"The Traffic Myth" - Get Over it.

13 replies
I posted this somewhere else on the forum, but it deserves its own thread.

The "Myth" is that search traffic is the "only" benefit to being on the web.

This is an important understanding, because you are not , in every case, going to be able to use that as your main sales point, if you are honest.

But that doesnt mean you shouldnt make a sale, or that a site cant be valuable to the business owner. This will help alot of people from smaller areas that arent buzzing with activity necessarily.

Here's a shocker:

If I was selling site to a client in a town like "dover arkansas" which is out in the middle of nowhere and has all of 2000 residents...

Dont you think the business owners there still want to be number one?

Dont you think, even though there's no traffic, they still want to participate in the web?

Even though being number one means virtually NOTHING, and they dont even get searched, if they were SEO'd?

Dont you think they want to beat each other in the serps, even though they are all rebels without a cause?

Dont you think they want a web address on their busines cards?

What are you gonna sell them on?

All the traffic?

No reason to point out the obvious that everyone wants traffic, that would be superfluous at best. We all know it.

And ...

Im may be hated for this, because I have sold websites ALL OVER AMERICA... and if you have never left the forum world you wont understand it...

BUT...

You have to get past the idea that traffic and seo are the only reasons people buy listings.

Period.

To summarize- If you want to get off the hamster wheel and separate your self you have got to start thinking of more hot buttons than just "traffic", because alot of people who will never get any (I dont care how good you are) still want websites.



Example:

I am a guitar player, and I will tell you that if your guitar is made of pine and not spruce , its worthless...just like an seo person would about a website- saying that it has no value to a business owner - unless the search traffic itself creates an ROI.

I might even tell you that you got ripped off on your favorite guitar...lol

Simply not true. Its just me seeing the world through my own eyes and having a shallow perspective.

If you want to get off the hamster wheel, and quit KILLING yourself trying to get a sale...you had better find more than one reason in your arsenal for business people to have web pages.

Take it or leave it.
#the traffic myth
  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    This is something that I needed to hear right now. Thanks, John. I will soon begin targeting local business owners and offering them free websites in exchange for hosting/maintenance - per your Bower method. My small town has less than 10,000 people in it. My local chamber of commerce website has a listing of about 200 local businesses and about 30%-40% of them don't even have a website.

    BOOM.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      My local chamber of commerce website has a listing of about 200 local businesses and about 30%-40% of them don't even have a website.

      BOOM.
      All the guys that are doing 20 hours of research to make a 20 item call list before they will dial are missing those 30-40% who John Bower capitalized on, and who YOU will capitalize on.

      There is a place for people who compete in the serps, and there is a place for people who just want to participate on the web, but I promise, no matter how you "consult", you arent going to make a guy from Dover Arkansas explode with targeted traffic...

      Still, he wants a web presence. Can you blame him?

      We all want to be a part of it.


      Ps. Im not saying dont seo. In small towns like this it will be a peice of cake...Im just saying , you may need more reasons than "Tons of traffic" as your main sales point , because you can get him number one, but a ton of traffic aint gonna happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Absolutely...

    There is a huge market of people that care 0% about traffic and SEO and already have quite the following in their local market without a website, the website would just be an ego booster. These people out there exist!

    There are those who are counting on their traffic to come from referrals, and that is all they care about.

    There are others that are in small towns, but want a website because it has become standard to have one...

    There are so many factors that traffic and SEO don't matter.

    I sell websites ALL THE TIME where the business owner has no idea how to get traffic, what SEO means...and they just aren't ready to learn yet. These are the perfect clients for me... I'm basically their gateway drug, I get them hooked with the web design, and now I'm the guy that gets them venturing into SEO, pay per click, direct mail, reputation management, social media, etc... when they don't get their fix of my services, they start feeling the withdrawals.

    There are a TON of people on here, that won't call businesses that already have a website. I don't understand that, because they are already qualified, they SEE THE VALUE in having a website...

    Anyway... agreed.. 100%... traffic and seo is not everything when it comes to selling websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ IAMnameless

    Thanks,

    They all want traffic. And they could all be the one that gets the top spot... but that doesnt mean they are going to get a positive ROI "directly from search engines".

    Sometimes you have to sell them on prestige. or establishing an all important online image, or because its good to have on your business cards so customers can check on your store even when its closed like a night shift employee so you dont miss potential sales... or as an online brochure, or because it enables them to use forms and things...that they can send call ins too... or so their people can email customers from corporate email addresses instead of unprofessional free ones, or so they can be on the same page as their top competitor for perceived value... or because existing customers can contact them and place orders from home through it, or see the new deals without leaving their house...

    You can sell them on the benefit their customers will get alone, they all want to be good to their customers.

    Or just because "all your competitors have one, and I know you dont want to be left out, so lets see what we can do for you here..."

    ... or just because "You are going to do it sooner or later...".

    Or simply because I asked if you were interested and you said "Yes".

    You can use it as a USP:

    "Hey Bob, I have alot more expensive SEO packages to sell, and if I were dishionest I'd try to sell you into one, like all these other guys... but the truth is , I like to sleep at night, and there isnt much traffic in this town. I dont want to waste your money on a big expensive package that you dont need, unless you just want to blow money...Honestly, we can get you number one easy, but there is only so much traffic here... Why dont we just go ahead and sign you up for __ for now, and grow with it instead of you hocking the farm for something you dont need just yet... (Now Assume close)".

