Internet marketing and the SMB can be a powerful match. The Internet and its many channels (search, blogs, social media and more) can create opportunity that was not possible for many businesses just a few short years ago. Internet savvy marketers and business owners see the potential to bring leads to their business that would have never been fathomed in the old world of call lists and caffeine.
While this brave new world is made available to any business that has the initiative and patience to make it work for them there is one rather old school principle that has become more important than ever: selling.
While people want to think that lead generation and a strong online presence are the new sales person that is just naiveté at best and stupidity at worst. The Internet definitley is the great new prospector. It can be the sales guy that is always on the phone uncovering opportunities. It can be the tireless cold caller of yesteryear who always felt that each no was just one step closer to the next yes. What it’s not in most cases is a closer.
Ouch. The word closer is so ‘old school’. It has a GlenGarry Glen Ross feel to it. Well, I am here to break the news to you. It’s more important today than ever. Fortunately, the definition has changed significantly. No longer is it the practice of manipulation that gets prospective client to the yes. The need for that kind of tactic is thankfully minimized and not tolerated in today’s business world.
Nowadays, the new closer does just what name says but it’s not about manipulation to a yes. It’s about closing the loop. This loop was started with a strong Internet marketing effort to create interest in your business as a possible solution for another business or individual. That process continued with a strong web site that clearly and concisely made the case that your operation merited further investigation. It then lead to a request for information and hopefully a person to person interaction (in person or on the phone).
It’s here that you have a chance to close. You can now close the loop by being the human voice of assurance and reason that validates the prospective client’s vision of your abilities based on their own investigation. Closing is no longer a game. It’s simply a validation of their decision and a chance to fill in the blanks. Heck, you may even have a chance to get to know someone. Never before in business history has prospects had the chance to come to the close more prepared to say yes. That is of course if you did your job with your Internet marketing.
So if you fear selling then make sure you do everything to make it easy for your customers to say yes. Maybe you should stop even calling it sales. It’s not like it used to be. It’s more like welcoming your new client into their new home that has the solution to their problems. If it feels like more than that then you may need to reassess your Internet marketing efforts or your business as a whole.
FT Takeaway: SMB’s are sales averse for a variety of reasons. Most don’t have the time, confidence or experience to do it well. They fear it. That fear can be alleviated through great Internet marketing that brings prospects to your door that are more prepared to say yes than ever before.