A 10 Step Interview Guide to
Explaining the Value of the Internet
You will be able to sit down and explain the Internet in 2 minutes or less, leading the conversation towards your close with the Web site sale.
How You Can Tell Youíve Learned It
You will know youíve learned it when you can interview virtually any business and teach them quickly what the Internet is, then begin exploring how their business can benefit online from the person who knows best ó the businessí owner.
The goal of this chapter is to get you comfortable sitting down with anyone and bringing all the elements of the sales process together. Once you understand how to mix one part unique presentation with two parts benefits and results, three parts lead generating common sense and four parts Sales Process development, youíll know how to coordinate it all. This will be the easy part.
You have to prepare yourself to act as the consultant, as the problem solver. In an interview, seminar, consultation, direct marketing, whatever the approach is, you have to develop communication with your customers. They have to feel relaxed, and trust that you are telling them the truth.
The best thing is, you are telling them the truth. This approach is directed to tested ways of benefiting online, not on some myth someone who never saw the Internet made up.
TIP: Donít sell Web sites, sell results. Have several packages of products and services ready to get your customers online and working with you. The long term value of each customer is determined by how you direct them to your sale.
What You Need To Approach the Interview:
How To Explain the Web in 2 Minutes and Spend the Rest of the Time
Talking About Their Business
Think of people wanting to buy Web sites and online classified ads. All they hear is all this hype of the future, of the Internet, of things they donít understand. Most of the media presents them this abnormal world of freaks and techies, future seers and Silicon Valley jockeys. In the midst of all this mumbo jumbo, they are still interested.
The very people responsible for building this Internet by selling Web sites are stopping them from getting online. In the middle of all this overhype of jargon, thereís an evolving business model that has more to do with a mixture of business needs than some over exaggerated new advertising medium. Everyone thinks they need to memorize and find the secrets to the Internet. Nice for you, but death on a sale.
Why would any business care about the means to deliver the message?
A Web site is MORE than an advertisement. A classified is an advertisement and is one of the best ways, along with a single homepage acting as a business card or brochure, to advertise online. But to really sink your teeth into the Internet, a Web site is the premium property.
Itís the difference between having a lemonade stand in a single location and opening up a real store on Main Street.
Teach (and Sell) the Business Model of Results and Long Term Customers,
For-Profit Means Remembering and Targeting the Bottom Line
Forget the words computers and Internet, simplify your approach, and wipe all that jargon out of your mouth. Itís time to build this Internet online marketplace with businesses who succeed by:
ē Testing products, services, and advertising approaches
ē Building mailing lists of target specific customers
ē Adapting to customer trends with market research
ē Listening to customers to help them spot trends and identify products and services to be created, cutting down on development costs
ē Building a public relations machine and get the word out about their company
ē Creating long term relationships and expanding their customer base through bonuses, incentives to work with you, and contacting customers outside of your physical location.
How To Make It Real: Use Real World Analogies to Explain the Web
Iíve devised several approaches to making the entire Web site or classified ad development as easy as taking out a magazine ad, buying a house, or opening a business in your local town. A Web site can be explained easily, within two minutes, with any of these three approaches.
Approach 1: The Web Site is a Digital Magazine Built on Headlines, Text, and Graphics
The most foolproof approach Iíve created is using a magazine to make your sale. Carry in a magazine and instead of turning on the computer, open up to the Table of Contents. If they are afraid of technology, youíll be putting a Web site into their hands. If they love technology, youíll be taking an approach few people would try.
The elitism of techies makes them think that a whiz bang show is whatís needed, and frankly that has worked. Up until now. Because the techie tricks show isnít the true way people view the Internet. We all donít have the latest computers, fat and quick phone lines, and the understanding of computers to make it work the way itís presented by a good high tech office.
This approach is dying because the people rich enough to afford it have taken the high end of the Internet to extremes, losing tons of money. Entrepreneurs from small businesses who have ignored this hype are making and saving real money.
