small business internet sales tools

April 6, 2017

Five questions for small businesses when selling good and services.


Fortune 500 companies and small businesses are making unbelievable mistakes when trying to sell their goods and services.

In our business of helping clients generate more sales, we know how important the internet has become in terms of how consumers shop and make decisions about what it is you have to sell. The problems we are finding is that companies around the globe are investing heavily in technology, but have forgotten to check if it actually works.

(These are real stories that we have experienced as a result of our research.)

Here are some of the most REAL recent fumbles businesses are making as a result of focusing on the TECH, and not focusing on whether or not the TECH was delivering what the customer wanted.

Five core questions small business owners need to ask to drive sales:

1.   Imagine if a customer walked into your business and your first question of the customer was, “Where are you?

We recently shopped a company, whose parent company operated in several countries at the same time.

I entered the website within the specific country, and their centralized Live Chat greeting me and then asked which country I was from.  The conversation was professional and the response was quick, but they had no idea where I was coming from.

Take into account that I had initiated the conversation from a country specific site.

2.   “How would you feel if you provided information to the business you showed interest in buying from and they not only didn’t take the information you presented, but there was no way to give it to them?”

This one was simply confusing.

On a mystery shopping activity, we clicked on the sites ‘contact us” page, entered our information, and then searched high and low for the send button.

Turns out it was not there at all. The website was spectacular and matched the brand standard (big international company). Yet, they failed to make sure the send button was on their page.

3.   What would your business look like if I asked a question in what appeared to be a LIVE conversation, and it took 17 hours to get a response?

Imagine you are the customer and you initiate contact because your situation is urgent.

The top of the website offers a “Live Chat” option, so you click and hope they will get back to you right away. You enter your information and you get an instant email recognizing your request. All sounds good so far.

But then you wait 17 hours for a response. How many customers would wait 17 hours for a response if the situation was urgent?

The worst part was that the response was generic and did not solve the original request.

4.   What would you have done if your Yellow Pages advertisement did not make it easy to find your phone number?

For those of you who can even remember the Yellow Pages, who uses them anymore? I

had to explain it to my 15 year old as if it was something you might see in a museum. Every business group we speak to agrees that in order to find a business’s phone number, you simply do a Google search and hope to find their number.

Unfortunately, we are still finding that businesses do not have their phone number clearly listed on the top of their site. Every small business should have their phone number visible on the top line of their website.

Too often when we ask about this, business owners and advertisement agencies talk about how it doesn’t look good.

As a consumer, when looking for a phone number, are you really concerned with how beautiful the site is?

Or are you simply trying to find contact information as easily as possible?

5.   How do I know if I am using my tools properly or if I even have the right tools?

There are many technologies and devices to consider when presenting your business online.

Making all of them get a return on investment for your business is mission critical to business success. Our recommendation is to test everything you put up in your digital media to ensure it is working for your customer.

The goal is for your customer’s online experience to go as easy and smooth as possible. Less confusion means a lower chance of frustration, which will give the customer more time to browse for what they need. Contact the author if you would like help with a FREE evaluation to ensure everything is working the way it was intended.

Related articles:

Three Ways to Close More Sales Over the Internet

Isn’t Everything Posted on the Internet True?

How to Negotiate with More Customers On the Internet


Jaime ““Jim”” Hernandez

Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.