by Leigh Wallinger.
Most, if not all, owners of small service companies would like more sales leads and more clients. By concentrating on their company website and how they (and their sales team) spend their selling time, they can achieve more.
Your website is a powerful asset and it must be fully exploited. Turn it into the hub of your marketing activity and make it full of information that your prospects will value. When designing and producing content for your website, keep in mind the old saying “telling isn’t selling.” Back up all the claims you make about your service with solid evidence that it is true – your prospects are wary of unsubstantiated claims.
The best way to do this is to use the experiences of your current clients. Show how others who were in a similar position to your prospects have used your services to achieve their objectives. Find ways for these clients to describe their successes and achievements in their own words.
For higher value services, the best vehicles to achieve this are success stories and testimonial statements. You want testimonials to be positive and specific so they can be used to substantiate any claims you make to prospects regarding your services.
Naturally, only those clients who are happy with your services and who feel they have received good value for money, will be prepared to help you out with success stories and testimonial statements. Your website will highlight the experiences of your happy, positive clients. This positions your small service company in the best possible light.
For lower-value services, more emphasis should be placed on client feedback pages on your website. Clients will write comments directly as this represents the most cost-effective and appropriate way to capture their feedback on your services.
Before the Internet era, it was quite easy to keep your unhappy and disgruntled clients out of sight and away from your prospects. Now, it is impossible to hide unhappy clients, they can be found by your prospects through social media sites and online message boards. More than ever, it is essential that small service providers keep all their clients happy and minimise the level of negative sentiments about their services appearing online.
This has implications for those who are selling your services. They should be concentrating solely on prospects with requirements that can be fully met by your services, and with a high probability of success. We’ll term these high-quality prospects. Your company’s selling time should be spent exclusively with high-quality prospects.
By avoiding lower-quality prospects you will avoid collecting high-maintenance, potentially unhappy clients. Equally important, you will free up some time which can be directed towards making it easier for high-quality prospects to find your website.
This will entail a range of activities from writing and publishing articles to becoming active on the social media sites likely to be popular with your prospects. Depending on the nature of your services, it may be possible to produce a regular (monthly) eZine and send it to interested prospects and clients.
There will be some Search Engine Optimisation work needed on your website – this is probably best done by an external consultant with plenty of knowledge of how Google works.
Here are seven steps to making your website work for you:
1. Structure your website to be informative to high-quality prospects
2. Develop success stories and collect testimonial statements from clients
3. Set up (and keep to) a schedule for writing articles and eZines
4. Make your website Google-friendly
5. Spread the word about your services and website
6. Encourage prospects to contact you and qualify them carefully
7. Only spend time with high-quality prospects
There is one final word of warning for those who plan to adopt these suggestions to make their businesses more attractive to Internet-surfing prospects. Do not, under any circumstances, ignore your existing clients or take their business for granted. They are essential in persuading others that your services are as good as you say. Devote time to making sure they remain happy to be using your services.
Leigh Wallinger knows the problems that every small business owner encounters when trying to establish and grow a small business. After 30+ years’ experience he now helps small business owners to grow their businesses. Contact him by email (enquiries at salesmadeeasy.co.uk) or via www.salesmadeeasy.co.uk
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