The ability to confidently say “yes, we can do that for you” in sales is essential to your success when adding a new product line. Even if you are not sure how it is going to get done, displaying the confidence that your team can successfully come through with a solution for your client can mean the difference between you getting the job and it going to someone else.
Actual experience is certainly one of the best ways to gain confidence. There is nothing quite like being able to tell the customer that you know exactly what they want and are 100% confident that you can deliver because you have done it before. Not only does it make selling easier, but it immediately helps the client feel good about doing business with you. Gaining experience in any industry can be tricky, but it can be particularly challenging if the market is already flooded with options.
Before you write off web solutions as a viable and profitable addition to your business consider the fact that you have a leg up on most other web development shops who are just opening their doors today. The small and medium size business owners that you sell graphic design and printing to now, also have the need for web development services. Assuming that your business is one that people want to work with, the fact that you are a known and preferred vendor gives you an edge in the web development market.
Review the article Is It Time to Add Web Services to Your Repertoire to read up on what it takes to add these services seamlessly and profitably to your existing shop. Pay close attention to Step 3 on having a plan. Knowing how you will market these services before you add them will help you build a sales pipeline and be profitable early on.
No one wants to buy a website.
When it comes to selling, you must first listen, then understand, then tell. 90% of sales people today are getting this wrong. They tell, then tell some more, then more, until they hope that they can beat you down with a sale. When engaging in a conversation about a web solution to a client, you’ll rarely want to start the conversation by telling the client about the technology the site was built in, how the database is configured, the redundancy of the NOC , etc. Most conversations will start out by identifying a problem. In sales, the rapport doesn’t need to be built on small talk or personal commonalities. It is an attempt to get the client to talk to you about things that are troubling them; to discuss what their problems are.
Once you have uncovered their problems, you can go about finding a solution. When the problem is sales, marketing, branding, conversions, and customer retention, a website discussion may be in order. Once the problem and solutions have been identified, you can set about asking specific questions about what problems they are having in their business. Questions like what they wish they could do with their business but have been unable to do, what is important to them, etc. are all on the table when we discuss a comprehensive web solution. A web solution looks at the company as a whole. From marketing to internal communications, a web solution looks at each piece of the business and looks to add value where needed. The answers that the client gives you in this conversation can then be fed back to them so that they know you were listening. I don’t mean that you will parrot everything that they said. You would simply be using the information you gathered to get more details and build trust and hopefully achieve that eureka moment of “finally, someone understands my problems.” You may or may not be able to solve all of them with the products that you offer, but at least they know that you understand and from understanding we can solve problems.
What I mean when I say that no one wants to buy a website is that no one wants to buy the website itself. They want to buy the solution the website provides. If you can show the client how the site solves some of their problems and saves them time and/or money in the end, they will happily pay you for the help. This kind of selling is not new but it is still rare. If you package solution based selling with excellent service after the sale, you will have a client for life and will be able to build a portfolio of satisfied customers.