Is Your Website Design in Conflict With Your Customer’s Buying Cycle?

by Calvin Cox on September 16, 2008

I would like to make a quick point of reference to one of my past sales experience.  I remember back in the day when I was a sales executive  at New York Health and Racquet Club , a New York City based health club.  Our monthly sales quota was to sell about 60 gym memberships per month at a premium price of $2100/yr.   Imagine having to talk to someone you just met and tell them to write a check for $2100 after 10 minutes.  Very daunting task to say the least, but still obviously doable – we met our quota quite often.  But  there is something not being said here.

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You see we had two types of clients coming into our club:  The first was the client who just walk off the street and into the club and the other was a client who knew of our service, quality and reputation (And this was mainly due to the pre-sales efforts incorporated in our sales cycle)    So I’m sure you can guest which client or customers became members more often… The ones with the background of our company of course.  No surprises there.  So if that is indeed the case offline.  Why are we not taking the same initiatives online?  Especially now that more and more of our business income is coming from our website and online efforts.  There are many things  that can assist in the pre-sales process,  including the obvious ones, email campaigns, newsletters  and company design blogs; but what about your website itself?

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Don’t get me wrong,  I’m a big fan of blogging to share just this kind of information to your clients; as a matter of fact  Jacob Cass, a well respected graphic designer wrote an article on why logo design does not cost $5.00 in which he outlines his thought process when designing and also justifies his price even before the client hires him. BUT….  How many clients are going to be able to read that article before hiring:  How about those who simply come to your website and is looking for  some direct information regarding your products and services and is not a regular reader or a subscriber to your design blog.  This is why I recommend having a website that truly engages and provide a sense of  understanding and guidance keeping front and center the thought process your customers.

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A great example of this is Studio Grafik, A Logo Design and Branding company with a website  that is very simple but has a very effective presentation of their products and service.   They give a quick summary of the client job request,  some thoughts on how they approached the design (1) , showed the completed logo and presented their branding efforts in different mediums, i.e.  Print (2) and website layout (3) and breaks down the logo to its bare mininum to expand on their thought process (4)  This kind of detailed outline of projects engages  and provide a sense of security to the client that this company know their business, even before any phone call or email has been sent.  This is a great pre-sales technique.   I’ve layout  the flow of Studio Grafik presentation of  one of their clients,  Sublime//ip  for your reference.

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What are some of the techniques you’ve used in your design business for engaging your clients/customers on your website?

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