So I bring a magazine and open to the Table of Contents. I show them how it works, which is obvious. You see a story, you flip pages and read it. Once youíre done, you flip back to the Table of Contents to see what else is available.
The Table of Contents is where everything is located, an easy directory. A Web site is built around the same sort of structure. But instead of a Table of Contents, we have a homepage. A homepage is a Table of Contents for a Web site.
A Web site is a collection of individual Web pages, just like a magazine is a collection of pages with articles, advertisements, editorials, insiderís information, news, and whatever else interests its audience. A Web site is a collection of headlines, text, and graphics which should lead a person through the sales process and bring them out ready to buy.
The beauty of a Web site is the ability to order immediately. When I look at an ad in a magazine, I have to walk away to order it by phone or fax, or even traveling to the store. In between something may happen to prevent that sale, because the impulse to buy can be easily interrupted.
On a Web site or classified ad, the impulse and the ability to make the purchase are in the same spot. I can see an ad and order right away. Thatís why all the major banks are pushing this online marketplace; do you think Citibank, Mastercard, American Express, and Bank of America are interested? Of course they are, because this marketplace is driven by one thing: online banking. Whether they want to or not, their customers will shop online. Now is the time to build their digital magazine, before someone else beats you to it.
Your customer likely has headlines, text, and graphics in print; enhance this value by showing how they could be put on a Web site. Instead of flipping pages, we click on the pretty blue words, the links, which act like speed dialers taking us to another article in the digital magazine. We donít print it on paper, it comes up on peopleís computer screens. Who do you think does the printing? The customer.
Can you see how this is compelling?
Tip: Bring a Readerís Digest in with you. Show them a magazine, explain what a Web site is in two minutes or less, then show them Readerís Digest. Guess what it has on its cover? A Table of Contents, no fancy pictures, just a direct presentation of content (much of it borrowed from other magazines). You donít need fancy images or pictures online to impress people; you just have to fulfill their interest. And, just like Readerís Digest, you should create a homepage that is no more than one printed page for a Web site.
Talk about promoting their business to see what will best fit into their online magazine.
Using Real Estate Properties To
Explain a Web Site
For those who have less technical capabilities or understanding, the best path to take is that of a real estate agent. When you buy a home, do you expect the real estate agent to know how to hammer a wall together or pour the concrete for your foundation?
Real estate agents sell location, location, location; they sell the benefits of the house. After all, homes are just a collection of rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms if presented that way. What sells a home are the schools nearby where children can get a good education, low crime rate, good neighborhood, and a reasonable investment that can be assumed to get higher as time passes (if youíve been in real estate the past ten years, you sure know that one isnít true!).
What they are looking for is a home that fits their needs and gains value over time. So why not take the same approach to selling a Web site by showing them how this site can gain value by what is outlined in this book. Business consulting is not only the best way to open doors, but long term it holds more value than the simple buying and selling of Web sites.
Sell property, not Web sites, online properties that will gain value over time if used correctly. If you bought a home and the agent told you that fixing up the bathroom and kitchen would add significant value to the home, youíd spend the money and time to get the return. The same can be applied to a Web site.
Example: The power in Microsoft isnít in the product it sells, but in the fact that it owns over 80% of all computer users. That relationship is what makes them powerful.
Any business online needs to take this same approach by focusing on relationship building with their customer base so that word of mouth advertising is encouraged. That word of mouth can lead to more free public relations for a particular business if you approach it right. By targeting newsletters, trade journals, and small publications with specific target audiences, you can get the word out about your business.
Lead generating costs can be significantly decreased and leads increased by marketing the Web site in conjunction with other efforts via print, radio, and television. Mailing lists can easily be developed, so that even if every effort is a total flop, the creation of a target specific mailing list will make it all worthwhile. When the Wall Street Journal wrote about Amazon.comís efforts at selling books online, the fact that this online bookstore had the most amazing online mailing list is what really gave the company value. Publishers are banging down their door for contacts with their clients.
