The Seven-Step Systemized Approach
There are no magic words that will result in a Web site sale. Rather, the best way to ensure optimal results in selling Web sites is simply to adopt a proven, systemized approach that has demonstrated promising results over time. Web site sales can be broken down into seven discreet steps that can be easily duplicated. Your individual success at implementing each of these steps will depend upon your ability and willingness to be coachable and to follow the system. It is important to be both consistent and persistent in your efforts to develop attitude and knowledge, realistic goals, customer sales, increasing the size of your business, and follow-up with your business partners and customers.
In learning to make retail sales to an expanding customer base, it is essential that you learn and master seven steps to selling Web sites. These simple, memorable steps are as follows:
1. Generate Leads
2. Cultivate Leads
3. Building Web Sites
4. Scheduling Appointments
5. Make Basic Modifications to the Web Site
6. Close the Sale
Each of the seven steps addresses a specific, essential part of the Web site sale. To start selling Web sites effectively, it is important to fully understand what is accomplished in each of the seven steps. Whether you approach each business by phone, visit them in person, or do some combination of the two, these seven steps may be applied to your success.
Step One: Generating Leads
Generating leads is the first step in developing a customer base. Think of it as building a “possibilities list” of customers. Potential customers are everywhere, so there are a variety of ways to add possibilities to your list. A key point to remember as you generate customer leads is that every business needs a Web site, so when you discover a business that does not already have one, you should raise the concern and perhaps even be a bit surprised.
There are three general categories of lead sources, regardless of what industry you are focusing on, or how you will approach prospects: Observable Leads, Database Leads, and Referral Leads.
These can be obtained by constantly checking out your surroundings to find new lead information—from local businesses, retailers, billboards, newspaper ads, company vehicles, etc. Every business that you come in contact with is a potential lead, so get in the habit of carrying a notepad with you everywhere you go.
These are taken from various sources that maintain collections of business names, addresses, and phone numbers in one central location—like the Yellow Pages, your local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, etc. You can obtain hundreds, even thousands, of leads from database sources, but this type of lead generation requires you to do a bit more work filtering through all the leads.
These can come from virtually anyone—your friends, family members, customers, suppliers, members of your business network, etc. Referral leads tend to have the highest closing percentage because they leverage an established relationship between the person who provides the referral and the prospect.
In generating leads, your goal should be to fill the funnel with as many potential customers from as many sources as possible. Consider any person or business that you could possibly contact about a Web site. You don’t need to have detailed information about each prospect (but the more information you have, the better); as long as you have a name and a phone number, you’ve got a lead. Later, in step two of the seven step process you’ll narrow your list of leads down to a handful of promising prospects.
Whether you are approaching a potential customer on the phone or in-person, you will have to temper your response with a bit of good judgment. In other words, the prospective customer answers your inquiry with responses such as “I don’t have a Web site, but I’ve been looking for a good Web designer” or “I don’t have a Web site yet. Do you know anyone that sells Web sites?”
It is more appropriate to volunteer your services at that time rather than to dismiss the lead with the intention of contacting them again later. In such cases, don’t hang up the phone or walk away. Instead, transition into scheduling the appointment after identifying and qualifying the Decision Maker.
Tips for Generating Leads:
¨ Go through your list of personal contacts—friends or family members who own businesses you are already associated with (your doctor, dentist, insurance agent, fitness instructor, etc.)—and start with them.
¨ Look for Yellow Page ads or for work vehicles that don’t list a Web address, and call the business using the appointment setting script.
¨ Collect business cards from every person you meet and from every business you visit. This warms up cold calls and makes in-person appointments more comfortable because you’ve already spoken with someone.
¨ Shopping malls are an excellent source of leads, especially when you’re first starting out. The concentration of businesses allows you to talk to many potential customers in a short period of time, and gives you many opportunities to practice and hone your approach.
¨ Commercial advertisements are also a great place to obtain leads. Businesses that have paid for a newspaper or billboard ad are obviously serious about growing and promoting their company — and they’re willing to spend money to do so.
¨ Look for creative ways to market Web sites and promote the awareness of your Web business. For example, find businesses that provide services for other companies (printing companies, graphic designers, accountants, advertising agencies, etc.) and get permission to set up a box to have customers drop in their business cards for a chance to win a “discounted” Web site. All the business cards you collect will be from prospective customers who have pre-qualified themselves as being interested in purchasing a Web site.
¨ Develop a referral program that you will market to your business contacts and existing customers. How will you motivate people to give you referrals? What kind of incentives will you offer? (For example, offer a free month of hosting to an existing customer who refers you to a new customer resulting in a Web site sale).
Remember to focus on small- and mid-sized businesses; bigger companies that are part of a large national chain usually have Web sites that are administered by the corporate office. If some of the businesses that you call or visit already have a Web site, write down their information and approach those prospects with your more affordable, feature-rich Dollars by Design alternative once you have a bit more experience selling Web sites.
