For those business owners who sell products online, making sure that interested prospects find their websites – and competitive pricing – is really all it takes to grow a successful e-commerce site.
Not so with service providers. Selling yourself is not quite the same thing as selling a book or a bouquet of flowers.
Many people are looking online for doctors, dentists, lawyers, and other service professionals to help overcome life’s everyday challenges. And when it comes to trusting someone with your health, home, or future, it may not be pricing that counts as much as trust.
People who search for service providers online are looking for a comfort level that will compel them to trust you enough to call or email.
Trust-ability is an attribute that is hard to convey, especially with a Yellow Pages ad or other print ad. With television, radio, and now the Internet, you have the opportunity to stimulate your prospect’s senses by giving them a glimpse into the business behind the business. You, the owner, can speak directly to your audience. This gives the prospect a better picture of your business, which works in your favor, as long as the production is of high quality and you can convey integrity.
Always remember that product knowledge breeds enthusiasm, so you must show that you are very knowledgeable about your product or service and why a customer should buy from you and not your competitor.
Using technology to bridge the credibility gap online is now making headlines. Why? Because it gives your prospective audience an opportunity to experience you, the owner, before making a commitment to you. If your audience feels comfortable with you and your business, and if you project yourself as the expert in your field, you’ll automatically see an increase in qualified enquiries.
Many successful sales people know that they must sell themselves first. The rest is relatively easy.
When someone visits your site, what do you want him or her to do? Many sites are designed with very little thought as to what the visitor’s experience will be like. Searching through pages and pages of text or sitting through a fancy Flash show really doesn’t achieve the ultimate purpose of the site, which is getting your Web visitors to call or email you for more information. It has been proven time after time that if a user has to click more than three times to find what he or she is looking for, that user will log off and look elsewhere.
What are most people interested in when searching for a product or vendor? Think about it from your perspective. If you were looking for a new dentist or attorney, where would you look? The Yellow Pages? An ad sent to you in the mail? Perhaps…and if great Aunt Gloria hasn’t convinced you that her dentist is the world’s greatest, then perhaps you’d look online.
The great thing about the Internet is that marketing power that was once only affordable for a large corporation with a substantial advertising budget is now available to the small business owner for a fraction of the cost.
And all it takes to leverage that power is a little trust