All of these are what make Web properties valuable. Thatís why I sell $30,000 properties for $3,000; I identify the ways they can save and generate revenues by pointing to real examples. Who wouldnít want to work long term on an investment?
Thatís much easier than selling $3,000 for $3,000 and justifying every penny by spouting technology. Eventually this approach will falter . People will begin cutting price instead of adding value to what they sell. Youíll know the bad, vanity publishing sites by the lower pricing.
Example: How to define the $30,000 in value? By defining the 7 Revenue Streams which each can each genuinely make or save the company $5,000 (at least):
1. Lead generating: Check out www. edmunds.com for a site that not only has customers, but generates leads for other businesses. Adding customers and lowering leads costs can contribute at least $5,000 for a business in a calendar year.
2. Developing mailing lists and testing print materials online: Headlines and print ads can be easily tested, reducing direct mailings of materials and providing a benefit to efforts in print, saving through testing one ad campaign online. This is a conservative estimate. Mailing lists and email lists will grow into valuable properties as well.
3. Market research: Not only can you study your competition, but by being in direct contact with your customers, you learn the trends as they are happening. They provide the ideas via email feedback, you create the product. Compare the cost of this to a focus group study or hiring a market researcher to cull through numerous publications trying to figure out what the competition is doing. Online, you can find that out immediately and even better, stay ahead of the competition by watching what they do as well.
4. Public relations: A Web site is an important public relations tool. A company's image is enhanced by simply having a Web site address. Talking to print media, radio, and television becomes easier when you talk about what you are doing online with your business. I've received thousands of dollars in free publicity by getting interviewed, having articles published in different trade journals, and focusing all my publicity on what I do online. Press releases may get read and followed up on; the Web is a way to open up doors to markets just because of what you are doing online.
5. Customer service: This boring word is fast becoming the most important part of any business. Trying to start your own customer service department is difficult. Creating a telephone number limits access because of busy signals and the inability of personnel to be able to address the vast number of questions. Customers want 24 hour access, which is beyond most small businesses. Training, evaluation, and overhead costs with managing such an operation can easily go into tens of thousands of dollars.
Online customer service is the wave of the future because it's always open and subject to email for inquiries, with the benefits of an 800 number but not the costs. When people write, they have to focus their questions; you can respond in a few minutes, rather than a twenty or thirty minute phone call where money is being paid for simply communicating (your phone charges you by the minute, online it's usually one flat fee for access).
6. Creating an Online Network of Resellers, Advertisers, and Joint Ventures: With so many Web site around now, this niche will quickly become the most profitable way to create and maintain a site. Many companies have groups of companies they work with. Use this to not just put a company up, but to use the Web site as a focal point for their network, their circle of influence. A company could use the Dell Computer model and use its site as the central reference point for a network of agents nationwide or worldwide. Franchises can use it as a central reference center for all their clients. Advertising and promotions can be shown at the site from allied businesses. Joint ventures with other countries, other businesses, distributors, and consumers are becoming the fastest growing business model online.
The fastest growing markets worldwide are now in Asia. Online ventures can penetrate those markets, possibly create joint ventures, and expand the influence of any small company to a multinational level simply through cooperative agreements and a Web site. The cost savings and revenue generating possibilities are limitless. Sell the power of a network of working with closely related businesses and advertising with banner ads at each other's sites.
Note: I've set up a telephone company, an appraiser's network, and an artist online. All of these received immediate inquiries for joint ventures from Asian countries like the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and even China. Not one of these companies did a thing to promote themselves to these markets. Imagine if they did.
7. Barter: Trading space online for print advertising is a sure fire way to generate advertising dollars. Exchange empty space or even a Web page as an advertisement with that newsletter or trade journal. Use space as a way to introduce people to the online world. One Web publisher on the West Coast created a Web site for a radio station in exchange for radio advertising and a link from their heavily trafficked home page. A roughly $5,000 investment of time and resources to create the Web site was multiplied exponentially into radio ad time and Web advertising time.
