Good news: You just got a big lead. Bad News: The prospect is going to swing by the office tomorrow.
Panic sets in…Clean the lobby, Get your suit out of the dry cleaners, get the car detailed.
We have to create great first impression!
Granted, as a digital marketing agency, we know this stuff is important, and you may not be the type of business where clients come by the office – but trust us – this scene plays out millions of times every day online: A prospects hears good things about you, or maybe you met them at a networking function and handed them your snazzy business card. It is extremely likely that thing they will do is “drop by” your website. We call this the “second impression”.
Are they seeing your best side, or are they seeing a dated website that you “might” have cut some corners on? Are they seeing one that’s 4-5 years old and doesn’t work on their iPhone? What if they search for you on Google?
“…But Jeff, I’m not an ecommerce company. We are all about a relationship sale”
Any excuse to use this image
I’ve heard that dozens of times. And, you’re probably right. You are very likely the best sales person in the world. You may even be a closer worthy of the Glen Gary leads (and a full pot of coffee) – but have you ever considered how many people look at your site and have already made an assessment about you before you get a chance to throw your Alec Baldwin-esque sales game at them?
The Fleishman Hillard Digital Influence Index listed several considerations that buyers use when making purchasing decisions. Among their findings are a few that apply specifically to how you represent yourself online.
**They are influenced and make judgments based on the web: in the U.S., the Internet rated about equal in importance in purchasing decisions as family and friends (46 and 47 percent respectively).
**Mobile is more important than ever: Almost two out of three consumers surveyed use a mobile/smartphone to gain information on a brand, product or destination at least three or four days a week.
**Search is key: Eighty-nine percent of consumers surveyed use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions, punctuating the need for a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
**It’s not just products: When choosing healthcare products and services, 75 percent said they rely on online information.
What's the BFD?
You spend the money for Class-A office space, you invest in nice office furniture, and you make sure to take the BMW to work when you have client lunches. But we are constantly amazed at how many successful and intelligent business people don’t think their website is worth the time, energy or money.
Biz Dev and sales people need to begin to consider their website as a critical stage of their sales funnel and that the “second impression” is critical to complement their networking activities. Next time you hand person their business card after a great interaction, be aware that that it is very likely that the next interaction that prospect will have with your company will be online, not in person.