If your sales lead is one hour old, you’re about to make a cold call.
In other words, you don’t really have a sales lead anymore. In fact, if that sales lead was generated online, your conversion rate declined by 60 percent at the end of 5 short minutes.
One of the unintended consequences of the Internet is that it has trained us to expect instant, full disclosure the moment we send a click that signals our interest. If we don’t get answers immediately, we move on to something else.
Why do you expect your customers to be more patient than you are?
You’ve been online for an hour and seen more than 150 page views. What are the odds that you can recall with clarity what you saw on page 9? Chances are, you made your decision by the time you got to page view 21. Not only is page 9 ancient history, you’ve contemplated and resolved 7 unrelated topics of interest since then.
Einstein was wrong. Time isn’t tied to the speed of light. Time is tied to the speed of the Internet. And the web isn’t just changing how products and services are transacted…
online connectivity is changing the customer’s attention span and decision horizon, especially in categories where the purchase will NOT be made online.
According to Forrester Research, current trends indicate that Americans will spend 370 billion retail dollars online in 2017. That sounds like a lot until you realize that Americans are expected to spend $3.6 trillion on retail purchases that year.
“Oh, well,” you say, “10.3 percent of retail sales isn’t really a game-changer.”
But wait, we’re not done.
Forrester also tells us that an additional 60% of total retail sales will involve the Internet in 2017.
The categories that will be most influenced by Internet research…will be grocery, apparel and accessories, home improvement and consumer electronics, in particular through mobile activity like reading customer reviews while in the aisle.”
60 percent plus 10.3 percent equals 70.3 percent of total retail sales. Do I have your attention now?
Forrester goes on to say,
The categories that have the lowest online sales are also the ones that see the greatest levels of online research. In general, consumers in virtually all categories touch the web during some part of their purchase journey, but web sales (i.e., dollars spent online) tend to be strongest in categories where consumers don’t need to touch the products or have them immediately.”
Did you catch the part that said categories that have the lowest online sales are the ones that see the greatest levels of online research? The lower your percentage of sales online, the more important it is that you give your customers online answers to their questions.
I really hope you’re not saying to yourself, “Well, I’m just going to use my advertising to get prospective customers to indicate their interest, but I’m not going to answer their questions until we’re face-to-face.” Because if that’s your plan…
It would be rude for me to finish that sentence.
My little “Paul Revere ride” today isn’t to shout “The Internet is coming!” but rather to alert you that your customer’s decision window is shrinking. I’m talking about communication. I’m urging you to answer your prospective customer’s questions as asked.
If you are in a business category that transacts very little of its business online, the key to successful marketing is to correctly anticipate and answer your customer’s unspoken questions. Don’t blather on about the things you wish they cared about – even though they’re probably the things they ought to care about – until you’ve first answered the question that’s on their mind.
The secret is to use words in your marketing that target your customer’s felt need.
Notice I did NOT say, “words that target their age group” or “target their income bracket,” or “target their educational attainment.”
When you speak directly to your customer’s felt need,
you’re answering their question,
you’re scratching their itch,
you’re giving them confidence,
you’re making the sale.
Learn to anticipate and speak to the felt need.
Roy H. Williams
RABBIT HOLE – Do you need to reinvent your business? Join online marketing giant Jeffrey Eisenberg and Wizard of Ads Roy H. Williams in the debut of a brand new, 2-day workshop at Wizard Academy, Repurpose the Proven. The wizard says this workshop is only for people who are highly imaginative, courageous and ambitious. I plan to be there. – Indy Beagle