The success of your online business relies on you making sales, actually selling your product or service to paying customers. The more the better. To get those sales you need to communicate well with your potential customers and make a good sales pitch. What you say and how you say it are therefore very important and can make the difference between your business succeeding or failing.
When you sell your products and services online, you communicate largely through text. What you say in that text directly influences the customer's decision to either buy or not buy your product, in the same way that a real-world sales conversation would. Your potential customer wants to hear interesting and important information that will help them make that decision. That decision begins from the moment they arrive at your website.
Lets imagine you are looking to buy a particular product. You learn that the product is available on two different websites. You visit each site and read their text.
This is what Site A says to you (in effect):
Let us tell you about us... here are some very basic product details we feel we should give you... here's an inadequate photo of the product we had lying around... this is why we are in business and why we think we are great. Yeah we know we've made it difficult for you to use our site. We didn't want to make the effort to find out what our customers want, this is where we are located (usually accompanied by a picture of their building).
Site B says:
Yes we sell the product you are looking for. Here it is. Let us tell you all about it. Here are some good reasons why you should buy it immediately. Here are some good reasons why you should buy from us (and not our competitors). It's easy for you to buy from us. Let us know if we can serve you better or answer any questions you may have.
Which one is going to get the sale? Obviously Site B will get the sale. Why? Because they clearly show they understand their customers. They:
- Focus on their customers!
- Focus on their needs!
- Focus on their priorities!
They provide information that is useful to you in making your buying decision. They are focused on you the customer, not themselves. Their text is all about "you". They work hard to ensure all this and demonstrate it on their website. They make it very easy to interact with them and that also gives you the impression they will be very easy to deal with too.
Site A, on the other hand, may indeed have some useful information on their web page, but its not there in quantity and for your benefit. It can of course be useful to know where a company is located. But, if they are going on about it or it's the first thing you see on arrival, its more likely there to prop-up their over inflated ego and demonstrate how successful they think they are. Their focus is directed entirely on themselves. You are not their number one priority, they are! Don't they realize that customers can read between the lines and spot this easily?
In addition to focusing on their customers, there's also something else that Site B does very well. It's not as easy to spot but has a dramatic effect on their sales. It's the way they deliver their information. They know it's vital to keep your attention and interest. If they lose it for a second they may lose it forever.
They've noticed that other sites write paragraphs of text that grab your interest in one sentence and lose it in the next, because the information provided is not relevant or important to you at that point. It should either be removed or replaced. So they have made a conscious effort to hold your interest at all times throughout a paragraph or piece of text. Their paragraphs say exactly what you want to know and in the order you want to know it. They hold your interest throughout with useful and valuable information. They don't tolerate any irrelevant or unimportant information whatsoever.
This is the ideal situation for your company to be in. To have customers who are keen to listen to what you have to say and trust what you say. They know you are focused on them, their needs and their priorities. They are far more likely to listen to your recommendations and make purchases based on them. You will build stronger, equally beneficial and more rewarding relationships with them. Those relationships will be hard to break by your competitors, especially if you keep that focus and continuously improve your offers, products and service.
Questions to ask:
- Are you focused on your customers?
- Are you providing the right information at the right times?
- Do you keep their attention and interest at all times?
- Do you distract them at anytime?
- Are you getting maximum sales from your website?
Action to take on your website:
- Concentrate on selling more products.
- Concentrate on selling them well.
- Remove any distracting, confusing or irrelevant text.
- Try to keep the readers interest continuously.
Remember: Focus on your customers! Focus on their needs! Focus on their priorities!
Peter Simmons is editor of the DYNAMIQ EZINE. For more information, visit his web site at http://www.dynamiq.co.uk or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.