Feb 10, 2015

The 2-Call Close, Part 2

The 2-Call Close is the holy grail of branding, and the epitome of selling. It’s the ability to package your services so well that you can win a complex sale in two calls over two weeks.

This is fast, efficient, effective selling. And it’s an ideal worth striving for in your business.

In this three-part series I am sharing the steps it takes to package your products so well that you can achieve a 2-Call Close. In Part One we discussed the concept of “Deliver Contracts Not Proposals.” And today, in Part Two, we are discussing “Websites That Sell.”

Part 2: Websites That Sell

Make your website sell as well as your best salesperson.

This has been one of my mantras for the better part of a decade. Your website is the face of your brand. And not only does it make a first impression for your business, it often makes the second, third, and fourth impressions too.

Buyers spend a lot of time looking at websites. How well is yours performing?

Sales Has Changed

A website that sells is an integral component of the 2-Call Close.

Your salespeople can’t meet and build relationships with everyone in your market, nor should they.

Let me illustrate this with an example. In the early 2000’s Versature had a classic approach to sales. They had a couple of sales guys, an appointment setting service, and ran direct marketing campaigns. Their goal was to call on companies in their local market, and sell them business phones services.

On paper Versature had the right approach to selling. The problem was the “classic approach” wasn’t very effective.

Paul Emond, CEO of Versature, explains, “We pushed and pushed, but we weren’t getting the results we expected. When people aren’t in the mode to replace their phone system they don’t want to talk about it, or even think about it.”

In 2004 Versature made a drastic shift in their approach to selling. They terminated the appointment setting service and let go of the outside sales reps, and invested the bulk of that budget into digital marketing: website, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising.

Within weeks they experienced a shift. The phone started ringing regularly with qualified customers. Buyers were typing in “hosted PBX Toronto” or other relevant terms to Versature’s service and finding them.

And on top of that, customers were landing on an attractive website with clear messaging, a strong value proposition, a compelling description of the service, pricing, and more. A customer could answer all of their upfront questions, qualify if Versature was a fit, and call if they were interested.

Versature developed a website that sells.

Your Website is a Salesperson

It’s a mistake to think of your website as a marketing tool. It’s a salesperson.

Your website tells your company story, describes your products and services, establishes trust, demonstrates capabilities, builds relationships, and drives customers to logical next steps.

A website does everything a talented salesperson does, except for negotiating and closing deals.

So I have one blunt statement: invest in your website like it is your best salesperson. Train it. Support it. Manage it. Invest in it. Upgrade it. Generate leads for it. Do everything in your power to make it a success.

If your website sells as well as your best salesperson you will be well on your way to achieving a 2-Call Close.

Three Components of a Website That Sells

A website that sells is not simply an attractive, functional website. It’s so much more than that. A website that sells is different, because it’s built for sales. It’s built for the 2-Call Close.

There are three components to make your website sell as well as your best salesperson:

  1. Simple Clarity: A website that sells doesn’t try to win over customers with flattery and big words. It speaks with authority. It boldly and clearly states what the company is, who it serves, and what services it offers. It even goes so far as explaining how the services work and what you can expect. Anyone who visits the website can clearly categorize the service, and make a decision if it’s a fit for them or not.
  2. First Call Advantage: At any given time 3% of your market is buying, the rest are not. The vast majority of visitors to your website are not buying right now, but they will be soon. A website that sells recognizes that every visitor is an opportunity to build relationships. It offers valuable, interesting content that they can subscribe to or download. The website builds relationships with every visitor — buyer or not.
  3. Be Everywhere: The term “websites that sell” is a little dismissive, because what I am really referring to is a broad digital marketing strategy. A website that sells has defined marketing programs to generate traffic, build distribution channels for content, reach new prospects and influencers, grow domain authority, optimize the site to be in the Path of Search, and many other tactics to drive new customers to the site.

If you are reading Sticky Branding (the book) with this post, the three components are based on three Principles from the book:

  • Principle 1: Simple Clarity
  • Principle 7: First Call Advantage
  • Principle 8: Be Everywhere

There’s a lot going on to create that compelling customer experience that sets the conditions for the 2-Call Close. But from your customers’ vantage point all they notice is your website.

Pick your priorities and give your website the support and investment it needs to sell as well as your best salesperson.

Three Metrics of a Website That Sells

How do you know if you have a website that sells? You will see it in your sales metrics:

  • Inquiries: The first measure of success is lead generation. How many leads per week is your website generating? To achieve the 2-Call Close you need enough leads coming into your funnel that your salespeople are not desperate.
  • Closing Ratio: A website that sells will generate a lot of activity, which is what you want. The challenge is to have your sales team qualify the inquiries, and determine if a customer is a fit or not. Of the ones that are considered a fit, the ones that become sales opportunities, what is the closing ratio? How many become customers? In my business, for example, I target a closing ratio of 75% or greater.
  • Velocity: How long does it take for an inquiry to convert into a customer? How many calls or demos does it take? What hurdles do you have to jump through? When you understand the velocity of the sales cycle you can work to compress it into a 2-Call Close.

The 2-Call Close Starts Online

The 2-Call Close is all about driving velocity into your sales funnel. The first step is to package your services so well that all you need to deliver is a contract versus a proposal.

The next step is to free your sales team’s time to focus on core selling behaviors:

  • Qualify customers to determine if they are a fit for your services
  • Demonstrate capabilities and reinforce customer expectations
  • Facilitate the buying process, and provide all the details they need to make sound purchase decisions
  • Negotiate the deal and close

Your website (and your digital marketing as a whole) facilitates the rest of the sales process:

  • Make positive first impressions
  • Place your brand in the Path of Search
  • Answers questions day and night
  • Deliver value and share expertise
  • Reinforce customer relationships when you’re not available
  • Drive customers to logical next steps

The combination of a well packaged service, talented sales people, and a website that sells provides a complete selling system. They all work in harmony to engage customers and sell to them in a way that is natural and efficient.

What’s Next?

In the final installment of this series, Part 3: Experts Close Deals, we will tackle the need for great sales talent.

The 2-Call Close is high level selling. It takes expertise to build credibility and demonstrate capabilities in one or two calls. It takes expertise to qualify a customer, and help them make sound purchase decisions.

Aggressive sales reps, closers, and socializers do not perform well with the 2-Call Close. You need experts to close deals quickly.

And let me know what you think. Share your comments or questions. I am happy to carry on the dialogue in the comments of this post.

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