SCORE

Nurturing sales leads worked a bit differently a few short decades ago. You’d flip through your Rolodex, set up elaborate lunch meetings or even drop by for an in-person sales pitch.

Now, we meet our customers in the middle — if not in our stores or offices, then more often in the shared space of the internet. And that means rethinking your sales strategy. Is your online presence doing the work of nurturing leads for you?

Since you can’t possibly connect with everyone who may visit your website, you have to prune your website and social media accounts to best represent what it is you are trying to sell — and also look like a trustworthy place to do business.

These three methods are easy ways to get on the customer’s good side before they decide to buy from your small business:

Offer amazing customer service from the start

Nothing brings down an online shopping experience like having a question and not finding the answer. Does your company go above and beyond to provide online customer service before a customer buys?

If you sell apparel, do you offer size charts? If you sell technology, are specs and compatibility clear in each listing? If you offer spa packages, do you outline how those packages can and cannot be used?

Are your business email, phone number, and social media links easy to find? Can you offer a live chat for visitors who want answers quickly?

It may still take a few visits for a customer to make the decision to purchase, but if you can provide as much information as possible from the start, they’ll feel more confident making a decision.

Become an expert at Google Analytics

What are your customers doing once they reach your website? Which pages are they visiting? Are they taking the action you want them to, whether it’s signing up for your email newsletter or actually clicking through to make a purchase?

By learning Google Analytics, you can gain a better understanding of how your customers operate — and how you can adjust your website to convert more leads. If you’re nervous about tackling this tech tool, take our free online workshop on how to use Google Analytics. You’ll be analyzing your web traffic data in no time at all.

Be conscious of your social media presence

Trying to be on every social media platform — every day — would be ridiculous. Instead, think of your social media presence with a critical eye.

When you post, does the tone or language match your branding? Do your website and social media accounts complement each other? The two should be equally professional in an effort to convince potential customers that you take your business seriously. You can still have fun on social media, sure. But strategize so that your presence is always professional and fits the goals of your business.

How else can you nurture leads through your website or ecommerce platform? Talk with a SCORE mentor and make a plan to increase sales and earn more for your business.