The offline business owner's dilemma

3 replies
I started selling websites to local business owners in 1995. I've been around the block.

I've run into everything from "We don't need a website and never will, so go away" to "We get about 20 leads a day from our online marketing and couldn't handle any more even if we wanted them, so thanks anyway, we're good."

I've met business owners who never heard of SEO. Never heard of Yelp. Have no idea what Google My Business is or what it could do for them. Have no clue how to use Facebook pages, groups or ads to drive traffic to their store. Have no email list, and in fact never even thought of creating one.

I've talked to people who have a great looking website, well written, overall satisfied with it -- but never looked at it with a phone, on which it looks like shit. Didn't know that the majority of people use phones these days, especially when they're "in the neighborhood." Didn't know you could optimize for mobile. Didn't know you could add a phone number so people could just click to call. Or click for driving directions.

The common denominator is this: business owners know their business. They don't know marketing. And they don't know online. Most "don't have time for all that stuff," and if they do, they don't want to have to learn it. OR pay someone else to do it for them.

What they don't know (or realize) is how much money they're leaving on the table.

They don't realize that when people Google what they sell and find their competitor and not them -- that's lost business.

They don't know that just a few tweaks in what they do online could make a HUGE difference in their revenue every month.

But I'm curious...

If you sell online services to offline business owners, what kind of experience levels are you finding these days with business owners? More savvy of late, or still mostly clueless?

What pain levels are you finding and exploiting? If business is slow, do you press the point that Google might just be able to send them new business? Etc...?

Inquiring minds want to know.
#business #dilemma #offline #owner
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Originally Posted by Cass Tyson View Post

    I've run into everything from "We don't need a website and never will, so go away" to "We get about 20 leads a day from our online marketing and couldn't handle any more even if we wanted them, so thanks anyway, we're good."
    I would translate that as "I smell a salesman... and I don't want to be sold to today..."
    Originally Posted by Cass Tyson View Post

    If you sell online services to offline business owners, what kind of experience levels are you finding these days with business owners? More savvy of late, or still mostly clueless?
    I would say clueless but wary. Many have been burnt, or know someone who has been burnt, by website vendors, seo vendors, reputation management vendors... you name it...
    Originally Posted by Cass Tyson View Post

    What pain levels are you finding and exploiting?
    Getting more customers is perennial. It'll never change, despite the above comments...
    Originally Posted by Cass Tyson View Post

    If business is slow, do you press the point that Google might just be able to send them new business? Etc...?
    No. We examine who their best clients are and decide where they can best be found. Buyers of Ferraris rarely come from Google or a website... We help businesses build their own distribution channels over which they have more control.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cass Tyson
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I would translate that as "I smell a salesman... and I don't want to be sold to today..."
      Sometimes, sure. But not always. I'm pretty good at getting in to see decision makers. Often these types of statements were during very friendly conversations; with referrals, friends, and existing customers, as well as prospects.

      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I would say clueless but wary.
      More and more I run into business owners who have a clue, but the old adage of the 5 blind men describing an elephant comes to mind. Some are SEO savvy but are clueless about Facebook. Some are Instagram and Pinterest monsters but their websites are from the stone ages. Some have beautiful websites but don't do any real marketing online -- so they might as well not even have a website.

      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Many have been burnt, or know someone who has been burnt, by website vendors, seo vendors, reputation management vendors... you name it...
      Yup. Too true, sad to say. I'm cleaning up a mess now where a web developer just disappeared half-way through the project.

      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Getting more customers is perennial. It'll never change...
      And THAT is the whole reason we do this, isn't it? To help our customers get more customers. If we can help them see the value in that, the sale should be easy.

      But that's the challenge, isn't it? Helping them see the of value investing in our services to create more business... "If we do X, you should expect N additional customers resulting in $Y more dollars, and it will only cost you $Z."

      PLUS, sometimes, persuading them that "What I can do for you" is better than "What that other guy is doing/is proposing you do." I see this more and more, as business owners have come to know a thing or two about marketing online.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Iannotti
    More savvy with many doing the a lot of the work themselves, quite a few family run places have a family member or friend of the family get help with SEO, Social Media and other things.
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