I met with a creative team for web design today.
They asked a number of questions to gather information so they could design a program that meets my needs and that gets across the number one, two, and three priorities that I have for having the site at all.
So I listened to this graphic designer speak and realized it could be me speaking to a new client or prospect. Same exactly except he’s trying to decide colors and fonts and placement of key elements. While I’m trying to decide exercises, sequence, and periodization.
When I told him sales was the highest priority; either to generate sales directly by being the spot people were directed to by (a blog) another marketing piece or an advertisement, or generate sales by first connecting with people that I can help. Soon after in the meeting he asked me again if I’d always be selling. I said yes, we’re all always selling!
I was in that conference room for almost two hours with this creative team before they would go away and birth my new website plan. I haven’t paid a cent yet. They gave me the agreement before I left and just suggested I read through it and then drop it off sometime next week with 50% down payment.
If you and I were that thorough with every prospect and took the time to get to know them, allow them to relax, and tell us what is really important to them, we’d sell more.
We do it backwards. We rush a connection and a relationship and ask personal questions too soon for many people to really feel comfortable. We want them to pay and then we relax, but they may feel as if it was impersonal and all too quick.
How can you change the way the customer perceives the experience from the very beginning?
I’ll share this: the website I’m investing in is an upgrade but at this point I am convinced I have made the right choice. The office I visited before was cold, not warm and welcoming. The chairs the owner sat in might have been comfortable but mine was not. I could see his Corvette parked outside the window.
This afternoon I sat in comfortable chairs and looked forward to coming back. Emails from them have all been warm and courteous. They truly seem happy at their jobs and the art, the carpet, the cushioned chairs suggest that my new designers are interested in their customers and themselves like their environment.
How does your customer feel when they come in? Is there a designated office for them while they’re shopping for your packages that might have them paying a dollar a minute for your services for two or three hours a week?
Are you selling them on the whole experience from the moment they come in the door. Does someone offer to get them some water?Does someone show them to the seating area or just point?Does someone follow up with them about the status of their appointment?
Are you leaving the impression that you want to on the prospects that you have?
You can find out by checking with them. Send an email or evaluation to them. Include a Starbucks card inside as a thank you (in advance) and they’ll be more likely to have a positive impression of you and to respond. If they don’t respond, they’ll still remember you sent the card.
If you’re not in charge of your environment, go back to your questions and their depth. Take the time to draft a real picture of what your client needs and wants. Continue asking questions about whether you have a good understanding.