What to Ask When You Call or Visit
There are many ways to find out whether a business has or does not have a Web site. Avoid asking the question of “Do you have a Web site?” as it leaves the answer open to “Why do you want to know.” The most effective way to find out is to assume that they already have a Web site, and ask them the question in the same way as you would ask for store hours, directions to their location, product availability, etc.
Simply introduce yourself and ask the question “What is your Web site address?” If they have one, they’ll tell you. If they don’t have one, they’ll tell you that too.
Summary of Step One
During step one of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will assemble a possibilities list of customers by developing business leads who do and do not already have Web sites.
Step Two: Cultivate Leads
*This step will involve the majority of your time
After you have developed a list of possible customers, the next step is to prioritize them and approach the ones most likely to be interested in a Web site. Not all of the businesses you contact will understand the importance of establishing a Web presence. When you are new to selling Web sites, the business owners you should approach first are those who do not already have one.
Organize your possibility list according to industry, grouping them within the industries for which WebCenter layouts already exist. Working within one industry at a time will make it easier for you when you begin.
The purpose of step two is to arrange a firm, qualified appointment with the decision makers and Dollars by Design Sales Support. To do this effectively, you will need to know what appointment times are available on the WebCenter Sales Support Calendar for the next week or two. Whether you cultivate your customer leads by phone or in person to set up your appointments, it is wise to obtain a refreshed list of available times immediately prior to contacting them.
The person who greets you at the door or answers the phone may be a receptionist, clerk, secretary or other “gatekeeper” whose purpose it is to keep the decision makers from being disturbed. By asking the right questions, you can get past the gatekeeper, talk to the Decision Maker(s), and find out more about the company.
During this step, your objective is not to convince the potential customer to buy a Web site. Instead, you want to build rapport and gauge your prospect’s level of interest in a Web site. In your conversations, once you’ve found out who the business owner(s) and Decision Maker(s) are, take some time to learn a bit about them and their business.
This will build their trust in you and your credibility as an Internet Business Consultant (the more you understand their business, the easier it will be for you to connect the needs of the business to the features of our Web sites). The process by which you learn more about their business, their current methods of advertising, their needs, etc. is called data mining.
To successfully complete Step 2 of the Seven-Step Sales Process involves:
¨ Get past the “gatekeeper”
¨ Qualify the Decision Maker(s) (DM)
¨ Perform data mining
¨ Arrange a firm appointment
*These four elements must be performed for each potential customer/business.
Example of Getting Past the Gatekeeper
When you call on a business whether by phone or in person, you might say something like this:
“Hi, my name is ________, and I called/dropped by earlier to find out what your Web site address was. I was just looking for some information and I didn’t find you listed on any of the search engines. Can I ask where I could learn a little more about your products and services? Or do you advertise in any catalogs or brochures that I could look at?”
Chances are, you will learn a little bit about how the company advertises, or some more information about the company. You should then ask the following:
“Well, who would the right person be to talk to about your Web site? I’d like to schedule a brief appointment with them. Would that be the owner?”
Sometimes the Gatekeeper will tell you the name of the person that you need to talk to, but the Decision Maker isn't available at the time.
In cases like that, here is an example of how to avoid problems when you contact them again later. Let’s assume that “Sally” is the gatekeeper clerk. Sally tells you that you need to talk to “Bob” about the Web site, but Bob is not in right now –- or he’s busy at the moment.
Ask Sally when she thinks that Bob will be available … and let’s assume that Sally says that Bob will be available around two o’clock that afternoon. You could say something like:
“Thanks, SALLY, you’ve been a big help. Would you please do me a favor and let BOB know that I’ll be calling/dropping by to speak with him at two o’clock this afternoon?”
Now, Sally is going to assure you that she’ll pass Bob the message. After all, you’ve asked nicely and that would be the polite response. So when two o’clock arrives, suppose that another clerk, Peter, answers the phone. When Peter asks if he can help you, a simple reply could be:
“Hi, I’m calling/back for my two o’clock appointment with BOB.”
You don’t have to say anything else. You have just put the gatekeeper in a position where they have to talk to the Decision Maker instead of turning you away.
Using this technique assumes that the Decision Maker hires competent people and that the gatekeeper passes on the message as promised. Even if the Decision Maker has no idea that you were calling or visiting at two o’clock, you can explain that you had left a message earlier, and reschedule the call or meeting directly with the Decision Maker at that time.
Managing Common Gatekeeper Objections
Objection: “We’re not really interested.”
Response: “<Gate Keeper’s name>, we bring success to thousands of companies and small businesses around the world. We have invested millions of dollars in a Web site management platform that your boss is going to want to know about. We are able to create a cutting-edge Web site for your company with top search engine placement capability. I need to speak with whoever handles your marketing and advertising, please.”
