No more websites?
Before I begin, yes, your company needs a website. However, I think it’s time we start admitting that the website isn’t always that great of a conversion tool.
The website is good at a lot of things. It represents your brand. It contains a lot of information that could potentially educate your customer. But its real strength is that it is a consideration tool.
Let’s look at the stages of marketing:
Each stage finds the buyer in a different mindset when they interact with your company. When they are on social media they are not usually in a mindset of wanting to buy anything, especially if it is not an impulse purchase. They are there to get inspired at best and stave off a little boredom at worst.
Step 1: Go Hard On Social Media
Social is a great place to become aware of your brand and the problem you solve. But trying to get them to convert from there is a little off putting. Instead, the goal should be to get them to consider, not buy.
To get a person to consider your offer they first have to engage in some way. An engagement is an interaction and the more personal and low pressure that interaction the better.
Moving into consideration is all about gathering the information necessary to prepare for purchase. I say prepare for purchase because consideration doesn’t mean that they have allocated dollars to making a purchase. They need to know if it’s something they can afford.
I see too many companies saving the pricing conversation for the very end of the funnel at the point they want them to convert into a new customer. This is quite frankly, a waste of time.
If the person considering the offer doesn’t have the money in the bank, they just don’t have it. There is no level of overcoming of objections that can convince them to depart with something they don’t have.
However, if you just slow down a little, and put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to empathize with their timeline.
To go from consideration to conversion, you have to know whether you can afford it today or if it’s something you will make work in the not too far future.
Just because they don’t have the money today doesn’t mean they don’t want to spend the money. But if they have the money, they will be much better customers in the long run. So, instead of trying to get a fool to depart from a dollar, try patience and engagement.
On a recent podcast episode I interviewed Max Traylor, author of Agency Survival Guide. He said that most agency owners make bad decisions because of “fear and hunger”.
Often we are so afraid that we aren’t going to make and so hungry for the next deal that we make horrible sales decisions that have the exact opposite outcome of our desire.
Instead, we should be patient and trust that things are going to work out while leading our prospects on a path that will eventually get them to where they need to go with you.
This is why engagement is so important. I like trying to get people to chat. When I can get people to chat online, they are in a safe space. 1) They don’t have to be on camera. 2) They haven’t quite given out any information. 3) They can just ask a quick question and run away when they need to.
Step 2: Get People To Chat
Here’s the thing about chat. It gives you the chance to show that you’re a human. People can tell when they are chatting with a script ran by someone in another country compared to when they are chatting with a person who is invested in the business. They just know.
Getting people to chat in a natural way will help people become more willing to engage more personally, like over video or phone.
But getting them to set up that call isn’t so straight forward. They have to have a reason and it has to be really easy to set up. Without a reason they will say no. I think that’s obvious. But without it being easy, it ends up being much easier to procrastinate.
If they don’t have a reason that’s because they are too early in the awareness stage. They haven’t learned enough about you to see a reason to book. This requires more enlightenment. More education. Asking more questions to understand what problems they are facing.
When they understand that you can help them in some way or that by becoming better acquainted with you as a human would be advantageous, then they will book. Chat is a great place to do that. If they are curious, they will go to the website and look at it. There their curiosity will deepen and the will become better informed but still, there is a better way to convert. There is a better way to get the meeting.
Step 3: Invite People To Book
For the last 4 years I have been a huge proponent of booking links. I first started using Periodic in my company to schedule estimates on my website. I wanted to replace the contact form and get my call center to have the ability to schedule appointments on my behalf 24/7. That all worked really well.
But the real value I uncovered was how I eventually replaced giving out my card with email and telephone number and just started giving out my booking link.
I recall a time when I was at a trade show and I was walking through the halls and saw someone I knew. He asked me if I wanted to give him an estimate. I thought to myself, if I give him my card and ask him to call to set something up that it may never happen. The ball would be in his court and my chances of getting a booking would go down.
However, if I pulled out my phone and opened my personal booking link, I would be able to confirm the appointment right then. There would have been no question about whether or not that interaction would have turned into a booking.
Make It Easy
From there, my luck with booking only grew. I found that I could get a booking with just about anyone when I followed this process of building awareness through social media, conversing directly via chat and supporting my conversations with the website but not relying on it for a conversion, and finally, using online booking to generate bookings that turned into in-depth discovery and opportunities to win new business.
Since being at Periodic, I have booked hundreds of appointments for myself that haven’t gone through the website. Of course, our website does have online booking as the primary CTA! Come on now. But as an individual in business development, I am empowered to generate bookings on my own through my personal booking link with results I’m seeing of 36% conversion rate.
The booking site truly is a better conversion tool than the website because it enables a more personal experience where the third party knows they are booking with a real person and not just some faceless force routing a lead to an undertrained SDR with little stake in their company or me as a professional. (I love you SDRs, you know the one’s I’m talking about.)