Making Your Website the Ultimate Sales Machine Jessica Lunk There are a lot of platforms, media and vehicles you can use today to help increase your sales. Still, the flagship of your online marketing efforts should be your website. Consider the way you shop online for a product or service. You’ll likely conduct some preliminary research and begin to whittle down your choices. Your prospects are likely doing the very same thing…right now. Is your website prepared? Is it ready to grab and nurture these prospects? Let’s take a look at how to turn your website into a sales machine. The Three Stages of Making a Purchase There are three stages to the buying process. They are: Awareness (Just Looking) Consideration (Actual Shopping) Decision (Making the Purchase) Research indicates that most prospects would like to remain anonymous through two-thirds of this process. But engaging them and getting a prospect’s name and email address earlier in the process is one of the first keys of turning your website into a sales machine. Why Getting Engaged Early is Critical When you get engaged early in the process, you have a better chance of surviving “the cut” during the shopping process. You also have the ability to get valuable information to the prospect to help them in any future buying decision. By positioning yourself as an expert, you are in a better place to ultimately get the sale. Three Keys to More Leads from Your Website There are three fundamental ways to get more leads flowing in from your website. Use Lead Forms. If your website is just an online brochure you are missing the boat. Use easy to fill out lead forms often throughout your website. Make it simple for them to give you their information. Give Value. Make sure your website has current, relevant content, but offer something of more value to lure prospects. Remember to think like your customer, not like a business owner. What information can you offer them that would be irresistible? Consumers are willing to trade their name and email for something they want or will find value in. Don’t Sell Prospects, Nurture Them. Why do so many people say “I’m just looking” when shopping? Odds are they don’t want to be “sold” something. Prospects feel they are quite capable of making a buying decision once they gather the information they need. They key is being the one that provides them with that information. By providing information that is relevant to them, you greatly increase the odds of turning them into your customer. How it Works in Real Life Let’s say you have a real estate website and are offering an online guide entitled “Ten of the Most Cost Effective DIY Improvements to Add Value to Your Home”. Mary downloads the guide. While it may be tempting to call her, it is better to capture her data and segment it into your CRM. You know Mary is interested in remodeling, do-it-yourself projects, and potentially, real estate. There are a variety of related guides, tips, tricks and research you can share with her via email that will nurture her, and position yourself as an expert. Based on her involvement with these materials you can determine when she may be ready to move into the coveted “customer” status. Make the Process Automatic With an all-in-one sales and marketing automation system, you can funnel those prospects into customers. Automatically stay in contact with your prospects, making sure you don’t lose contact until they are ready to buy.