Objection: “Are you selling something?”
Response: “Absolutely. As I mentioned, we have a development tool that enables you to manage your online presence. Typically it would cost you well over $10,000 to put something like this together. We’re offering it at a promotional price, which is just a fraction of the standard investment, and you can get the credit for bringing this solution to your boss’s attention. When is <DM’s name> going to be back in?”
Objection: “We really don’t have time for this.”
Response: “Trust me, <Gate Keeper’s name>, I understand completely. Please recognize that I’m not here to waste anyone’s time or hurt your business. My schedule is pretty hectic as well, but one of my responsibilities is to help businesses offer a higher level of service, reduce marketing costs, and ultimately generate more revenue. This isn’t something your boss would want to miss. When should I try <DM’s name> back?”
Qualifying The Decision Maker (DM)
When you speak with the Decision Maker(s), you will want to ensure that they are actually the person (or people) who will approve the purchase of the Web site. Sometimes you’ll be passed to just a higher level of management. You really need to be certain that you don’t waste time with anyone who will not be involved with making the final decision.
Sometimes the decision to buy a Web site will be made jointly by a partnership, or perhaps made by a committee. So you will want to ask the question of how decisions are made at that particular business.
You can test the accuracy of their answer by subtly adding a slight confirmation indicator to the end of your question, saying “You’re the owner of the business, RIGHT?” Perhaps they are not the owner, but they may be the person in charge of making advertising decisions. You will want to get confirmation that they are the person you should be talking to for the appointment. By actually asking how decisions are made, whether by an individual or by panel of individuals (and adding confirmation indicators to your inquiries) you can find the answers you are looking for without wasting a lot of time.
The Decision Maker(s) are considered “qualified” if 1) they are the cognizant individual(s) who will make the final decision as to whether or not to purchase a Web site, and 2) they are interested in evaluating a Web site to purchase.
Sample Questions Used to Identify the Decision Maker(s) (DM):
¨ “When you see something that you believe would be beneficial for the company, who do you consult with before making a final decision?”
¨“You’re the owner right?”
¨ “How exactly would you make your decision to spend money on a Web site?”
¨ “Are you the sole decision maker?”
¨ “Do you have a committee of people who all vote before coming to a final decision?”
Though we recommend using sales support for most WebCenter owners, there are advanced salespeople that prefer to do the walk-through themselves. Here are some tips on data mining designed to help you close the deal.
Data mining is the gathering of critical information to help you build value into the prospect’s Web site -- this data is “mined” from the Decision Maker (DM). With data mining, one of your major goals is to figure out the best way to market the Web site so it is more attractive and useful to that particular customer.
For example, a mortgage broker would be impressed with a pre-qualifying form and a mortgage calculator. But, they wouldn’t necessarily care about accepting MasterCard or Visa over a secure connection since people don’t typically buy houses with credit cards.
In another example, a gift shop owner might be interested in the shopping cart, catalog, and E-commerce, but not in a chat room.
To be successful at data mining, you need to ask the right questions in order to discover just what your customers needs are. Once you identify these needs, then you can customize your walk-through to address them, thus greatly increasing your chance of selling the site.
The following are examples of good Data Mining questions:
¨ “How do you currently advertise?”
Listen to their advertising strategies and transition into why a Web site will meet these goals much better and cost-effectively than traditional advertising.
For example, do they use the Yellow Pages? If so, this is a great time for a cost comparison. Or if they use Value Pak Coupons, bring up how easy and inexpensive personalized mass emails are. And if they have radio, print or TV ads, stress how much more effective they will be if they advertise their new Web site address as well.
¨ “How much do you spend on advertising?”
This is a perfect opportunity to emphasize how this will minimize their advertising expenses.
¨ “Can you track the effectiveness of your advertising efforts?”
This is a great segway into the Statistics Tool.
¨ “How do you keep in contact with your existing customers?”
This is a lead in for the Contact Management Tool.
¨ “Tell me a bit about your business.”
Find out what type of products or services they specialize in. Use this information to highlight a feature or tool that will help their sales. For example, if they sell goods, emphasize the on-line product catalog and shopping cart.
What to say if your prospect already has a Web site:
¨ WCO: “How’s your current Web site working out for you?”
The prospect may respond with a: “It’s not”, “OK” or even a “Great!” Here’s what you do in each situation:
Prospect: “It’s not.”
WCO: “What’s not working? What problems are you experiencing?”
Let the prospect talk. Listen to what they tell you, and then use the most appropriate transition statement to get them to log on.
WCO: “What would you like to change about your existing site?”
Continue data mining. Note the responses and use the best transition statement to get them to log on.
WCO: “What would you improve about the functionality of your site?”
Once again, listen to what the prospect says. Based on their responses, choose the most appropriate transition statement to encourage them to log on.
