When it comes to sales, too many companies are acting like it’s the 20th century and behaving like it’s the 19th century. They act as if the Internet was never invented and sites like Google, Bing, YouTube and Yahoo didn’t exist.
“My CEO just doesn’t get it,” one potential client confided in us. “He thinks you need a huge sales team to make sales and that there is no connection between Google and getting clients and customers.”
There are a lot of companies who don’t believe that “Google is for them.” The vast majority are dead wrong. Convincing the decision makers in these organizations isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth the effort.
All you need to do is remind them that many people running businesses in the 1990s didn’t believe that it was worth it to have a website. Those businesses ended up learning a painful lesson.
Even presented with this argument, many businesses don’t feel as if search engine marketing and search engine optimization is for them. These are the same kinds of businesses which, back in the late 1990s, didn’t think that a website was for them either.
Blue Fountain Media has enjoyed explosive growth relying heavily on business that has come in through search engines. The great preponderance of the sales team efforts is handling incoming leads as opposed to pursuing potential clients.
Better yet, the people who come to us via Google and other search engines are people we know are looking for the services we provide. This may sound obvious, but when people are looking for a website design company simply type website design company into their favorite search engine.
What do they find when they do that search? THIS
How many salespeople would it take to drive that kind of interest to our company? More than you could imagine. Our top level placement in search not only brings us traffic and leads, it also pre-approves us as a company that understands online marketing.
Before the advent of the Internet, the selling process was heavily labor intensive. Your sales team would:
- Identify leads
- Contacts leads
- Follow-up with leads
- And, hopefully close the sale
At each stage of the process, potential leads were lost. Many potential leads were annoyed that you were bothering them with a cold-call. Some of the calls were made to the right company, but not to the right person. Others were made to the right person, but the call was made at a time when the potential client was not immediately looking for your products or services.
Even the sales that were “closed” by the salesperson came at a price that didn’t merit the ROI.
Today, Google and other key search engines streamline the sales process, making it cheaper, more immediate and self-targeting:
- Clients are looking for you… not the other way around
- Clients are looking for your products and services NOW
- Clients will get in contact with the companies that jump out at them… the ones that show up high on the first page of search results
It’s hard to think of a business that couldn’t benefit from a high-level placement on a search engine results page:
- Professionals: When people are looking for a New York tax lawyer, they can ask 10 friends for referrals or they can have dozens of New York tax lawyers at their fingertips in a matter of seconds on Google
- Retail outlets: If someone is looking where they can buy a specific item of clothing online (i.e. a Gucci scarf), they no longer have to walk through a store to find it. If your online store is near the top of the search results, you are very close to making a sale.
- Restaurants: No matter how popular your restaurant is, you should always welcome new customers, especially tourists, who might not know the great restaurants in your city. If you had a steakhouse in Chicago, wouldn’t you want to be seen at or near the top of this page?
- Large companies: Many large companies feel that search engine optimization is not necessary since their brands are so well known. The fact is, online purchasers can often be impulsive. If your company shows up a few spots ahead of your competition, that can make the difference between which one gets the sales.
While search engine marketing is only one tool in a company’s overall marketing and advertising plan, it should be considered an integral part of the plan.