The biggest issue with SMEs right now is their Web presence.
Remember about five years ago, when people were going crazy with blogging and websites, talking about how they were the ‘shop front’ or public face of the company, and that they had to be full of great stuff that helped consumers and ‘built’ your brand?
People got lazy. A million people (and more) started a business blog. Then that same group of people stopped blogging after a couple of months because they couldn’t see it going anywhere. Millions more started Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds and everything else, all to try and keep that ‘shop front’ up and running, and to build that brand.
They stopped too. Or they started to fill those feeds with updates on going shopping or pictures of funny cats.
Can I help you?
What’s the first question we ask a potential customer if they walk into our selling space, whether it’s an office or a store?
It’s: can I help you?
It’s the first question that makes sense to both the business and the customer, because what else is a business there to do but help? It’s why we exist. At the very basic level, if we can’t help with a solution to a problem, people are not going to be interested in us. That problem could be how to organise a home, how to choose the best bouquet for someone special, or even how to ensure that someone eats well that evening without having to cook.
But so many SMEs are not helping their prospects. They get traffic to their websites all the time, but people show up, look through that legendary shop window, and don’t see any ‘help’. All they see is a business saying ‘me, me, me…’ all the time.
It’s time we started helping again. A business can only add value when it adds value. But I don’t see a lot of that around at the moment. I see businesses talking about themselves, why they’re different, and the long and impressive history they have.
Truth is, no one cares.
All your customer or client will ever care about is what you can do for them. How you can help.
So help. Make your website a resource. A guide. Make it a beacon along the way, that your clients can find, and use to help them meet their own goals and achieve their own dreams.
Throw a ton of free stuff at them. Fire off regular blog posts that help and reassure.
Empower your client.
It’s time to get our Web presence back to what it should be. A helpful, empowering symbol of supreme customer service, as well as a powerful sales tool.
Once more then, with feeling…
Can I help you?