If the prospect says “nothing,” continue data mining. Use the information you learn to get them to log on.
WCO: “Did you develop the site yourself or did you have someone do it for you?”
Consider typical challenges associated with either method of development. Refer to options for establishing an online presence and incorporate them during transition and walkthrough presentation.
WCO: “How often do you make changes to the site? Do you make them yourself?”
Responses will vary. If they paid someone to develop their site, they may make changes on their own. However, if someone is making the changes for them, ask the following questions:
¨WCO: “How much are those changes costing you?”
Typically, the answer is pretty expensive.
¨WCO: “How long does it take for changes to be completed?”
Take note of their responses and then tell them about the site development tools to help sell the site.
¨ WCO: “Does the DM make changes? How are you making changes?”
Expected responses: HTML, FrontPage, etc.
¨ WCO: “Do you have to upload changes to your host?”
Expected response: YES.
*Note: Uploading to a host can be very time consuming. Place the focus on the convenience and efficiency of instantaneous changes with yourcompanyname.com.
¨ WCO: “Who hosts your site? How much do you pay for monthly hosting?”
Responses will vary. Make notes and consider how best to use this information during your presentation.
¨WCO: “Are you receiving the traffic you had expected?”
Skip to the next question.
¨WCO: “Can you tell where you are receiving your traffic? Is from search engines or do they go directly to the URL?”
Most people can’t verify where their traffic is coming from; this identifies a need for the Statistics Tool.
¨WCO: “Is your domain name being submitted to the search engines?
¨WCO: “Who is submitting your site to the search engines?”
¨DM: “I am”, “I am not sure”, “My host is”
¨WCO: “How often are you/they submitting your site? What is the cost associated with that?”
These questions will help you identify the need for the Site Promotion Tool.
Make note of the need for a Site Promotion Tool discussion.
Data Mining is a great way to close the deal when the prospect has an existing site. By asking the right questions and listening carefully, you can identify weaknesses with their current Web host. Then all you need to do is offer the right solutions to sell the site. Some examples of weaknesses are:
1.They are dependant on someone else to make changes and updates.
2.The site is not being submitted to the search engines.
3.They aren’t getting traffic.
4.The site is too expensive.
To successfully data mine, always be on the lookout for ways that a Web site can improve the prospect’s business. Really listen to their needs and stress the MA WebCenter tools and features that will offer the best solutions. By following these tips, you can turn your data mine into a gold mine.
Arranging the Qualified, Firm Appointment
Your potential customers will often ask “How much will it cost me to buy the Web site?” when they are talking to you. You don’t want to give them an answer at this point, because you really can’t; you don’t have enough information about what they need. When this question arises, you can politely avoid answering it by using an analogy such as the following:
“That’s a great question, but it’s one that’s hard to answer at this point. It would be like going to a car dealer and saying ‘I’d like a car, how much would it cost?’ Well, it would all depend on the kind of car, whether you need a two-door, a four-door, an automatic, etc. So I need to find out more about what your needs are so we can discuss a fair price. Now, you wouldn’t buy a Web site at ANY price if you didn’t like it, would you? So, all I’d like to do at this point is put one together for you at no cost and no obligation to buy it … I would just like you to evaluate it to see how we can meet your needs. Is that fair?”
The most common answer will be “yes,” at which point you should arrange the firm appointment with all of the Decision Makers. If they are agreeable, determine a mutually agreeable time that fits into the Sales Support Calendar and ask them to mark their calendars accordingly.
Explain to the Decision Makers that you are not trying to sell them a Web site right now — you are not after their money— they are not obligating themselves to pay anything. All you want to do is put something together for them to evaluate at no cost. After the customer has seen the Web site and understands its value, they will know that it will cut costs, increase revenues, and attract more customers and often will want to buy it.
Sample Transitions to the Appointment
The following are sample statements that will help you to transition out of data mining and into scheduling an appointment with you and one of our Product Specialists to walk the prospective customer through the Web site management platform.
¨“That’s exactly the reason why I’m talking with you today. Let me show you how we solve that issue for you. We need to set an appointment, let you take a look at our incredible software, and if you like what you see we can get your site up and running right away. If you don’t see the value, we’ll part friends.”
¨ “<Your company name> understands the challenges that small- to mid-sized businesses like yours are faced with when establishing a Web presence. We have developed a solution for all those obstacles you may have already encountered or will encounter in the future. Our tools make it possible for you to have a very successful Web presence immediately. When would be the best time for you to spend 30 to 45 minutes with me and one of my Product Specialists on a no cost, no obligation demonstration? (No pause) Would tomorrow afternoon work for you, or would the following day be better?” (Always suggest a time)
¨ “We work with businesses like yours to provide all the tools that will assist you in providing a higher level of service to your customers, lowering advertising costs, and generating more revenue. If these are some of the goals you have for your business, we need to go ahead and set a time when I can show you how this works. When would be the best time for you to spend 20 to 30 minutes with me and one of my Product Specialists on a no cost, no obligation demonstration? (No pause) Would tomorrow afternoon work for you, or would the following day be better?”
