It came up in conversation the other day - the question about how you qualify your prospects. And since not everyone in the room knew what that meant, we'll explain briefly here: To qualify is to make sure a prospect actually fits in your target market, and has a need that you can fill with whatever you're offering. Usually, when the sales gurus talk about qualifying, they mean you should be asking the right set of questions to determine whether the person in front of you is a legitimate prospect. But what about your website? Since you can't physically be there 24/7, your content has to step in and do the qualifying for you, right? Well, the "Aha moment" we had about websites is that web surfers - unlike the people you meet face-to-face - are waaaay more willing to meet you halfway. After all, if they're online: 1. They're searching for information 2.
They have something specific in mind 3. They want to know whether you can meet their needs In other words, your online prospects are actively trying to qualify themselves for you. Web searchers don't want to be wasting their time when they're on the prowl for a solution.
They're actively trying to figure out whether they belong in your market. And that's huge! They're making it so much easier on you than if you were speaking to them in person, sending direct mail, et cetera, et cetera. And if you don't have a strong, informative, thoughtful, and content rich online presence - or even a simple one-page website! - already? Oh boy, are you missing out. Earlier this year, we wanted to paint our new office. As more and more time-pressed folks do these days, Lani went online to find a local painter.
She said, "I'll give my business to the first Lakes Region painter I can find online." She couldn't find a single one, so we painted the office ourselves. Lani's brother nearly fell 15 feet off a ladder during the process, but that's another story. Please, please, if you're not online, then get there as fast as you can, and make sure anyone who reads your website comes away knowing whether they're supposed to be buying from you. Or better than just "buying," investing their time, attention, and resources in you and the value you have to offer. Even if they decide not to, that's okay - that's a separate issue.
Your #1 job is to get 'em there - and make it as easy as possible for them to do the qualifying themselves.
(c) 2007 Epiphanies, Inc. As the "Content Lovers" of Epiphanies Inc., Lani & Allen Voivod help lifestyle entrepreneurs "A-Ha Themselves" in fun and profitable ways. For FREE articles, marketing tips, and content strategies designed to fire up your passion and profit-ize your niche, sign up for their "Inciter" ezine at http://www.EpiphaniesInc.com !