They want to want you so give them cause

Alistair McAlpine’s 4×4 tips for tipping the balance online

Your customers are in a hole. They’re looking for reasons to chose you over your online competitors. Don’t be mean, help them out.

As you read this a frustrated prospective customer is comparing your web offering with your competitor’s. On the internet this comparison stage is where many of your sales fall over.

Your prospects will love you if you make it easy

Customers are desperate to find someone to solve their problem whether that be finding a new car or a driving instructor. At the same time they want to be treated as intelligent people, not sales targets.

As Web expert Jakob Neilsen pointed out:

Out there on the Internet, what we’re attracted to is content that gets us to where we want to go.

Strange as it may seem, the way to capture hearts online is to simply level with people.

4 tips to magnetise your website and stay on the level

  1. Immediately address your customer’s needs
  2. Connect on a human level
  3. Present an effective description of your offerings
  4. Attract them back if they proceed to your competitor’s web sites

Keep it simple – keep it sweet

All the Java gimmicks and cute design in the world can’t replace compelling arguments that show how you can satisfy your customer’s needs better than your opposition.

Many web sites present visitors with information that does not address their specific needs nor their need to draw comparisons between competitors but addresses the desire of a business to chest-beat.

Treat your people as you want to be treated.

4 tips to attract online sales

  1. Directly address the reason your customer has come to your web site
  2. Accent areas where you enjoy an apparent competitive advantage
  3. Freely present useful information
  4. Speak to your customer in their language

Credibility, as always, is the key to your success on the web

Blatant marketing is the cold shower to warming online customer relationships. Demonstrate your competitive advantages but don’t go overboard or you’ll be perceived as blowing your marketing trumpet and your credibility will gurgle down the drain with your sales revenue.

To be understatedly attractive and clinch the sale study your competition.

4 tips for subtle success

  1. Identify your competition
  2. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses
  3. Identify your point of difference (experience, professionalism, choice, etc.)
  4. Swing the spotlight to where you enjoy the most advantages

If comparisons are going to be made you want them to be made where you shine, not where your competitors have the upper hand.

OK. They’ve visited the competition, they’ve squeezed the fruit, it’s decision time…

4 Tips to subtly strut your stuff

  1. Display examples of your previous achievements
  2. Present real content about your business and people that will connect with your audience
  3. Include testimonials from satisfied customers
  4. Showcase product reviews or comparisons that emphasise your competitive advantages

Your customers really do want to find a reason to chose you over your competition, so give it to them and help them out of a hole.

Alistair McAlpine is an experienced broadcaster and the resident writer/web strategist for internet marketing company Web Success in Wellington, New Zealand.
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