|How To Sell Your Website Building Service|
A general guide for new-starters
One trick we used to do was to ring up a load of businesses and pretend to be ordinary-joe's stuck at home whilst recovering from a really bad accident (make up nasty injury - have fun with it ) - You asking if they have a website you can look at 'cos your missus (if girly-type shop) has ordered you to buy/look at x product.
Course, wouldn't work for the industrial sector but good-to-go for retailers. It also serves as a bit of research (keep notes) 'cos you find out who has a site, and who doesn't. If they have, you look at it and find an angle for your follow-up call.
Wait a couple of days and then ring them "officially". Hopefully, the (tragic) image of the punter who couldn't visit comes-to-mind when you make your pitch - He may well have already been thinking about one anyway but your call, on-the-back of that extra "push", makes the timing, well, almost prophetic!
When doing a mailshot, we used to paper-clip a teabag to the brochure/letter with the heading, "Morning! Enjoy a cuppa on us!"
... or sommat like that - Can't remember exact line now.
We'd hand-deliver them the night before and then start ringing them mid-morning the next day whilst it was still fresh in their minds. It also gives you sommat to say when opening the convo - break the ice.
As to what you actually say; well, that's a thesis in itself, dependant upon what you know about them - existing website?, what they do etc...
Just chat to them as you would anyone in the pub you don't know. Don't feel intimidated. Stand your ground if challenged as to why you're calling: "What are you selling...?". "We're all selling something sir but don't worry, my pitch is scientifically and mathematically formulated for maximum impact whilst still respecting your time... you'll love it".
Big it up, have fun with it. Exagerate your voice intonation: "Sir, we design the most in-cred-i-ble... THE most INCREDIBLE websites...".
Make it entertaining.
If you stand your ground at the beginning (if needed - mostly you won't have to), and be different to the usual calls they get from dis-interested teenagers with no personality, their attitude changes; they listen, and if they were a bit off at the start, you'll probably be surprised at how many of them will apologise at the end of the call.
Oh, remember this: The first 10 calls are the hardest.... in fact, it's less than that but it's a good mantra to to tell yourself whilst staring at the phone - The sooner you get through those first ten, the easier it will get... and it does; by the time you're on your 3rd call you should be getting into your stride.
|We're all selling something sir but don't worry, my pitch is scientifically and mathematically formulated for maximum impact whilst still respecting your time... you'll love it". |
Call me a cynic but that's when I normally hang up. This is not Joe Public you are talking to. These are busy people who are running businesses. Do you really think they are going to swallow that?
(The pitch I mean, not the t-bag) ;)
|This is not Joe Public you are talking to. |
|These are busy people who are running businesses. Do you really think they are going to swallow that? |
It's not what you say, it's the way you say it! The problem with the written word, is that you can't hear.
Up until about five years ago, I could say that I'd spoken to 100's, if not thousands of the FD's and MD's of this country (UK), in all industries. Of course, anyone can come here and say that but the kicker is, you don't have to believe me to try it... and try it good.
|Call me a cynic but that's when I normally hang up. |
But you ain't heard me! ;)
[edited by: TheWhippinpost at 9:48 am (utc) on Feb. 5, 2007]
If you are so great at telesales. Great for you. What is your point?
"Hi, my name is Wayne, I'm calling you from New York. How are you today sir?"
Click ....... bzzzzzzzz.
|If you are so great at telesales. Great for you. What is your point? |
Just contributing VT, just contributing... if it doesn't apply to you, there is no point.
If it does (you did read the thread!), then the underlying message (whether telesales, face-to-face, ad copy, or whatever), is to be different.
Not bragging. I haven't said that "I'm a millionaire and you can be too". I haven't claimed to be the greatest salesperson on earth. Take it or leave it. If what you're doing is working, great!
