Get With The Times

 

Early in November I received ‘one of those phone calls’. You know what I mean? We all get them and they’re so annoying? Yes, that’s right, a telephone marketing call. Most of them can be picked immediately as first, there is a short silence and then the opening line asking, (99 times out of a 100 spoken in a foreign voice), ‘Am I speaking to the owner of the business?’ My first response before they get any further is, ‘Are you phoning regards to, solar panels, telephones, internet, Google advertising, SEO, websites?’ They try to avoid a direct answer as they are taught to reply from a ‘cheat sheet’, so whatever you may ask, there is always a ‘round-about’ way answer for it. The conversation then goes on to a point where you’re trying to speak but they just continue with their pre-written sales-pitch. Ahhhhh!

The people that know me can confirm that I am quite a laid-back, relaxed, non-stressed, very-rarely-argue or don’t-get-upset type of person, so when I receive one of these calls, in most cases I welcome it. Why? Well, this is where I can release any niggly frustrations I may have built up. I know, it’s not a nice thing to do; they’re just trying to make a living by making a sale, but when you receive around ten calls a week, sometimes it’s good to get it out of your system. It infuriates my wife that I refuse to hang up on them straight away, but sorry, it just seems to make me feel better afterwards. In a way, it’s like meditation to me; I feel very relaxed after it (sic).

Now when I received this call, I was getting ready to ‘let it out’ but the marketer, (Robert) came across so well, I let him speak. I was on the phone with him for around 30-45 minutes and at the end of his sales pitch I told him, ‘You are the first marketing person that has captivated me as to not hang up on you or give you a ‘gob-full’. He was very impressed with my comment and was quite pleased with himself. The reason I listened was the fact he suggested improvements to my website that for years I thought was working fine. In the past, many marketing people have tried to convince me to do this, but I was never interested in listening. My motto has always been, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. I didn’t realise how broke it actually was until it was explained to me in a way I could understand. For many years I have always preached the fact that first impressions count. This is what you should put into practice when answering the phone or turning up on a job site to meet a client for the first time. A website is no different. Revamping would make it more appealing to my customers and as he said to me, ‘A website must hold a customers’ attention’.

It’s essential for a website to be ‘user friendly’, especially to a first-time user otherwise you’ll lose the viewers’ attention. It must act as your sales tool and project what your business is all about, as for obvious reasons you cannot explain it to them face-to-face. You need to grab their interest immediately otherwise they’ll go somewhere else.

Besides the changes to my site, Robert is looking at the ‘better understanding of my customer needs’. As he explained, You can only sell what people want’ (as he did for me, except I didn’t know I wanted it). It is always your number one priority to know what drives your customers to buy from you. In this way, knowing my customers’ fears, goals and frustrations, will make me understand their decision-making process; what information helps them to act; and what kind of offers would resonate with them. So last week, he called six of my recent clients explaining that he was updating my website and if they wouldn’t mind answering some questions about myself and James W Decorating. It was quite interesting to hear what they had to say, and I must admit, I was extremely happy with their comments. These will now act as Testimonials and will ‘Pop-Up’ on the very first page of my website.

Also before I received the call, I knew (by viewing my Google and Website Analytics for the previous six months) I was getting numerous ‘hits’ on my website but only receiving a limited amount of genuine calls requesting a quote. I really couldn’t understand why! So Roberts’ call came at an opportune time. It made perfect sense to me that I had to update. Where I am at present receiving around two enquiries out of ten, by making the website more customer friendly and interactive, I should now expect to double or triple the number of calls without any extra outlay.

So if you think your website is looking a bit tired, Get With The Times’ and do something about it. Sure it’s going to cost you to update but if it leads to more enquiries, then the money you spend will be saved on extra advertising you would have to do. (If you need a web developer, let me know).

Jim Baker

www.mytools4business.com