Selling more widgets: A beginner's guide to the perks of website ownership

 Don wants to sell more widgets to quality customers. How can a website help Don reach his goals?

Don wants to sell more widgets to quality customers. How can a website help Don reach his goals?

Face-to-face communication is so much more effective than a website. I get all my business through networking and word of mouth.
— People who don’t have websites

True. The best way to sell more widgets is to go door-to-door with a briefcase full of widgets and a smile. And if your customers like the widgets, they'll help you by talking about it. They may even throw a widget party and invite all their friends!

I have met a few internet holdouts lately. Businesses who have no URL. My first reaction was respect. The same respect I have for people without smartphones. But do they know what they're missing? I have no interest in talking someone into having a website that truly doesn't want a one. That being said,  here are a few things websites do that you might not have considered.

 

They prove that you exist.

You AND your business can exist without a website. But people may not believe it. The simplest, most basic task that each website performs is being your online business card. It legitimizes 

 

They can help you gain respect.

The clothes you wear, the vehicle you drive and your oral hygiene tell people that you respect yourself and the people around you. A well-designed, user-friendly website shows that you are proud of your company and your work. It shows that you care about customers. A well-written website shows that you can articulate the value your widgets bring to potential customers and even the community. Thought leadership in the form of blog posts on your site does even more for your respect quotient, like showing up in a tuxedo.

 

They attract quality talent.

How do you describe your company? What is your vision for the future of widgets? Do you have any awards or customer testimonials? Who works there and what are they like? These matter to potential employees who want to spend the prime years of their life inside your doors and base their professional reputation on your name.

 

They automate repetitive communication.

The list of prices, services, size of your company, phone number, address, blah blah blah. You're sick of saying it. They feel bad asking. Give yourself or your receptionist a break. Put it on your website.

 

They cross-sell.

Someone visits your site looking for more information on widgets. They had no idea you also make doodads, gizmos AND gadgets. You have just doubled your business from that individual, and it required no additional time on your part.

 

I can't promise that you will win friends, influence people or sell more widgets just because you have a website. But used in tandem with a good real-life communication strategy, it really can help.