If you've ever taken more than 2 sales-calls, you'll no doubt know it just from the first 3 half-hearted scripted utterances you hear. The fact is most people in sales are like that (I get these calls too). OTOH, you get someone who is in command of the conversation, add a pinch of cheekiness tinged with authority and a dash of humour... and you'll at least listen because we're inherently curious of something new... look at "Rich Jerk".
|"Hi, my name is Wayne, I'm calling you from New York. How are you today sir?" |
Click ....... bzzzzzzzz.
... be different ;)
I know all about telesales, believe me. I was just not sure what your point was.
From what you have written I have also found your title misleading? What has this whole post to do with selling websites?
|I know all about telesales, believe me. |
|What has this whole post to do with selling websites? |
And you're asking me!
You're quite right in a sense though, maybe "websites" should be replaced by widgets.
The point is about getting in front of people to sell websites; to be remembered; to create a need; to pre-sell; to research... it's all in there. If you can't get past even the first post, they'll be no sales.
If your competing point-to-point with your competitors' offerings, personality and presentation skills will win-out... and oftentimes, even when your competitor is "better" than you too.
Sell the sizzle, not the steak... as they say.
What would you advise others that want to learn?
[edited by: TheWhippinpost at 1:28 pm (utc) on Feb. 5, 2007]
Well I would start with being straight with people. I am not comfortable with telling lies.
There are plenty of ways of finding businesses which don't have websites without having to lie to people. Just go to any trade or business directory and look for businesses that have no weblink. You can then Google them to confirm that they don't have a website and then contact them to offer your services.
You can also Google for specific text that the hosting companies put on their holding pages. This should turn up companies who have bought a domain but not developed it. They are far better prospects because buying the domain means that they have at least considered a website.
(You can have this one for nothing).
|What has this whole post to do with selling websites? |
I think he meant selling websites in the sense of selling web design services as distinct from, well, selling websites.
|"Sir, we design the most in-cred-i-ble... THE most INCREDIBLE websites...". |
My experience, and that of many others I know, has been that once you get over the hump of getting your first few clients, the best source of new ones is word of mouth recommendation.
Many of those who arrive looking for web develeopment services now are people who already have web sites, just ones that under-perform, add nothing to the business or are more of a headache than an asset. And in many cases these sites were sold to them with the promise of INCREDIBLE results.
My impression is that by using sales tactics like this you could be creating for yourself a body of clients who you have already set up for future dissatisfaction. Under promise and over deliver will always trump the opposite.
Personally, those kind of calls (and I have had them) hold my attention even less than the standard scripted ones, because they come over as patronising, annoying and, well, incredible.
There ya go, now we're into a discussion ;)
They are viable methods BeeDeeDubbleU, albeit, with a lot of work involved for my liking.
IMO, if you want up-to-the-minute best information, call them up.
The thread had a sub-heading, "A general guide for new-starters", hence why I alluded to the more retail end of the market (including the businesses like woodworking shops, iron-gate makers etc...) - Basically, the more easier-to-reach people that can make decisions without committee's... This is important when you're starting-out.
I personally wouldn't use directories for this sector mainly because I can get info far quicker by just calling them up.
Directories are great for finding the contact's names when you are calling up the mid-to-large sized companies where having a name is a definite bonus to getting past the gate-keeping secretaries etc... but they can quickly date, even for names (people come and go). I also wouldn't (couldn't?) rely on it for garnering website details for the same reason.
|I am not comfortable with telling lies. |
I'm assuming you're referring to my "pretend to be injured" first call?
You might call it lying, I would call it research and planting a seed ;)
Really not much different to what Walmart or any other big store does when it sends staff into competitor stores masquerading as shoppers, accept, I'm not doing it to close you down!
I understand though that some people will be uncomfortable with doing that. Pick-up almost any biography from a self-made person though, and you'll often read of corners cut during their company's formative years.
IIRC, Richard Branson, and Alan Sugar both, in their respective industries, used to call-up retailers as punters to enquire about their own product, knowing full-well the stores didn't have them stocked. They'd go in "officially" and then sell them. Still further, I think it was Sugar (or possibly both even) that would then send someone in to buy their own products back off-the-shelves so as to later persuade the stores to increase their next order.
