In the world of networking events, I’ve found there are more people socializing than doing real business. At least that’s been the case in my limited experience. There’s usually plenty of drinks, lots of small talk, and boxes of business cards exchanged, but when it’s all said and done, there are very few sales.
Of course some people know what they’re doing and they make the most of every event. In this article, I’ll reveal some of the key differences, and how they relate to improving your website performance.
Your Website Is a 24/7 Networking Event
For many of your prospects, your website is the first interaction with your business. Think of it like shaking hands with a prospective customer at a networking event.
What’s the first question that needs to be answered? It’s usually, “What do you do?” In other words, what products or services do you offer? Believe it or not, it’s sometimes hard to answer that question on the homepage of a website. In networking, this is often referred to as your elevator pitch. It’s a succinct, compelling description of your business.
Take a look at your homepage. Do you have a crystal clear elevator pitch? Are you introducing your business with the same enthusiasm you would use in-person at a networking event? Or, according to your website copy and design, are you “just another attorney” or “just another appliance repairman”?
In other words, your website needs to make a great first impression with every prospect that visits your site. If it doesn’t, then you’ll be quickly forgotten just like all those boring conversations at networking events. :)
Sales Are Rare At the Actual Event
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but real business is not likely to be conducted at networking events. The event is usually the introduction that leads to the follow-up sale. That’s the mindset you need going into a networking event, and then you absolutely must follow through by calling and emailing the qualified leads/partners you meet. That’s the key difference between selling and socializing.
The same is true with your website. Websites that fail to collect contact information and follow up are not doing their job selling. They’re just socializing with prospects.
When you go to our homepage, www.mainstreetroi.com, then you’ll see we offer a free report, The Internet Marketing Survival Guide. We offer that report to collect contact information from prospective clients. It’s like asking for a business card. Then once we have a “business card,” we use email marketing to follow up “after the event” to close the sale.
See how that works?
It’s not enough to just have a free report on your website. That’s like collecting a bunch of business cards and never following up. Clearly, that’s not going to generate any sales. You absolutely must follow up!