In order to dominate your space on the web, your internet marketing strategy should address each five steps of the sales process.
SALES PROCESS STEP 1: Buyer Becomes Aware of a Need
If you sell equipment, when an older machine starts breaking down and needs repairs are you there? Have you thought about creating an online replacement guide or online upgrade guide? Do you have web pages or a mini website in place helping people address problems maintaining older equipment or machinery? Or a guide showing them when it’s time to replace their equipment with new equipment?
If you sell services, you probably know the symptoms potential customers face when they need your service. Do you have a downloadable case study or report giving information to help people address these symptoms? Do you have something helping potential buyers move to the next steps in the sales process?
ACTION ITEM: Identify pain points potential buyers go through BEFORE they start searching for your product or service. Put together helpful online materials addressing these issues. Put these materials in a downloadable report, case study or guide. Then give it away in exchange for them signing up for your newsletter.
SALES PROCESS STEP 2: Buyer Searches for Information on Solving Problem or Satisfying Need
Most business owners work hard at this stage. It’s one of the most obvious places to begin your internet marketing strategy. This is where everyone is competing for the same keywords on the search engines. You and your competition are already fighting for the top search engine spots.
SALES PROCESS STEP 3: Buyer Evaluates Alternatives
Have you done everything to be one of the top 3 choices? When people start comparing alternatives, are you there? Are you listed on the review websites? Do you have a chart comparing your product features with competitors? What are you doing to be a top buying choice online?
ACTION ITEM: Create a downloadable Adobe Acrobat file that people are able to share with other people involved in making purchasing decisions. Add a faxable quote form at the end of the document. People download and share these files when coming to a purchasing decision. This ensures you’re included in the top 3 choices. Make sure your contact information is on all the pages of the file.
SALES PROCESS STEP 4: Buyer Decides What to Purchase
Sometimes a potential customer has chosen to buy from you, but issues prevent them. Issues like:
- Out of stock
- High shipping charges
- Difficult online ordering process
Are you doing everything you can to make it easy to complete this part of the buying process with you?
SALES PROCESS STEP 5: Buyer Uses Product or Service for the First Time
If you know a competitor has certain issues that show up AFTER a purchase, do you have a plan in place to help that customer return the bad purchase and replace with the right purchase?
Do you have informational pages showing how to resolve known issues? On these pages do you tell people about your product or service and how it doesn’t have the same problems?
To Dominate Your Space on the Web, Help Potential Buyers at All Five Steps of the Sales Process
I’ve helped small business owners with their internet marketing strategies since 1998. I rarely see anyone with plans in place to be the top dog at each of these 5 steps. The winners, the top dogs always go beyond what everyone else does. If you want to truly dominate your space online, take the time to be “the company” helping potential buyers in each of these steps of the sales process. Take your rightful place at the top of the food chain for your niche online.
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