Have you ever met someone at a cocktail party that talked only about themselves? The conversation might have gone something like this…
You: Hello. My name is Mary Whitehouse. What about you, what’s yours?
Them: Oh hi, my name is Susie Smith. I do interior design. I really like residential design, but I have also done a few offices. I’ve been on HGTV, I belong to ASID and passed the NCIDQ on the first try. I really love creating beautiful environments for my clients and have been in business for 22 years. I only use top quality products in my projects like 8-way hand tied sofas. I always use fabric backed silks for the added stability and longevity. And I never use 100% linen in my client’s window treatments. Take a look at my portfolio on my website. I have work on there from the 80’s but you’ll still be able to see the my work. If you’d like help with your next project, Google me, I’m Susie Smith, you should be able to find me.
You: Oh ok. Thanks. Bye.
Sounds silly doesn’t it? But you may very well be doing the exact same thing to your prospects with, of all things… your website! Check to see if you’re driving prospects away with these website blunders –
1. Talk only about yourself. Today, consumers want to know what’s in it for them. They want to know what you can do for THEM, not a list of credentials and how great you are. What will your design product or service do for them? For example – With you managing their kitchen remodel, THEY GET peace of mind, they can rest assured the investment in a new kitchen will bring years of enjoyment, they can feel good about their decisions with you as an expert guiding them through the process, they can feel comfortable knowing they have an advocate on their side managing a crew of sub contractors, they like knowing they’re getting the very best products, no details will be overlooked, etc.
2. Make it hard to find you. Do you provide multiple ways to contact you? You’ll want to make it super easy for them to find you by including the following –
- Up to date Contact Us page with your hours, a map if you are in a commercial location, current phone numbers, etc.
- Your phone number on every page – possible places are the header or footer
- Provide several different ways to reach you – email, phone, fax, contact form, etc.
3. Use language no one understands. One of the quickest ways to turn people off is to use industry jargon that fellow designers might understand, but not your prospect. Make sure the wording you use on your website is always clear, concise, and easy to understand. If you use industry specific language, acronyms, or mention an 8-way hand tied sofa, you’ll need to make a point to explain what that is in easy to understand terms.
4. You’ve let yourself go. Your website hasn’t been updated in years. Websites are like clothing. They have certain ‘looks’ and styles to them. If your website was designed 3 + years ago, it’s likely you are wearing bell bottoms in a skinny jeans world! When is the last time you’ve updated your website, business cards or marketing materials? If it’s been awhile, you are due for a ‘face lift’. Make sure you work with a web marketer and a web designer… they are two completely different roles. One who specializes in interior design would be best! (Contact me for more information or a Complimentary Consultation.)
5. Leave them hanging. When ‘conversing’ with prospects on your website, be sure to lead them to the conclusion you are making. Show them why what you are saying should matter to them. Here’s an example of a mistake I see often – A designer writes on her website – “I’m a Professional Member of ASID”
1. A prospect might ask – “What is that?”
2. They might also wonder – “Why should that matter?” or “What does that mean to me?”
If those 2 questions go unanswered, you are leaving far too much up to your prospect. Are you expecting them to come to the same conclusion that you do? You want them to know what that means and why it should matter.
Now take a look at this example – A designer writes on her website –
“I am a Professional Member of ASID therefore, take I am required to ‘meet the profession’s education and experience requirements, as well as adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional conduct.’ What that means for you Mrs. Prospect is…
- You get a designer who has spent considerable time, energy and money investing in the success of her career and who takes it seriously.
- You get a successful, vested, interior designer willing to do whatever it takes to help you achieve your dream rooms/home/etc.
- You get a designer that adheres to a strict and rigorous code of ethics and professional conduct.
- You will always approve of all goods and services, therefore there will be no surprise invoices.
- You will never have to accept something you didn’t order.
- Etc, etc, etc.
Did she answer the 2 questions?
1. What does that mean?
2. Why should that matter to me?
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