Forget about the internet for a minute. When you want to improve your business, who do you go to first? No brainer – your customers. There is not and will never be a single tool or algorithm out there that’s going to beat the power of good ole’ honest feedback from customers.
A while back I wrote about the value of looking at your website as a person. Let’s take that a step further. If your website is your virtual salesperson, the first step to making it sell is obvious – find out what a would-be customer is looking for.
How do you find that out? What if I told you that the answer is probably sitting nearby fielding an angry customer’s phone call?
Want to Understand the Action? Get in the Trenches.
Your sales staff is in the trenches on a daily basis. They’re listening to the needs of your customers every minute of the day. They’re finding ways to convince customers to buy and listening to the reasons why some customers won’t.
That’s a gold mine of information.
So how can using your offline sales people help your virtual salesperson sell better?
- Understand the Motive: Why does somebody want to do business with you? What possesses people to pick up the phone and call your office?
- Know the Needs: Anybody can identify trends. Your company may get thousands of phone calls in a day. What do a majority of those callers want to know about you? What do they really need from you?
- Find the Turn–Offs: Objections are critical for improving your conversion rate. Why do customers turn away? What specific points are deal-breakers?
Your sales staff can answer all of these questions. Why? Because every day they’re in the trenches listening to life stories, fielding tough questions and finding out what makes the best consistent answers.
“But we’re talking about websites here, not offline sales.”
When it comes to fine-tuning websites for higher conversion rates, the offline is often overlooked. Your website is an extension of your offline business. It has its unique twists and turns, but some things never change, like meeting a customer’s needs quickly.
Knowing a customer’s needs, concerns and hesitations applies to online and offline alike.
Case in Point
One of our recent clients, Dr. Tim Love, wanted to get more leads for his website promoting hair transplant procedures.
The client told us that one of his employees, Clara, was an expert at getting callers who were on the fence to come in for a consultation. A large part of our research started with her. After a few conversations, we were able to learn a few things about customers:
- The psychological motivation behind a conversion wasn’t just appearance. Prospective customers were trying to find a way to improve their confidence and re-build their self-esteem.
- Their primary concerns of most customers were cost, the credentials of the surgeon and the specifics of what the procedure entailed.
- Many customers were suspicious of pricing and didn’t like that other clinics had not given them clear up-front answers to their concerns.
Armed with that information, we re-shaped the navigational structure of the website. Main navigation choices were limited to categories that addressed the major needs of prospective customers. We also added a site-wide “Ask a Specialist” contact form so that customers knew that they would get answers to their questions from an experienced professional hair transplant specialist.
These changes contributed to a 144% increase in conversion rate.
There are a lot of tools available to help you learn more about how your customers are treating your website. Don’t forget to be old-fashioned from time to time and use some common sense. Your sales staff is in constant contact with the customer. Use that knowledge to turn your website into an expert virtual salesperson selling 24/7.