number is ONLY on their “Contact Us” page. Why isn’t it at the top of every page, like the top of the menu page?
Another local restaurant went to the trouble to put in a mobile website (which everyone should do no matter what). But their phone number is nowhere to be found at all! If I’m out walking around downtown and want to call for a reservation on my cell, I cannot get their number off their mobile website. That’s just poor planning and a serious pet peeve of mine. They didn’t bother to think about their audience and what they want.
Something else to remember is that 54% of your visitors won’t scroll down on whatever page they’re on. You’ll lose over half your customers if your call-to-action is “below the fold” or below the bottom of their screen. Put it at the top and make it easy to find.
Nurturing the Relationship
Now what about those people who aren’t quite ready to “do this thang” and fully engage with you (i.e. give you their money)? What about them?
Your call-to-action doesn’t have to be a “close the deal” kind of thing. You can offer them several options to help them feel more comfortable with you. Here are some options where your call-to-action might take them:
- Go to a page that shows some video testimonials from past customers that are happy with your services (these are SO easy to create!)
- Sign up to receive a free report that gives them some ideas about how you can help solve their problem(s)
- Get a top 10 list of tough questions to ask [whatever you do]
- Receive a weekly newsletter showing how your company is the expert in your industry
Trust Building Factors are Crucial
Finally, it’s crucial to have trust-building factors on your website – on every page of your site. Make sure you you have logos of organizations that you belong to:
- Better Business Bureau
- Chambers of Commerce
- Trade Organizations
- Review organizations (like Angie’s List or Diamond Certified)
- Any type of verifiable hacker-safe organizations (Verisign, etc.) that prove that your site is safe to put credit card information into