Alaska Small Business Development Center

Use Your Website to Build Relationships and Watch Sales Soar

December 2, 2014

Marketing studies conclude that 87% of all business transactions are based on a repeat or a referred transaction. In other words… rapport (or a feeling of rapport). 87%! That’s huge!  But let’s face it: chances are you’ll never have the opportunity to meet, face-to-face, the vast majority of people that find their way to your website. And yet, establishing a relationship with prospects is the number one way to close a sale, get referrals, and earn repeat business. What to do? What to do?

Well, the good news is that there are website design tips you can use, all based soundly in the principals of psychology, to assist you in creating rapport with your web visitors, even if you never have the opportunity to speak to them or meet personally.

Here are a few to get you started.

  • Have You Made it All About You? (Yikes!)
    Here’s a great little test. Grab a piece of paper and draw two columns. Label the first one “Me, I, We, and Your Company Name”; label the second column “You, Your.” Now, go to your website and review your home page and other popular pages. Each time you read the word “me, I we, or your company name” put a mark in that column; do the same for the “you, your, etc”. This will prove to be VERY interesting for you; it will either validate you’re doing thing correctly OR you might have “a little work” rewriting the copy on your website.

The elemental truth of creating rapport is that it is all about focusing on your prospect – not you or your company or product. Yes, your website needs to provide that information, but it’s all about the positioning and how the copy is written. Anyone who tells you that you need to continue using your company or product name for “branding” or “positioning” simply doesn’t understand rapport marketing – and it’s power!  sbdc website
To begin creating a relationship, your prospects need to know that you are there for them… not the other way around. And the ONLY effective way to do this is to speak to them – “one on one” – with their needs and interests as the focus of your web copy. This is how you bring in your product or services; by writing about how they meet a need, solve a problem, or help your prospect otherwise achieve a goal.

“Questions Always Welcome”

  • Another simple phrase with a big psychological impact: Questions Always Welcome! Think about it; how many times have you been on a website and had a question but just didn’t feel compelled to contact the company and ask. Well you can bet your site visitors are in the same boat and this is one way you can break down that invisible wall and get them to contact you.

    Simply adding the phrase “Questions Always Welcome” underneath your phone number and email makes a great “rapport” statement and psychologically encourages prospects to call or otherwise contact you.

  • Use a Brilliant Personal Profile (About Section)
    What the heck is a Brilliant Personal Profile? Well…we’re all familiar with the typical bio; a run-down of your professional credentials, degrees, past career positions, honors and awards. And sure, bios have a place in marketing and even on your website. They help your visitors to begin building trust in you professionally. But why stop there? What happens when you apply the principals of psychology and take it to the next level?

    What if you use the bio and simply include very key information about you personally? Present yourself as a “person” that is a professional, instead of a “professional at all times”. This change has a huge and positive impact on your prospects. Why?

    First…it gets noticed because it’s a unique way to present information about yourself. Second, it provides your readers with the opportunity to truly connect with you. Maybe they discover you both grew up in the same area or that your children both play piano. Or maybe they discover you share a love for Airedale terriers and they have fond childhood memories of their Airedale. It’s a level of rapport that you would otherwise not have with that person.

    There are several keys to a successful personal profile – but the first is always to make it “comfortable” for you.

  • Educate, Educate, Educate!
    There is no better way to begin establishing a relationship with your site visitors than to provide them with high-value educational information. (Search engines love it too, so it’s a win-win!) Educating is the number one way to add value, gain credibility, earn trust, and a whole host of other elements essential to creating rapport. If your site isn’t a content-rich site full of educational, valuable information (did I mention free), then what the heck are you waiting for?

Written by Anchorage Business Advisor, Kimberlee Hayward

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