¨ “That’s why I need to show you this industry-specific Web site for your business, which is only the first element of our Web site solution. I understand that you already have a Web site, but you owe it to your business to take a look at what we can do for you. What I’m offering is more than just a site, and I’ll show you how all the extra tools and features will improve your chances of making your online business successful. When would be the best time for you to spend 20 to 30 minutes with me and one of my Product Specialists on a no cost, no obligation demonstration? (No pause) Would tomorrow afternoon work for you, or would the following day be better?”
If the prospective customer is still not expressing interest:
¨ “I understand you are busy right now, but it is important for you to consider, consumers are going to the Internet 7 to 1 over the Yellow Pages. If you want to continue advertising in the Yellow Pages, you should at least have a Web site address to leverage those advertising dollars you’re already spending.”
¨ “I have an appointment available (day) at (time) or (day) at (time), which would be better for you to take a no-cost, no-obligation look at what we can do for your business?”
If customer schedules a definite appointment:
¨ “Alright, I will be in touch with you at _____. Just so that we don’t take up too much of your time, when we call, please be logged onto the Internet and write down any questions you have so we can maximize our time together. Fair enough?”
*If the customer won’t schedule a definite call back, move on to your next prospect.
Summary of Step Two
During step two of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will get past the gatekeeper, identify and qualify the decision maker(s), data mine, and arrange the firm appointment.
Step 3: Build the Web Site
At this point, you have cultivated possibilities that you developed in step one into prospective customers in step two. Before you can use the Online Sales Calendar to book the appointment that you arranged in step two, you must first create the Web site for that appointment. There are three different ways to build a Web site.
1. The first is to use the “Build Your Web Site” button from the front page of your WebCenter. Both WebCenter owners and any subcontracted sales people they have hired may use this option. After clicking on “Build Your Web Site” simply follow the prompts to choose the Web site version, then complete the on-screen form that requests information about your customer’s business.
2. The second way to build a Web site through the WebCenter is for the WebCenter owner to log into the Administration section and select the “Web site Builder/Administration” section. WebCenter owners can quickly build Web sites using an abbreviated form in this section.
Regardless of which way the Web site is built, it should take less than five minutes to complete. Do not make any modifications to the Web site at this point. Simply build the Web site to enable it to be scheduled into the WebCenter Sales Calendar. Build the Web site as soon as possible after arranging the mutually agreeable time in step two (Cultivating Leads) so you can ensure that the appointment in the Online Sales Calendar is still available.
Summary of Step Three
During step three of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will build the Web site through the WebCenter without making any modifications to it.
Step 4: Schedule The Appointment
With the Web site built, you can now schedule the appointment at the agreed upon time using the online Sales Calendar. From the WebCenter select the calendar button. Simply choose the applicable date and time, then complete the appointment form with relevant information that will help your Product Specialist work with your customer. To book the appointment, you will need to select the appropriate Web site that you built in step three from the dropdown list on the appointment form.
In the details section of the appointment form, enter as much information as possible about your customer. From your data mining in step two, you should know how decisions are made, how the company advertises, what kinds of features the business owner would find important in a Web site, or other information that was revealed in conversation. The more information you can provide, the better the chances will be that your Product Specialist will be able to identify and focus on your customer’s “hot buttons,” resulting in a sale. Even with entering details about your prospective customer, completing the appointment form in the online Sales Calendar should take less than five minutes.
Summary of Step Four
During step four of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will submit the appointment in the online Sales Support Calendar.
Step 5: Make Basic Modifications to the Web Site
Remember that your potential customer has only agreed to look at a Web site at this point. They have not made any kind of financial commitment or binding agreement that would warrant spending much time customizing the site. In short, your customer is window shopping; they have not yet earned your time.
Therefore, only spend a maximum of fifteen to twenty minutes making changes to the Home page (and possibly the Flash page) of the Web site. You are not trying to create a finished product. You can use the Web Site Guide or the online Quick Start Guide to help you if you need it.
With the appointment set, make a few, brief modifications to the Web site to do basic customizing only after you have confirmed the appointment closer to the time of the call with the Product Specialist. Wait until your closer to the Sales Support call before making changes, so you waste less time on appointments that cancel.
Your changes should be just enough to make the prospect feel like they are looking at their site as they learn more about the potential that the Dollars by Design Solution offers. Doing so will convey a sense of ownership during the walkthrough appointment. You are not trying to make a finished product.
During the walkthrough presentation, the Product Specialist will be showing the prospect how they can use all the tools and features in the software to modify the basic Web site into their own fully functional customized Web site.
