We’ve recently been searching for accommodation for a family holiday. Even at short notice we have lots of choice. So much that we are almost overwhelmed. How do we choose?
Like most people looking for a product or service we have a number of criteria that have to be fulfilled and then we have our wishlist. We quickly eliminate those properties that do not, or appear not to, meet our criteria. That still leaves us with a fairly long list so we look at the pictures, if they don’t look inviting those properties get eliminated. The list is shorter but we still have a choice so now we are reading the copy in detail. What benefits does the property offer us? What does the area have to offer? What do other people say about their experience?
It is quite likely that we have rejected suitable properties because the websites didn’t sell the property to us or it was impossible to check availability instantly, surely an absolute must in 2011. Some websites make great use of photographs to promote the area and the property. I’m sure I’m not alone in rejecting properties because there are no interior photographs. How often do you buy the book because you’ve been able to ‘look inside’ on Amazon? How many of your purchasing decisions have been affected by feedback from previous customers?
Here are some questions to help you check that your website sells your product or service to your would be customers:
- What criteria do your prospects use to choose a supplier? Have you demonstrated that you can meet those criteria? Is the evidence easy to find and believable?
- Why should a prospect choose you rather than a competitor? Have you explained that clearly and without knocking the competition?
- What would help convince new prospects to give you a try? Do you offer photographs, demonstrations, testimonials, a trial product, a guarantee? Using video can help convey the warmth of your personality, add credibility to what you are saying and help wavering purchasers to make a decision.
- Does each page of your website have a clear and appropriate call to action? Do you make it easy for prospects to get buy or get the information which will close the sale?
- Do you capture the details of people who visit your website without purchasing? Do you use those details to start developing a relationship? NB People need an incentive to give you their details, what would be an appropriate offer e.g. a free report, an e-book, a checklist etc. Then follow up with a newsletter sharing information of value not just the hard sell.
I’m off to make a few adjustments to my website, are you?