Posted by Tracey Voyce
on 5 March 2013
E-commerce and consumer products tend to get all the attention when it comes to online presence, but it’s arguably B2B service businesses that really need to make the most of their online assets to stand out. Savvy prospects do their research, scoping you and your category out online before making a decision.
Here are eight ways to ensure you’re ahead of competitors.
Convey professional branding: First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to online. Make sure the branding and design of your website aptly conveys the quality of the services you offer.
Communicate your purpose clearly: Visitors should be able to grasp exactly who you are, what you do in the first 5 seconds. If they have to guess, you’re not communicating it clearly enough. Attention lost is business lost.
Lower the barriers to entry: Consider what might prevent a potential client from using your service and provide information to pre-empt that. Include testimonials from satisfied customers, before and after pictures, service guarantees or warranties. People want to know they can trust you.
Demonstrate your expertise: Show you are an expert in your field by blogging about issues in your industry. E.g. Provide tips on basic maintenance that clients can do themselves in between visits and offer advice on common problems.
Provide a clear call to action: What’s the one thing you want prospects to do? Make that your call to action and strategically place it around your website at the moments when someone might be making a decision.
Capture leads: Not everyone will take action on their first visit. In fact, only one person out of 10 is likely to convert at the first point of contact. Create a way to stay connected with your customers by capturing their emails or have them follow you on social media platforms. Provide incentives like downloadable resources or competition entries to convince them to connect.
Offer value beyond your service: Run events, workshops or webinars for clients and prospects. They’ll appreciate the added value and it’s also a chance to capture soft leads.
Stay in touch: Just as important as capturing leads is following up with those leads. Be effective in your follow-up by automating the process. Utilise a CRM and DBM (Database Marketing) solutions to touch them with emails, SMS, Surveys etc and follow up periodically with physical calls. Try to contact the prospective client in the way they prefer, be it email, phone, social or SMS.
Online offers opportunities for every business – not least of all B2B service businesses. Be sure to optimise your website to make the most of referral traffic. You will appreciate the impact.
Watch some of Bloomtools webinars to get some more ideas, and speak to your local Bloomtools Internet Specialists to evaluate where you are now and to advise you the best strategies that will work for your business.
Author: Tracey Voyce
About: With more than 20 years business management experience, Tracey Voyce is the sales and franchising brains behind Bloomtools. Tracey has owned and managed many businesses and spent several years training and motivating coaches at the world’s largest business coaching franchise.