Summary of Step Five
During step five of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will make very basic modifications to the Web site home page and Flash page, spending no more than twenty minutes to customize the site in preparation for the Sales Support call.
Step 6: The Sales Appointment
If you’ve been diligent in cultivating leads, qualifying your prospects, and building value in the appointment, closing the sale should be the easiest step in the sales process. Before the scheduled time arrives, be sure to confirm the appointment with your customer well in advance. The Dollars by Design Sales Support team does a great job at closing Web site sales. When discussing the appointment with your customer, however, it is best to refer to Sales Support as your “team of Product Specialists.”
Within five minutes of when the appointment is scheduled to begin, your Product Specialist will call you to confirm the details about your customer. The more pertinent detail that you enter when scheduling the appointment, the better your Product Specialist will be able to work with your customer.
When the Product Specialist calls you, update them on any additional information you may have obtained about your customer. After the information is confirmed and any questions are answered, your Product Specialist will connect your customer on a conference call. Sales Support will make the three-way call, so you do not need to have the three-way calling service.
When the customer answers the phone, introduce your Product Specialist to them and listen quietly for the rest of the call while the Product Specialist walks through the Web site and closes the sale. This should be the first time that the prospective customer sees their Web site. It is important that you remain silent and do not interrupt the Product Specialist. Do not ask questions or volunteer any extra information to your customer. Let Sales Support do the work for you.
By listening quietly to the call, you will get on-the-job training for selling Web sites. It is beneficial to take notes during the call. After you have experienced five or six calls with different Product Specialists, you will start to develop your own style if you decide to close Web site sales yourself at a later time. You will learn what to say and what not to say. You will also learn how to respond to customers’ objections and how to address their concerns in a way that meets their needs. The Product Specialist will complete the presentation, negotiate a price, and end the presentation by walking the customer through the payment process or assisting in scheduling a follow-up call if necessary.
Even if you are a veteran at sales, you may not have experience working with Web sites. There’s no substitute for experience. Making your initial walkthrough calls with Product Specialists will build your confidence and comfort level when working with business owners in the Web site market.
Summary of Step Six
During step six of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will introduce your prospective customer to the Product Specialist for the Web site walkthrough, and listen quietly as the Product Specialist closes the Web site sale.
Step 7: Follow-Up
After a successful Web site walkthrough that results in a sale, you will still have some unfinished business that must be addressed. At this point, the customer has made a financial commitment to you by making payment on their Web site. You must now follow up with your customer to ensure that they are satisfied, and to deliver on any promises that you have made them.
If, for example, you agreed to help them complete their Web site after the sale, you will need to work with them on the Web site as you help them transition to working regularly with Customer Care. Dollars by Design Web Site Customer Care is free technical support for your customer, and can be accessed by two methods: telephone and live Internet chat.
It is best to avoid doing the work for the customer to complete the Web site, although customers will often expect you to contribute some of your time to helping them complete the Web site for prices above $999 to $1499. Be careful to specify a finite amount of time that is included with sale for any Web site sold.* If you do not, the customer will expect you to perform “free” maintenance work on their Web site for as long as they own their site.
Also, after the sale, take a few moments to meet with your customer and have them sign the WebCenter paperwork to acknowledge receipt of their Web site and help preclude a chargeback later. If your customer is not in your local area, mail or fax them the paperwork to sign and return to you.
Offer your customer incentives to provide you with additional customer leads during the follow-up after the sale. One possible incentive you could offer would be a complimentary month’s hosting rebated to your existing customer if a referral results in the sale of another Web site, in which case you would simply pay $50 of the referral sale’s profit to your original customer who provided the referral.
Summary of Step Seven
During step seven of the Seven-Step Systemized Approach, you will have the customer approve anti-chargeback receipt paperwork, offer incentive for referrals, and wean the customer from working with you to working with Customer Care.
*It is strongly recommended that you do not perform extra work on Web sites after the sale on a fee-basis. If you decide to work on a fee-basis, each new customer will add an increasing burden on your time and you will find yourself trading time for money. A better way to invest your time would be to ensure that your customers are comfortable using Customer Care while maintaining their own Web sites, thus allowing you to work with new customers and develop a residual income as an Dollars by Design WebCenter owner.
VARIATIONS OF THE SEVEN-STEP SALES PROCESS
The Two-Call Approach
If you choose to make sales calls by telephone as your primary method for selling Web sites, the Two-Call Approach has proven successful and duplicable. The Two-Call Approach addresses step one of the Seven-Step Sales Process as one phone call and step two of the Seven-Step Sales Process as a second phone call. Remaining steps, three through seven, are as defined in the Seven-Step Sales Process section.
The first phone call is not designed to sell a Web site. The whole purpose of the first call is to determine whether a business has a Web site or not. By calling businesses and simply asking the question “What is your Web site address?” you can find out if a business is a potential candidate to be one of your customers.
