Marketing your business

I remember once when a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman came to our door and we allowed him to show us his product. What a mistake. He took two hours and just simply wouldn’t leave until we basically pushed him out the door. He had all kinds of gimmicks to show us why our vacuum cleaner did not work and why we needed his product. We were smart enough to realize that most of his gimmicks were smoke-screens and not representative of reality. He started by trying to sell us his little vacuum cleaner for the astronomical price of $1600.00 (ten years ago!). By the time we pushed him out the door he was willing to sell it for a quarter of the price. I could not help but think that there were a whole bunch of unsuspecting people (perhaps those on fixed incomes) who were convinced by this man and who may well have bought for his full price.

The story is important because most of us no longer believe that selling our product or service can be based on ‘pulling one over’ on the client. In fact, if anything, we believe that integrity and honesty are the virtues that will sell anything that you have to offer — providing the service or product are useful to the buyer. That means that each of us in business need to do a few things:

  • We need to believe in our product, service and business… and we need to continually refine whatever it is that we do, to make it better and more appealing
  • We need to believe in the people who work with us. Our employees need to understand our stance in the business world and we need to be confident that they are living up to the integrity that we set as a principle value in our business
  • We then need to learn how to communicate what we stand for to those who are interested in what we have to offer. Now this is tough one.

Everyone can say that they believe in their product and that their product is the best. The difference is that if you work at making your product the best and if you then honestly portray that — the folks (buyers or clients) will know the difference.

Integrating your Web Developer

Your web developer needs to be considered a member of your team — rather than some adjunct supplier. You need to choose a web developer that you can trust and who comes across as having integrity in his/her business. The web developer’s first task is to understand your business (inside-out) and to understand your approach. It’s only at that point that they can assume the responsibility of graphically and textually portraying your service or product to the world of web viewers.

Standards have truly changed for web development

  • The developer must understand everything about accessibility and the latest standards required on the web for access of human beings as well as search engines that will help to sell your offering.
  • The developer has to have the skills required for contemporary graphic design. Graphic design last year is not the same as this year. The developer’s staff must constantly develop and renew these skills to make sure that your product / service is portrayed better than anyone else portrays the same on the web.
  • A good developer and team will spend time researching inside and out so that they fully understand your business and what it is that you have to offer.
  • The successful business must commit to their web developer for the “long haul”. Website standards today will not be the same a year from now. Your developer must stay on top of the standards and keep you informed of what changes are required. That way your site will continue to sell well into the future.

To summarize, web development is about partnership. Pick a web developer that you trust and that trusts you. Settle on an honest figure for compensation and then commit to working carefully into the future. Your business success depends on it!

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