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Your Online Business: Converting Contacts to Clients

 

To grow your online business, you have to convert contacts to clients. Your goal should be to turn your website visitors into business relationships. While most businesses get a conversion rate of less than 5%, there are some ways to help you get better results. Here's how:

Offer Solutions

Your contacts will go to your competitors for solutions if you only state problems. Review your web pages, catalogs, email signatures, and other marketing materials. Make sure it tells your target audience how you can help them achieve their goals, or how you can add value to their lives. If it's all about you, you'll have a harder time turning them into clients.

Write Effective Newsletters

The first thing you'll need to create on your website in an opt-in form. This form gives you permission to email the person that signs up. You can then email your subscribers anything you want, including a newsletter. A newsletter lets your prospects get to know you better. For example, if you're an online store that sells bread machines, there may not be much you can do on the website itself to build business relationships. However, with a newsletter, you could teach subscribers how to use that bread machine, the hidden benefits of using a bread machine, and you can share antedotes about your failures and success trying to make bread by hand. This will endear your audience to you, which will translate into clients.

Use Social Media

You cannot take everyone that contacts your online business to lunch. However, there are ways to initiate and maintain great conversations over the internet. Besides sending an email, you can use social media to talk to your contacts. Learn to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites. Don't just learn the technicalities; learn the art of conversation. You can also broadcast content and information about your business to drive traffic to your website, which will create more opportunities to gain clients.

Become a Great Listener

Each time your contacts call or email you, make sure you pay close attention. Are they complaining about a problem? Ask lots of questions and offer help along the way, and listen for what they want. Take the opportunity to position yourself or your products again as the solution to their problems. Online businesses don't have the benefit of seeing the body language of prospects. You have to infer a lot by listening carefully on the telephone, or by paying closing attention to emails.

Offer Webinars

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a webinar is "a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments." Contacts often become clients when they are better educated about the problems they face and the solutions. Create and host your own webinars. Invite an expert to teach one for you if you don't have the time or expertise to create one.

You'll need to contact your prospects multiple times before you can expect them to buy from your online business. Develop a campaign to reach them over time, and be persistent.

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Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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