Trade value for value online, not only with other companies online with whom you might exchange banner ads, links, or even content, but with companies who are not yet online. Ask them for content and a small fee to test promote their efforts at your site.
Develop long term relationships by using your Web site as an entry point to the online world. These Seven Revenue Streams are explained in more detail and shown by examples in the attached report that you are free to distribute to your customers. Instead of fighting for every nickel and dime, show how they can add value to their investment if they act on it. Results can be generated easily.
Notice how I didn't even include sales? That's the mysterious eighth revenue stream that is a trickle right now. It is growing, but in the short term, get them to focus on what is really saving and generating money. Savings increase revenue. Sales will come, but these streams can create immediate returns.
Donítí fall into the pricing scheme; if you back off on price, it means you charged too much in the first place. And it will show. The first thing someone does when they donít believe in what they are selling is drop the price dramatically. That will spell the end of your business, as the Web site becomes some commodity, subject only to spring and summer blow out sales for no apparent reason!
Act like a real estate agent and be able to build the value of the Internet properties by showing opportunities. Like any good investment, this needs to be built over time. They need someone to help them build it, their agent.
Opening an Online Storefront
The final strategy I use is to talk about online storefronts. Compare what they are buying to the creation of a store in a mall or on Main Street. They would pay the carpenter, the plumber, and the electrician to come in and set up the store. Thatís the fee for creating the physical store, then they pay a monthly lease.
Online storefronts also require bringing in the technical experts to get everything in order. When theyíre done, you pay the monthly lease for the physical space. That store should have the same attention youíd pay to a physical storefront.
For instance, would you open a store with nothing on the shelves, no salespeople, no place to buy, just four order forms? Look around the Web, there are so many sites that are just glorified advertising, with simple ads showing the price of a product. These are the same people who will fail, because they would fail if they took this approach to a physical storefront.
Imagine walking into that store with nothing inside but four order forms. Whereís the sales process, the reason to buy, the direction through identifying what is for sale and what value it has, culminating with a purchase? Thatís the biggest problem businesses face; they think they have to change their approach. Then they do ridiculous things like only provide order forms and wonder why it flops.
If it will definitely flop in the "real world", it will likely fail online.
The traditional business approach works. An online storefront should be an open door to your business. But online, intelligent people are making the same mistakes. For instance, the overuse of graphic images. Let me tell you a secret.
In all other forms of advertising ó radio, television, color magazines ó you sell image. You have to slap the reader or viewer in the face with an image to make them notice you. All your competition surrounds you and for alot of money, you have to risk not getting noticed. In the old model, itís all about getting noticed.
With an online storefront, they already know what they want. You donít need to impress them with fancy images, in fact that can slow down the whole process. Iíve visited sites that take 5 minutes to open. Compare this to a physical storefront. You approach the doorknob and twist it, but it takes five agonizing minutes for the door to open.
Will you be patient enough to wait for the door to open? Youíll leave. Anyone would. So instead of focusing on all the old ways of doing things, Iím going to show you the new way. That doesnít involve any knowledge of the Internet or computers. The secret is in thinking like the customers; what are they interested in? How can you lead them through the sales process using content like brochures, informative articles, surveys, and articles that answer their questions about your product or service. Show them what you have to sell, include a sales letter, and give them a place to order.
An online storefront is built on a simple 5 Web page formula:
1. Content page to develop credibility
2. Content page to show who and what the business is
3. A sales letter
4. An order form, or place to order, online or off-line
5. A homepage acting as a Table of Contents, showing you what is offered. This page should be filled with interesting headlines that make people want to explore, make them want to open the door to your storefront.
To build your storefront, you need to do it right the first time. You have one chance to capture the attention of your audience. Get them in your door quickly with simple graphics, maybe a company logo. Use headlines that tap into their passion for your products and services, benefit-driven words that invite exploration. Thatís how an online storefront works, like a good salesperson working for you to sell your products. Give them a sales letter an a place to order to complete the puzzle.