... and d'ya know what? You only have to watch TV to see it go on all the time: When they say, "... no wonder Great Britain loves x!". When a celeb says, "... Our operators are on standby waiting for you call now!"
... "Our operators"?
It's called sales-puff.
I am definitely not advocating lying about what you do, or if you can indeed, do it... That shouldn't mean however, that the experience of getting in front of, and selling to potential clients has to be a dreary, uneventful, same old everyday presentation.
|You can also Google for specific text that the hosting companies put on their holding pages. This should turn up companies who have bought a domain but not developed it. They are far better prospects because buying the domain means that they have at least considered a website. |
[edited by: TheWhippinpost at 5:57 pm (utc) on Feb. 5, 2007]
|Personally, those kind of calls (and I have had them) hold my attention even less than the standard scripted ones, because they come over as patronising, annoying and, well, incredible. |
As I mentioned earlier; the written word can't be heard as meant - I agree with you that done "wrong", half-heartedly or in an overly-contrived way, then yes... and don't get me wrong, we all have our off-days when energy levels are low and the words just don't come out right.
But getting the sales is a game of averages - The trick is to get your averages up.
"All the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players, performers and portrayers, each another's audience outside the gilded cage"
Neil Peart, Rush
Admit it or not, we like to be entertained whilst being informed... that's my message to new-starters who fear making that call. Don't be afraid, have fun with it. Let your personality shine-thru... that will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the crowd. By all means, learn the closing techniques adequately described in many books or training courses, but all that means squat if you can't communicate it in a natural, friendly way.
Decptive title. TJ, or someone, change it please.
Do you also sell vinyl siding? Because you sound just like the guy who came to my house the other night. Warm, engaging, had the "gift of gab," believed in what he was selling (or faked it well), stood his ground with incredible persistence. I thought I was going to have to call the cops to get him to leave.
|I thought I was going to have to call the cops to get him to leave. |
You should of.
You may get an appointment with 1/20 contacts you engage. So remember with each no, you're getting that much closer to a yes :)
Good post TWP! I like that "roll up your sleeves" approach. Some here may say it's rude to cold-call, but it's a tried-and-true approach, plus if you are really offering a good product you are doing these people a favor. I mean come on, there are lots of businesses w/o websites, still!
Thank you Birdman - I was beginning to think this place had lost its entrepreneurial spirit ;)
|So remember with each no, you're getting that much closer to a yes |
There used to be a game show in the UK called, The Generation Game. One of the games was where a contestant had to sit in front of a hatch watching a range of products go past on a conveyor belt.
The products they could remember later, they kept.
I used to tell the sales guys, you've got a day. You control how fast that conveyor belt rolls. You don't know when the prizes will roll-by but I guarantee you, there are prizes. What are you gonna do?
The hardest part of the sales-game are the no's. Getting the sale is the easiest and most pleasurable bit - Anyone can fill-out a form.
If you're starting-out, and you're in a market that exists, then hearing "no's" is what you get paid for... the trick is to spin that conveyor belt as fast as you can and not let a prize slip-by when it comes.
Just to throw a spanner in the works... when I get a phone call like this I listen politely, take the callers name, business name and a phone number I can reach them on in case I need to call them back.
Then I drop the bombshell. "The phone number you have rung is listed in the telephone preference service and you obviously have not cleaned your database." Some times I even get to the point where I can point out that there a a large fine for calling listed phone numbers, but more often then not the phone is put down at the other end too quickly.
And yes, I have reported the occassional caller, mainly those that argue that they do not have to check as it's a business number, listed in yellow pages and therefore they are free to make marketing calls to it.
Of course, this only works in the UK (as far as I know).
|Then I drop the bombshell. "The phone number you have rung is listed in the telephone preference service and you obviously have not cleaned your database." Some times I even get to the point where I can point out that there a a large fine for calling listed phone numbers |
Heheh, I do exactly the same :p