An enonymous message with ominous overtones.
I can’t see you, but I like you and have confidence in you, so I’ll buy from you. That’s ecommerce in a nutshell.
Here is an email I received. The writer asked to remain anonymous but her message will provoke deep thought, and have immediate application for your eplans.
Dear Jeffrey…Over this past year I have diligently incorporated both our website and email programs into aggressive sales tools. Both consistently prove to be efficient and attractive for my potential and existing customers, and allows us to begin to build a business relationship over the computer.
BUT, with all this internet mania in the sales arena, I find the need for a personal level of service is still THE most important factor in working with customers.
I view our website as a “department store” where the customer can both learn and shop. Either a potential new customer is surfing for my service and has come upon my website, found an interest, and emailed me for more information (yay!). OR I’m on the telephone with this potential new customer (my best selling scenario) and while we’re on the phone speaking, I can guide this person through my available services by the two of us going to our website together during the conversation.
On the phone we can view my products online, the customer can ask questions and get immediate answers and make immediate decisions. No more mailing out brochures/packets and interest from the prospect waning before you even had a chance! It’s now the instant information era comprised of instant answers and instant decisionmaking. Combine that with the personal (overthephone) aspect of selling and I’ve got a customer almost every time.
The internet is forcing sales professionals like me to let my capabilities shine in two critical areas of selling:
- Important: A friendly, knowledgeable voice when that very important phone conversation arrives.
- Even more important: Writing skills, grammar, humor, and prose are now integral in showing customers how salesintelligent you are!
Jeffrey, I believe today’s market of ebuyers are not necessarily looking for “bargains.” They are looking for “distinct values” and the highest levels of service possible to make their own tasks simpler and faster. Customers want to entrust the businesses they contract through the internet/email method with a company (like ours) that seems to breed trust and reliability.
You can have the coolest website (department store) but it doesn’t do a bit of good if the personnel who speaks with the buyers doesn’t match up with the sophistication of the eye candy on the web.
The internet has allowed me to cultivate business relationships all over the world. I’m now able to spend MORE time on the phone with clients asking them questions (based on information that I ask them to EMAIL me BEFORE I can respond to any pricing requests), and providing them with the true level of service they need and deserve.
By the time we are done visiting on the phonethey’re a new customer! From that point, I’ve trained them on the quick reliability of using email to communicate back and forth. Of course, they can always call me (how passe’!) but most now prefer the email method of communicating purchasing needs.
With our website I have maximized my market exposure, maximized my customers ability to contact me and learn about me and for me to learn about them. They can contact me 24/7 by email but most of their questions are answered on my site, so that when they really do need me, I have more time to focus on their situation and their answers.
Well, I just wanted to pass on my experience so far. I’m sure there is still plenty that “I don’t know that I don’t know” about how to use the internet/email toolsI will look forward to learning more from others and from you, Jeffrey.
Wow. This entrepreneur has it figured out. And even if she doesn’t have all the answers, she has all the basic elements to build on.
The elements are: Exposure, attraction, answers, questions, information, customers and prospects needs defined, education, a place to buy, and all those aspects (elements) are combined with the human touch.
The world wide web has opened the world of sales to the biggest opportunity in our generation. And it has leveled the playing field as flat as a pancake. On the web you won’t know if this woman’s operation is big or little, She can (and is) outflank and out sell companies 100 times as large.
So can you.
WAKE UP CALL: Wake up and smell the opportunity. Wake up and smell the high speed access. Begin to get your share of new (e)business. Wake up before your competition wakes up.
Free GitBit…Want an outline of what a website should contain so you can compare it to your site? Go to www.gitomer.com register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words “WEB OUTLINE” in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs weekly sales meetings via the internet, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org