If you can think of other examples, use them. But these three really strike to the heart of the matter in terms your audience can understand.
The Ten Step Interview Process
1. Set up an Interview, Seminar, or Free Consultation
The previous chapter talked in detail about setting up the sales process. Consider the cost factors when setting up any of these. Where you conduct these meetings or interview is important, because it will set the tone for your business. Sometimes the informality of a home office works better than a downtown high-rise; it all depends on who your market is. Make sure to adapt your approach to your audience.
Public spaces may seem to offer exposure, but often if you expect a variety of strangers to show up at the same time, youíre relying on luck. Just like the Internet works for target specific markets, the seminar works only if it has a specific, interested audience. I like setting up entire offices of 3-5 employees for a personal session at my office or after hours at theirs. Too many people can interrupt the sale.
If you try a seminar, it has the possibility of generating much more. But call any public space like a hotel or restaurant, find out how much it will cost, and measure that against your lead costs. Youíll find that most seminars cost way more than they return; since it is a sales seminar, you have to be good at both public speaking and closing many people. Be sure to have someone help by answering questions and basically being there when you canít. Make no doubt about it, theyíll want to buy from you. You have to set it up.
Bottom line is, the more grandiose you imagine the presentation, the less effective it likely will be. Weíve all heard enough hype and hot air about the Internet; building it up more can only lead to tough expectations. You become the entertainer, not the seller. That sucks.
Interviews and small instructional settings are the best because you can personalize it. Ask the company how they are currently promoting their products and services. Get them to bring the material in, talk with them about it, and show them their competition online. Visit newsgroups to get a basic idea of what is going on. Use color laser prints to show it if you want to be most effective. Computers are nice, but they end up stealing the show. Iíve had people quiz me about some stupid graphic, forgetting about their own business.
Guess who lost the sale? Guess who doesnít use a computer in his presentation anymore, unless he has to? Itís not about computers, itís about businesses benefiting from being online.
These are your interviews, one to one, with someone who wants to buy a Web site. They should also carry brochures, direct mail pieces, and other means of promoting their company into your office. You need to show them how to define what they are doing online, what they hope to get out of it.
A free consultation has to work like an attorneyís; a half hourís worth of expertise for $100. Less and you are basically admitting you donít know whatís going on. You canít get the price until you believe youíre worth it. I get so many people telling me theyíll be worth the money once they make their first sale. Then they wonder why they donít make their first sale.
The First Ten Minutes: Introducing the Property and How The
Business Will Benefit From This Property
Ask the client to define their business in a few sentences, a few minutes. Donít spend more than 5 minutes discussing their business. Define quickly and briefly what they want to do online.
I open up with either them defining a best case scenario or simply the question, "Why? Why do you want to be online?", followed after their answer by, "Why should I buy from you rather than your competition, what sets you apart (the same UWP you are about to present them with)."
Be sure that you create the excitement; you are about to open their eyes to something so new, yet so simple. Build this up in your initial contact; consider this interview your follow-up. They should be walking in with a pile of materials they use to promote their business. Ideas for materials to bring are:
ē company reports
ē news articles about products and/or services
ē information about specific persons involved with the business, even resumes
ē Reports that show the expertise of the business, consumer-oriented or
informational to guide the buying process
ē testimonials from other clients, businesses, vendors
ē surveys or market research they are conducting
ē customer service materials; do they support their clients or can they publish materials to help their employees?
ē sales letters
ē print advertising
ē special reports about a specific industry, consumer issue, or market trend
ē insider's information about how to not get ripped off in an industry, showing why the company doesn't do what they warn you about
ē catalogs, products, services, and any other materials that are being sold
ē information about public events that are being planned, nationwide or locally
ē radio spots and television advertisements
ē a summary of their marketing approach
ē direct mail pieces and postcards
Before they enter the room, make sure youíve decided to:
1. Discover how they are currently promoting their business
2. Take notes while the person is talking.
3. Be proactive; donít let the client wander, focus them on your sale.
The goal is not to let them wander about in their confusion. Get them to simply identify what is needed. Is it publicity or just selling products and services? Listen and fill in the blanks with the other possibilities, ones that will increase their Web siteís value. If you let them ramble, youíll lose them. Theyíll think you donít know what they need. Guiding them is the first step of hand holding, understanding what their business needs and directing them to your recommendations.
