When web agencies deliver immediate value upfront, it means more sales, but it’s costly and time-consuming – until now.
One of the biggest obstacles web agencies face is how to stand out in the crowd. Because, as you know, our industry is very competitive. When a prospect is speaking to us about their project, we know, they’re going to make at least 2-3 other phone calls before they decide on who they want to work with. For years our company struggled knowing that we might invest 30-60 minutes talking with a prospect and possibly never hear from them again. It became our mission to find a better way to utilize that precious little time we have to make a lasting impression, and ultimately convert more prospects into clients.
During our journey to close more deals we found the three most important things that prospects consider before making a decision on who to work with aside from price are:
1. Value (The sooner the better.)
2. Trust (Why should I trust your company?)
3. Expertise (Prove you can do what you say you can do.)
After we discovered our prospects’ primary decision making drivers the question became:
“How can we address all three concerns without losing profitability?”
After a lot of time, money, and effort we discovered the answer: Actionable Website Audits.
Surpass Expectations with Instant Value
Prospects expect to be sold a promise of future value, rather than being offered value during the first interaction. Understanding our prospects’ expectations, and surpassing them by giving them value during the first meeting automatically set us apart from our competition. We stopped forecasting and telling our prospects how we would make them more profitable in the future. Instead, we came to the table with tremendous value in the form of our web audits. Providing value taps into the strong human desire of reciprocity and most importantly, it builds trust.
Why Website Audits?
Clear, concise, easy to understand web audits started closing deals for us in several ways. First, they delivered tremendous value without any investment or commitment from our prospects. Website audits allowed us to show very specifically how we were going to help them, rather than hypothesize about what areas they may or may not need to improve upon, and how we might be able to help them.
We show our prospects, in an easy to understand way, specific actionable data on the areas that mattered most to their website and business online. The big four included:
- User Experience – Is their site user friendly? Does is look professional? How about the headlines and copy? Mobile friendly? Does the branding work? How is the navigation and images and video layout?
- Conversion Optimization – Is their site optimized for sign-up and sales? Where is the phone number? How about their primary call to action? Do they have the best lead capture forms in place? Is their unique selling proposition (USP) clear?
- Performance & Security – Do they know how vulnerable their website is to hackers? How is their page speed? What about the overall site security and browser caching and compression?
- SEO/ Online Visibility – Can their prospective customers find them online? Are their pages optimized to rank well? Is their keyword even used in the page title? How about their meta title and descriptions?
By performing a website audit, we were able to easily demonstrate our expertise about the factors that make their website valuable. When we started presenting this data to our prospects we became an authority and expert in the eyes of our prospects. Their trust in our company and expertise increased substantially. When the initial meeting with our prospects ended they left with valuable information they could take immediate action on. We thought, if nothing else, because of our approach of delivering value upfront vs. trying to sell them they would remember us when it came time to make their final decision, and most often than not they do.
The Best Kind of Website Audit
The best kind of website audit, is the audit that is easily understood. It’s the audit that gives the most information in the easiest digestible form. We noticed that most audits were very in-depth, highly technical, tailored for web professionals and not to our typical prospect who for us was the marketing director or business owner. We knew we needed to completely revamp the traditional website audit, to make it benefit oriented, and present it in a way that a business owner or marketing team could easily understand and value.
One of the biggest problems our prospects faced was a lack of clarity. Most businesses struggle with clarity to some degree, whether it’s with their overall message, company identity, or roles within the company. We discovered that providing a CLEAR PICTURE of what they needed to improve upon with their website and digital presence offered them tremendous value and resonated with them most. We gave them an instant snapshot of their business in a way they had never seen before. It was something they couldn’t NOT see, and if they were in denial it woke them up. We designed the information to be as accessible as possible by featuring:
- CEO style Presentations in an easy to follow PowerPoint like format
- Easy to understand stats and charts to paint a clear picture of the prospect’s condition
- A clear map of specific and actionable solutions the prospect needs to consider
- Easily personalized service approaches for each unique client prioritized by impact to the business
With our website audits we are able to see what’s right and wrong with a prospects website and present that information with them in a way that they can understand and take action on. It’s an elegant way to accomplish the fundamental goal of getting a prospect to know, like, and trust us.
We Finally Stood Out
Our new approach of delivering tremendous value upfront to our prospects paid off big time! We no longer dread the initial meeting with a new prospect. There’s no more anxious feelings of hoping they like us enough to call back. We know they’re going to like us because we’re giving them something of extraordinary value right away. The result has been shorter, more prospect focused meetings, and best of all – more clients. Our project close percentages went from slightly over 30% to over 60%.
When we first started offering our web audits we were thrilled with the prospect conversion rates, but not so thrilled about how much time it was taking us to generate the audits. It was taking several hours to generate each audit. We needed to find a more efficient way to generate the audits that were helping us so much. Through trial and error, and a lot of time and money, we eventually created an application to help us create the audits. Initially it was a resource used only by us, but over time more and more of our agency friends demanded access to it, so it ended up becoming a SaaS, My Web Audit.
We now create beautiful, easy to understand, engaging audits in a manner of minutes that prospects love. In turn that helps us provide tremendous value quickly, build trust, and ultimately close more deals.