Today's post is written and shared by Winston Chenery, our Inbound Marketing Manager.

Pushy salesman"Beware of Ceaser! He's a floor salesman and he's very pushy and rude. My sister and I went in to look at living room furniture and he approached us and the first thing he asked was 'Are you buying today?'"

That quote is taken directly from a Google review of a furniture store here in town.

I just moved to the area and am in need of a new couch, so like a lot of others, I researched some furniture stores online. After reading that review, the thought of going into a store and being immediately harassed by an overly pushy salesman who just wants you to "buy, buy, buy!" sounded terrible and deterred me from ever stepping foot in that store.

Some B2B websites suffer from being too "salesy," while many others aren't pushy enough. So how does your company website stack up?

Informing Decisions

With information and reviews so readily available, even the smallest purchase can become a considered purchase. Admittedly, I have been guilty of researching shampoos while in the grocery store via the Amazon app on my iPhone. Now, that may be a bit extreme, but customers spend time researching even minor purchases.

If this much planning and research goes into a personal purchase, think how much effort and research goes into a company buying decision. Business purchases are more expensive, more complex, and often scrutinized more closely. As companies research your product or service, is your website providing the right content at the right time to support that consideration process?

Just like a pushy furniture salesman will send you running for the exit, you may not want to confront your website visitors with "buy now" or "contact us now" messages on the first page. Your website visitors may want to "walk the floor," "sit on some couches," read about "how the fabric reacts to stains," and "make sure the set is within their budget."

Likewise, a website with no calls to action except "contact us" can cause qualified prospects to leave. If your website doesn't answer your customers questions, they'll feel like they are alone in the furniture store and can't find anyone to help them out. They will leave and find answers elsewhere.

These scenarios are what most websites do, though. They either try to force the purchasing decision right away, or they don't try to provide information for customers to make a comfortable decision. Some websites scare off customers, while others leave them scratching their heads.

A More Inviting Approach

Rather than scaring off customers with aggressive sales tactics or not providing any informative material at all, introduce calls-to-action that address your customers' questions and concerns as they research what you sell. Send them to a new page to learn about how your product has solved a problem for other people. Refute criticisms about your product or service. Ask your customer to download a guide to buying your service so they get exactly what they need.

Think about the following:

  • What questions do your sales team field from prospective customers?
  • What information do your customers seek when considering what you sell?
  • What are their inhibitions with purchasing through your company?
  • Can they find answers to their questions/concerns on your competitors' websites?

Now that you have this information, provide answers to those questions on your website. Write about them on your web pages. Write a blog to address each topic. Create purchase guides that people can download that will help inform them enough to make them confident of purchasing your product from your company. Be transparent. You'll be amazed at how people react.

Tips For Success

  • Calls-to-action should be welcoming and clearly worded.
  • Keep landing pages concise. Too many form fields can overwhelm and deter.
  • If you make people provide information to download something, give them a preview of what you're providing.
  • Website content you write should answer questions and provide real value.
  • Be informative and educational. Your prospects don't know nearly as much about what you sell as you do.

Take an honest look at your website. Does it educate people about what you sell? Does it answer all of the most common questions and objections you get? Does it give them points to consider that they might not have thought of? Or is your website like the furniture store salesman, just asking for the sale?