    Bob likes you!

    Ingratiate them with honesty. They will trust you for that.

    Example:

    "Hey Bob, as far as traffic? I dont see you getting a ton of traffic in this town honestly, I mean, I'd love to sell you a package if you want...but...Well, on second thought, let me just go ahead and ask..., how much is the average new customer worth to you over a year?".

    "Hmmm....Okay, and so it looks like you could make this work even at a rate of _____ leads per month then ...?


    Alright, well thats easy enough...we can do
    that...I just didnt want you to have the wrong impression that it was going to explode with 100 leads per month...Yeah we can definitely make this work...

    How about we go ahead and do
    this for now________________ ,
    Fair enough? Or did you want to go ahead and try your luck with the platinum package? Alright great, well we can go ahead and get this started for you today, no problem... now as far as payment and things of that nature..."

    More....

    "A website is a 24 hour per day employee Bob, only it doesnt complain, call in sick, or cost as much"!

    "For instance, I know you probably close your store at 5 oclock because the traffic slows down, and and even though you might not want to miss the occasional evening customer who "potentially" comes through here and there, frankly there just arent enough of them to justify keeping the store open all night and paying people....

    I understand...

    Alot of business owners do this for that reason alone... Because they cant afford to stay open all night, but they dont want to miss potential customers...Basically a website , Bob, is a way to keep the store open after hours for people, without having to have suffer the costs... This has been a greart solution for alot of small businesses in that situation..."


    (They will do it just for to avoid the potential of "Losing" something...let alone "gaining"...ie; losing customers to other competitors because they are open when you arent... You can use the word "potential" loss, and thats enough!)

    Lots of things I have used over the years to sell websites...potential traffic is just one.

    Ps. Learn to leverage the word "potential", it will keep you honest!
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    • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
      Ok so are you selling a website or a Directory Listing?
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by 4morereferrals View Post

        Ok so are you selling a website or a Directory Listing?
        Seems they are talking about websites. A directory listing might be a good add-on for the small town crowd at say $10 a month. Don't know that for sure but it seems like it would be.

        The point is you have to ask with a set of framed questions that you also supply the answers to. Works like a charm if you just do it.

        Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author rbecklund
    True - I think it's easier to sell someone on a redesign than a brand new site. There are lots of sites out there that were done years ago. We just got one and the copyright date is 2003!...
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Nice thread as usual John. I have to bookmark this for some of the tips on selling this to prospects.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

      Nice thread as usual John. I have to bookmark this for some of the tips on selling this to prospects.
      It helps to keep a few different benefits in your arsenal. Glad you got something out of it Aussie. We simply arent going to blow everyone up with traffic, but there are alot of good reasons to be on the web aside from that.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    There is so much that can be done with a site besides "traffic."

    You can make the business owners life much easier by turning their website into a simple customer portal. Put commonly used forms on the site. Create FAQ's, diagrams, educate the customer etc...almost anything the business owner might have to do manually can be delivered through the website.

    Tickle the business owners ego by providing a site that is nicer than the competition. Beef up his brand. His business is awesome.

    Set up communication tools, marketing tools, appointment tools, payment tools for employees in the field. Automate follow-up, billing, referrals etc...

    Every business is different and if you listen to the owner and make his life easier, he will be your friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    A couple fundamentals here:

    -People buy for their own reasons, not yours.
    -As in all industries, the easiest prospect to sell to is the one who has or is paying money for the product or service you sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
    John hit the nail through the head....

    Anyone who has sold to a lot of small/medium businesses
    know how vital the hot button is I call 'ego stroke'.

    Business spend lots of money on foolish advertising that
    plasters their name all over. Who doesn't want to see
    their name in lights?

    The other part of the ego stroke is the testosterone
    fueled side of 'mine is bigger than yours'.

    We can sell A LOT more if you hit on how you can
    get them more customers, and how you can bronze
    their schlong.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      John; Another brilliant and thought provoking thread.

      I give presentations to groups of business owners, selling the idea of being on the first page of a Google search.

      I found that giving lots of reasons will find at least one that really resonates with any one individual.

      Here are a few of the reasons I cover;
      Someone looking up your company, after they buy will be relieved that the made a good decision.
      Referrals can see you are credible before you talk to them.
      People can find out more about you, when you are not open (I know you already covered this one)
      It increases the chances that you'll be found before your competitor.
      Any posted customer complaints tend to get minimized, and pushed off the first page. (This is enough reason for a few in every audience)
      All your other advertising results are enhanced with a website that acts as a huge brochure and sales piece.
      Local customers looking to buy online, will find your local website and will be redirected back to your local store. (This one is HUGE)
      Not having a website now, is like not having a phone. Customers expect you to have a website.
      A good website can do much of the selling for you, so more customers call you, not asking questions, but ready to buy.
      Shoppers going online to find your competitor's contact information are likely to find you first. Making their advertising work for you. (people sitting up in their seats with this one)

      Anyway, at least a few in that list will resonate with just about anyone listening. The trick is rattling of that list without losing their attention.

      Notice that no place do I mention lots of traffic coming in every day?
      It happens, but I don't like to promise it, because I can't control what customers do. And if someone asks about traffic, I ask "How many here have had a customer say 'I found you online'?
      Lots of hands go up. Then I say "Everything I do for you increases that number".


      But I know I have lots of clients that are perfectly happy going online every few days and looking at their website and search results....regardless of what real benefits they get.
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