Sales From Your Site - Make It Simple For Prospects
Building a web site often can lead to interesting deviations caused by practicalities and changes in perspective. This is okay so long as you keep things simple for prospects.
Many business owners unintentionally erect barriers between themselves and their customers when it comes to the site sales process. Simple mechanisms can be put in place to remove these barriers.
A business owner that is always looking for new ways to connect with potential customers often finds his or her efforts paying off many times over. Some of the most common web sales barriers are lack of contact methods, payment methods, and delivery methods. To bridge these potential barriers, a business owner can provide more options to crossing each of these barriers.
Simply adding contact options can be a great way to create more sales. Some web sites only offer email or even just a contact form as a means of contact. Yet there are many people that prefer to conduct transactions over the phone, by mail or by fax. Retail sites discover this fact the first time they go through a hot sales period such as Christmas. Some people just like to call. No, I don’t know why. They just do.
Providing a broad range of contact options also builds credibility. Having an office address, fax and phone number in addition to an email address shows the prospective client that the business does in fact exist and has made themselves transparent and easy to contact. Providing such information gives people the impression they aren’t dealing with some Nigerian scam.
Using an 800 number is also an excellent way to build credibility and remove a sales barrier. Picking up the tab on calls from potential clients is a polite gesture and may encourage a potential buyer one more reason to call. Toll-free numbers are easy to obtain these days and can cost around 6 cents per minute - a small price to pay for building confidence in your audience.
Many web sites provide only one way to pay for merchandise - credit card. There are many reasons to offer more payment methods. For one, not everyone has a credit card. Although in the United States, it seems like almost everyone does, this is not true in over-seas markets where there is resistance to credit. Furthermore, some people just don't feel safe providing credit card information over the web. Regardless of how safe or unsafe Internet transactions may or may not be, it is usually the job of the business owner to provide what the consumer wants.
It is a simple matter to provide an address and a printable order form for most web sites where a check can be mailed. If you are running a home business, a PO box is a simple solution to keep your business separate from your home. Some mailbox services allow for your address to be a suite number instead of a box number, which can further improve the image of your business.
Providing a phone number by which orders can be placed is also a way to remove a barrier between you and your potential customers. Of course this means there must also be someone there to answer the phone. Simply answering the phone can be the difference between a sale and a lost sale.
For businesses providing products, providing a variety of delivery methods is yet another way to cater to the desires of your customers and potential customers. Many people have a preference for delivery and meeting this preference could be a deciding factor when deciding whether or not to place an order. For those businesses providing services, providing a delivery pickup service for a deposit and/or contract can be a perfect sale closer.
By removing barriers between you and your potential customers you can increase the chances of making sales. Other options are also available, like instant messaging support, mapped out directions, video conferencing and more. Be careful to not confuse your audience with too many options. It is often a good idea to direct your audience to default options for contact, payment and delivery so as not to confuse people. Other options can be shown as small links or drop down options. By working to connect more with your audience, your sales and customer satisfaction can be increased dramatically.
Author Halstatt Pires is with http://www.marketingtitan.com/