The second phone call is to set the appointment, as in step two of the Seven-Step Sales Process. During this call, the potential customer that was called in step one is contacted again for an appointment to evaluate the Web site at no cost and no obligation to buy.
The simple Two-Call approach allows you to build a relationship with the customer. This approach also sets you apart from a traditional telemarketer. Using this system will help you keep track of your results to measure, monitor, adjust and control your performance. It will also help you get through the Gatekeeper and to the Decision Maker. Take out your list of businesses to call. On the first call, all you are trying to do is find out whether or not they already have a Web site. Ask for their Web site address as casually as you would ask for directions or store hours. Use the following dialogue on the first call.
Sample First Call To Develop Leads:
Business: “Thanks for calling Delightful Day Care, how may I help you?”
You: “Yes, may I have your Web site address, please.”
Business: “I’m sorry, we don’t have a Web site. I can answer any questions you might have. Is there something I can help you with?”
You: “No, I was just looking for your Web site. Thank you.” And then hang up.
If They Already Have a Web Site
You: “Great! What’s the Web site address? (Write it down) Thank you.” and hang up.
If you are new at this and you come across someone who already has a Web site, you should write down the information and move on to a new lead. Keep a list of businesses with Web sites, and a list of business without Web sites. If you are new at selling Web sites, work with the list of businesses without Web sites first. Once you are more experienced selling Web sites, go back to this list of business with existing Web sites and approach them.
Sample Second Call To Cultivate Leads:
Sometimes, you’ll get the name of the Decision Maker right away, other times you will have to overcome a series of questions or objections by the Gatekeeper before they are willing to give you any information.
Sample Call to Cultivate Leads:
Business: “Thanks for calling Delightful Day Care, this is Sue, how may I help you?”
You: “Hi Sue, I called yesterday looking for your Web site address. The reason I’m calling back is because I was looking for daycare centers in the area. I wanted to get some more information, but you’re not on the Internet so it’s kind of difficult to take a look at your facilities and pricing online. I’m looking to become a potential customer. I also work with Web sites, and I was wondering who I would need to talk to about creating a presence for your day care center on the Internet. Who handles the advertising and marketing decisions?”
Business: “That would be our director, Ms. Smith.”
You: “Great, is she available to talk to?”
Business: “She’s in a meeting right now. I don’t think she would be interested.”
You: “I’m sorry; did you say that Ms. Smith is the one who makes decisions about the day care?”
You: “But, you don’t think she would be interested in creating more revenue for your center and keeping enrollment numbers up? You see, since you’re not on the Internet, people can’t make a decision about your daycare unless they take the time to visit, and most folks don’t have the time to go place to place in person, so they do their research online. Plus many day care centers have some sort of a waiting list. I would hate to think that people might miss out on sending her children to the best choice simply because you’re not online. When would be the best time to reach Ms. Smith to discuss this?”
Business: “She’ll be available after 11:00.”
You: “Great! Thank you, Sue. Just let her know I’d like a couple of minutes to discuss some ideas with her, could you please let her know I’ll be calling back at 11:15.”
You can spend a minute or two data mining with the Gatekeeper, provided that they are being informative:
¨ “Who would handle making a decision regarding your company’s online presence?”
¨ “So, “<DM’s name> is the owner?”
¨ “Do you know if <DM’s name> has Internet access in his/her office?”
¨ “Would you do me a favor and connect me to <business owner’s> extension?”
If DM is not available:
¨ “What are all the types of products and services that you offer?”
¨ “How do you currently communicate with your existing clients?”
¨ “How do you currently market your company’s product/service?”
¨ “When is the best time to reach <DM’s name> to discuss his/her business online?”
When you get the DM on the phone:
*This would be a third call, but consider it a continuation of the second call.
Business: “Delightful Day Care, Ms. Smith speaking. How may I help you?”
You: “Ms. Smith, this is (your name). I spoke with Sue earlier today and she told me to call you again after 11:00. Did she pass you the message that I would be calling?”
Business: “Yes. She said something about a Web site?”
You: “The reason I’m calling again is because while I was searching for day care online, I noticed that there are a lot of day care centers with Web sites, but I couldn’t find yours. When I spoke with Sue the first time, she said you didn’t have a Web site YET, and I started thinking about what I’d already seen on the Internet from other day care centers. I had some ideas that I think could help you out. I’d like to show you how you can offer a higher level of customer service, reduce traditional marketing costs, and generate more revenue for your business by having a Web site designed to keep enrollment up, advertise your day care center online so you’re not losing business to your competitors, and provide new prospective customers with the information they’re looking for. Since you don’t already have a Web site, what I’d like to do at this point is put some ideas together for you to evaluate at no cost or obligation to buy, and set up a time for one of our Product Specialists to show you a free online demonstration of how our Web sites can benefit your company. We can meet at 11:00AM on Tuesday, or would Friday at 4:00PM work better for you?”
