Each and every asset in your business is there to ease/fasten the business process. If you own a retail store, you’d have a computer to take care of billing, accounting, printing of receipts, etc; That’s the job role of your computer, to get complex stuff done with few clicks. You might also have a barcode scanner at the cash counter to scan barcodes off the product and autofill the product info in seconds. Hence, the job role of the barcode scanner is to reduce manual entry work and keep the customer queue at cash counter as short as possible. Similarly, each and every object in your business is fulfilling a job. The question is, what is the job role of the website in your business?
Most of the people would say, it gives our business an online presence and helps our potential customer(s) to know about us without physically visiting us. Okay, agreed! But this would be a way too long job title, don’t you think? The question remains the same, if your website were an employee as in a living person, what job role it would have fulfilled? And the answer to this question is, your website is the best “Sales Person” (or has a potential to become the best “salesperson”) you’ve got. But why “Sales Person”? Let’s check out. Acccording to monster.com, below are the job responsibilities of a salesperson:
- Welcomes customers by greeting them; offering them assistance.
- Directs customers by escorting them to racks and counters; suggesting items.
- Advises customers by providing information on products or services.
- Helps customer make selections by building customer confidence; offering suggestions and opinions.
- Documents sale by creating or updating customer profile records.
- Processes payments by totaling purchases; processing checks, cash, and store or other credit cards.
- Keeps clientele informed by notifying them of preferred customer sales and future merchandise of potential interest.
- Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
Now, try and compare each point above with a business website. A great website would have an appealing home page which would establish an initial trust with a new website visitor. The website menu helps in taking a visitor to the information they’re looking for. The product/services page on your website will then describe, what you have to offer to the customers. If you run an e-commerce website, your website would be taking care of everything from initial website visit to checkout. Do you the similarities?
No matter if you run a brick and mortar store or sell services/products online or are a non-profit organization, your website is the best salesperson you’ve got. It works tirelessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to promote your product/services. For small and medium businesses who cant’ afford to hire an expensive salesperson, they can safely bet on their businesss website to take care of the job, provided the design and user-experience are at par.
How about digging little deeper? Let’s, assume you run a retail store and you’ve a competitor who owns a retail store of same nature right across the street. To drive more sales, your competitor hired “John Doe” as a sales person for their retail store. John has following qualities:
- He has been a successful sales person and has a great amount of experience with retail sales.
- He dresses up pretty neat, a white shirt with a tie and dark trousers.
- Since, John has a great previous experience, he understands the needs of the customers visiting the store better.
- He’s a confident, charming guy, who always talks and suggest appropriate products with a smile.
And, since the customers like him, they trust him; which helps John to upsell quite easily. He’s doing great at the store and making your competitor happy by generating more profit and making you sad by hurting your business. By looking as this, you decided to hire a sales person at your retail store, so as to make more sales than ever. Since, this is the first time you’d be hiring someone, you’re pretty skeptical about how this would work out. You decided to go for a person who would demand as low salary as possible to do the job. You hire Tim Doe, who’s just out of college. Tim has following qualities:
- He has no experience in sales or whatsoever.
- He doesn’t know how to dress approprialtely.
- He talks to the customers very unprofessionally and gets frustrated very easily.
Due, to which not only he’s driving much less sales but also hurting the goodwill/reputation of your store. Customer’s now prefer to go to your competitor’s store, because they find John much more trustworthy, friendly and attractive as compared to Tim who’s always grumpy and frustrated at walking you around the store. I’m pretty sure that if you were a customer, you would have done the same.
The same goes with your business website. Your potential customers are visiting your as well as your competitior’s website. The one which has all the whistels and bells, trust factor, has better user-experience and pleasant to browse would eventually get the potential customer’s attention and the other ones will loose.
Remember your website is probably one of your best–if not the best–sales assets you have. If nurtured and taken care of, it will boost your sales and grow your business, just like a human salesperson.
P.S.: The only thing a website cannot do what an actual salesperson can do is to source leads. To generate leads for your website, that can be done by social media marketing or search engine advertising.