Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

Successful Prospecting

You are obviously on my site because you are interested in building a successful website. It doesn’t matter if your site is just to provide information to people or if you are trying to sell something to people to make money. There is a simple art that you need to learn that will help guarantee your online success, which is prospecting. Just finding customers is no longer enough, you need to know how to find your customers, the people that are interested in what it is you have to offer.

With that being said you also need to know that there is a right and wrong way to go about prospecting. Just as if you own a brick and mortar store you cannot walk out on the sidewalk and grab people by the arm dragging them kicking and screaming into your store… you can’t force people online to come to your site either. Though there are people that do try to do that and we have all been their victim at one time or another.

Today though, you are going to learn the right way to prospect, by first learning how to talk with your prospects. Obviously you can’t call them on the phone and say, “Hey check out what I have to say here.” While it may seem backwards to you that I am first going to cover talking to the prospect before I cover the right way to prospect… that is because the vast majority of people would rather know what to do… and maybe worry about why they are doing it later.

There is an old saying that when you are talking to people you should smile. I already said that you weren’t really going to be able to drag them to your site off the street or call them on the phone… so how are you suppose to smile? As odd as it may sound, when you are writing smile while you are writing. It doesn’t matter if you are writing an email or creating the content for your blog, smile. The reason for the smile is simple, the reader… your prospect… is going to be pick up on the fact that you are smiling. Your content will come across more sincere, be more positive and more inviting.

Secondly, never under any circumstances assume that you know what your prospect is going to ask or say. Forget the. “I know… you have to be thinking…” First it makes you look presumptuous, secondly you give the impression that you are better than the person you are trying to do business with because you already know everything they could possibly be thinking. Take a moment to read a full email, if by chance you get to talk to the person on the phone, listen to what they have to say. Sometimes a person starts by saying one thing, but what they really mean is hidden under what they are saying.

The most important part of prospecting is being yourself. There really isn’t any point in trying to be someone else. While Gatorade may have made a killing back in the day with “I wanna be like Mike,” the best thing you can do for your reputation online is to be yourself. If you are creating a site that sells affiliate products, over time those products are going to change… you are the constant though. You want to be what people remember and trust.

This now brings us to the art of finding your prospects. These are the people you are going to market to, whether you are selling a product, selling a business idea or simply offering information they could use to make their business or their life better. For example, take a look at my site. My specialty is web development and everything related to it. I wanted to create a one stop source for other people like me that are looking to start a website, start an online business, or find another way to make a profit online. While I spent years and countless hours scouring the Internet looking for useful information, finding success through trial and error… I wanted to help eliminate some of that frustration for other people. I don’t go out marketing to people that are looking for ways to improve the way their car runs. You aren’t going to find links here about “green living” and you aren’t going to find me on sites like that. I know where my “prospects” are. By knowing who my prospects are and where they will be I can make the most out of my marketing efforts and get a better return for my investment of time and money.

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | General | , , | Leave a comment

Protecting Your Customers

If your site makes sales and or requests other sensitive information from your customers it is vitally important that you take every step possible to protect that information. There are two huge reasons as to why you need to make sure that you are protecting your visitors.

First if your security is lax and hackers are able to access your site and steal your customers’ credit card information you will be held liable. The legal fees that you will face will be enough to not only ruin your business but possibly your personal assets as well.

Your reputation is also at stake. You have spent countless hours building a solid reputation to gain visitors and customers… are you prepared to see that all go out the window because your customer’s information was stolen.

Take the following steps to make sure that you are protecting your customers and yourself.

Make sure your system is protected. If you have a wireless connection on your computer it needs to be password protected. You should also scan all of your computers for viruses on a routine basis. Check with your host to make sure that they are hacker-safe as well as PCI compliant. You should also make sure that you are the only person that has access to the customer’s private data. Even if only one credit card number gets out, that is one too many.

The data that you have stored on your computer should also be encrypted. Finally make sure that you secure your connection with an SSL certificate. You can tell that a site has an SSL certificate by looking at the web address. Sites that have “https” over “http” have the SSL certificate.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | General | | Leave a comment