Building on what results they need, you want to lead them through the interview process with your recommendations on how best to achieve those results.
2. Three Factors Targeted Online Consumers Look At
The Internet seems so unreal that you must bring them back to reality, the reality of business survival. They should be thinking about three factors:
1. The Competition
2. The Target Market
3. The Best Way to Present Yourself to that
Market Against That Competition
Donít limit this to the online world; treating a Web site like some advertisement is the wrong approach. It can be the coordinator of print media campaigns, a testing ground for new ideas, a way to keep in touch with customers, and a public relations boon.
3. Show them Printed Examples, and/or Online Examples; Develop a Three Fold Approach for your Close: Bronze, Silver, Gold...i.e. worst, middle, best case
If you are going to sell, show them right away what you are selling. Not as a sales pitch, but as examples. Remember your products/services packages:
ē business consulting
ē market research for a company online
ē a classified ad for simply advertising
ē a homepage for a single brochure or business card
ē a Web site
ē a Web site with online ordering
These are the opportunities of the online marketplace, so give them a glimpse of your approach, your favorites, in print. Put it in their hands but donít let them get distracted; tell them youíre going to show them again later. But for now itís time to focus on the matter at hand. Give them choices so they can pick from what you have to offer.
How can this business benefit from being online?
The Second Ten Minutes
4. Describe the Benefits of Being Online
1. Generating Leads
2. Customer Service and Sales Materials
3. Public Relations
4. Selling Products and/or Services
5. Reducing overhead costs of printing, employees, and phone bills
6. Market Research
7. Trade and Barter Web site space for off-line advertising
If you notice, I didnít really list benefits; I listed the features. Behind these features are the benefits. Take each of these features and describe in one or two sentences why this would be important for a business coming online.
Name some benefits each one could provide:
5. Back to Their Business: Begin Interviewing the Client
1. Are they online?
2. Do they have an email address, Web familiarity, etc.?
3. Where will they set up their site? Recommendations?
Start talking about how these benefits can apply to their business by applying it to their specific business. You should know their basic awareness of the Internet; if they are apprehensive, donít fight the fear by convincing them that the Web is the cure for what ails them. Sell results and agree with their apprehension; every business should be concerned with that bottom line.
6. Simply Explain the Values of Marketing Online
1. Create Location, Location, Location
2. Must contact clients online through newsgroups, search engines, and other Web sites; it's not a given that they will find you. Use this as a way to upsell services.
3. Sell Your Marketing Services
4. Inform them of Search Engines, tie into Bonus at close
Insure that they know the two step process of setting up a Web site; the first step is publishing, the second is marketing. Donít let them get disappointed because they slapped up a Web site and only submitted them to the search engines. Ease their fear by offering to submit their site to all the major search engines and give them a reason to work with you long term.
The Final Ten Minutes
7. Show a few success stories
Choose your own favorites and if you have a Web site, show them what you do. Keep it simple to what you are selling, how you approach the market, how you use the Web site to increase value in advertising and marketing with other media, and customer service.
If you donít do these things, you arenít doing what you are selling. It will show. Not only at your interview, but in your pocket. So live what you sell. Developing your interview around what you do online is recommended. After all, if you've invested in what you're selling, it implicity tells them of the value that you are creating.
Would you buy a house from a real estate agent who only rented? If you're going to sell investments, you should be invested in it. Follow what's outlined here to really expand your business as well.
8. Talk about the new, emerging business model
This step is not meant for junior league predictions, showing off your knowledge of the Internet, or gazing into your crystal ball to predict what might happen in the future.