Business: “There are really that many day care centers online? Well, I’d be interested in seeing what you have to offer. Tuesday at 11:00AM works fine. Friday at 4PM starts to get busy with people picking up their children.”
You: “Great! I will call you at 11:00 Tuesday morning. Who else would be part of making the decision to promote your business with a Web site?”
Business: “No one. I make all of the advertising and financial decisions here.”
You do not have to go door-to-door or “pound the pavement” to make appointments in-person. You can find Web site sales opportunities in places you frequent everyday through people you meet. The person standing in line next to you at the bank or post office might own a business or know someone who does. Casually create conversation by using the referral approach to determine if they are possible candidates. Be prepared to answer the common question “What do you do?” with a response that brings up your Web site business. Vendors that frequent your office building, art shows, craft fairs and festivals are a few examples of businesses that could benefit from having a Web site.
When you approach a potential customer in-person, you don’t have the luxury of using notes or using a script. You have to be able to think in themes and maintain your posture to avoid seeming flustered or “unprofessional.” However, keep in mind that initially all you want is the appointment. If you focus on scheduling them for a firm appointment with one of your Product Specialists, you can have Sales Support close the call for you without providing too much detail or seeming evasive.
If a potential customer continues to ask questions, simply let them know that is the reason you would like to schedule an appointment— so a qualified Product Specialist can address their questions, present some ideas, and show them how it works. Specify that your staff will be able to answer any technical questions they might have after the demonstration.
When using an in-person approach, the first step of the Seven-Step Sale Process is covered in one visit to define whether or not a business has a Web site by asking for the Web address in person, while step two is covered in a second visit to learn more about the business and to make a proposal for a Web site walkthrough. Remaining steps, three through seven, are as defined in the Seven-Step Sales Process section, except that you may be in-person with the prospective customer during the Sales Support call with the Product Specialist.
Sample of Developing Leads In Person:
You: (To shop owner or manager) “I’ve shopped in here a least a dozen times and I was telling my sister about your store the other day. She lives in <another state> and she asked me for your Web site address, I told her I didn’t know. What is your Web site address?”
Store Owner: “We don’t have one.”
You: “Oh.” (With sincerity) “That’s unfortunate. I know she would have loved to shop at your store. She does most of her shopping online. Thank you, anyway.”
If they already have a Web site:
You: “Great! I’ll check it out and share it with her. Thank you.”
If you are new at this and you come across someone who already has a Web site, you should write down the information and move on to a new lead. Keep a list of businesses with Web sites, and a list of business without Web sites. If you are new at selling Web sites, work with the list of businesses without Web sites first. Once you are more experienced selling Web sites, go back to this list of business with existing Web sites and approach them.
Sample of Cultivating Leads In Person:
You: “Hi. I’m a frequent customer here and I really love this store. I’d like to speak with the owner.”
Business: “I’m the owner. Can I help you?”
You: “Oh, I see so many folks working each time I come in… I’m sorry, I thought you were the manager. Do you have someone here who makes advertising decisions with you?”
Business: “No. Just my wife and I. We make all of the decisions here.”
Notice that the business owner’s “no” is really a “yes”; his wife makes decisions with him. You will need to “read between the lines” sometimes and observe that the words you hear may differ from the message that is being sent.
Before you ask for the appointment, you could elaborate more by creating a fear of loss or creating a concern. You could use the example of how you can barely get to the store before they close because of your schedule; that it would be more convenient to shop at night after the kids are in bed. Or for those friends or family who live out-of-town, you have told them about their store or something unique that they offer and that they can’t get that in their area, but if they had a Web site, they could create more business. Do some research before you go into the store and find out if there are any businesses in the area that are similar that already have Web sites. You basically need to spark their interest by letting them know about a problem they may not know they have. However, don’t discuss the features and benefits until the walkthrough. You are still just trying to get them scheduled for an appointment.
You: “You might remember me; I came in before and mentioned that my sister would like to shop here, but she lives out of town and you don’t have a Web site. I shop here all the time, as I mentioned, and I got to thinking about it—I work with customized e-commerce Web sites. A Web site would bring you a lot more business and be really convenient for people like my sister. I’d like to put some ideas together for you to evaluate at no cost or obligation. Can I get together with you and your wife next week on Tuesday at 11:00AM to show you what I have in mind? Or would Friday at 4:00PM work better for you?”
Business: “Actually, that sounds like a good idea. A lot of people ask us about a Web site. Tuesday sounds good. We can both be here at 11:00 and I’ll have someone tend to the store.”
With the appointment set, thank them and move on. If you are a customer of the business you are approaching, business owners respect that you do business with them, and they will often reciprocate.