The future is now, and now is when you should be showing them a direct response sales process. Getting people to look at your ad isnít enough; you need them to contact you and keep in contact with you. The business model that is emerging is based less on sales, which are past events, and more on building new customers and keeping your steady customers happy.
The best way to do this is to provide an automated means of keeping in touch with them. A Web site is a crucial part of that formula because it can provide:
ē immediate feedback, automated so that they always get a response
ē new products and services to sell without spending months on development by asking your customers what they want
ē a non-intrusive way of keeping in touch with your customer base
ē increased exposure and credibility for being online
Businesses today are based on direct response, not through orders but through initial contacts with a business. This determines whether they come back or not, helping to develop a brand name for your business. By automating the process, you encourage contact without adding expensive employees, answering services, ordering systems, or telephone driven strategies which require a human being at the controls 24 hours a day, 24 hours a day of payroll.
Direct response sales process means getting the visitor to click on those links, those blue words, and explore what is going on. If they explore, they qualify themselves as a lead by their action. Sell this approach!
Tip: The Internet is built on actions taken by the audience. Make sure that any Web site is a direct response mechanism built on the actions taken by the audience, the clicking of links. If they don't click, they'll leave. Most often these actions comes as a result of good headlines. Copy writing is an excellent side business to develop online. Many people can program, but few can write.
The new business model is not one of a single company competing against everyone, me against the world; it depends on creating a collaborative business environment where related, non-competitive businesses refer customers to each other, adding value to their business and to the long term value they provide to their clients. Diversity that no one business can handle, word of mouth that no advertising campaign on televisions, radio, or magazines could encourage.
When you begin selling the new business model, and not Web sites, you will notice the interest shown by your prospective clients. You should give them advice that goes far beyond a Web site. That is the business consulting, which can be a lucrative part of your efforts and which may help keep your business thriving in the next five years.
9. Recommendations for Client
1. Describe your Package and how it can create increased values over time
2. Tie into their competition by showing them what others are doing online
3. Climax the Interview with a choice: Act now or be left behind.
Keep your eye on the clock and finish the interview on time. Youíve established what they do, what the Internet can do for their business, and a new business model based on expanding a customer base and keeping in contact with your clients. Show them what they have to look forward to. Build up expectations for this moment and donít let them down.
Think of the interview process in three parts; introduce them to you and your approach, while getting to know their business, in the first ten minutes. Then go from the general to the specific benefits the business can gain from being online in the second ten minutes. Spell these out specifically by asking them which benefits can apply to their current efforts. Always show how the Web works as a cost-effective addition to what they're already doing.
When you get to the last ten minutes, there should be a keen interest in finding out what you have to sell. Build up this excitement by showing passion for what you do. Sitting there like a bump on a log will kill the sale. If you're not excited, they won't be.
10. The Close
1. Sell your Package, how it fits their needs
2. Show them the three choices on the table or on the computer.
3. Let them decide
a. If they hesitate, assure them that they should only go through with what they are comfortable with.
b. Bring the interview to a close in a half hour, no more.
c. Take away the three choices and refer them to your competition.
4. Use the closes in Chapter 4 or create your own.
The close for a Web site sale should not take a long time. They have three choices. First, they can just listen to what you have to say and walk away. That's the safest choice in one aspect. But if you have shown them the competition and the true values of a Web site, that's not really a safe choice.
The second choice is to think about it. Making a decision is difficult when investing. If they waiver, pick up those papers and suggest that they think about it. Enforce the immediacy of the decision, but schedule a phone call or letter for follow-up.
The third choice is to buy. They will buy on value more than on price. Everyone is selling cheap, unvaluable Web sites. Their Web sites have no value because they are only selling the production. You should sell the process.
Tip:A Web site is not a one-time event like an advertisement in a magazine that loses value in one month. A Web site is an ongoing process that can gain value each and every month if it's used right. If you follow this interview process, you've just taught them exactly how to build value. In doing so, you've built value in working with you.