Design Website For Pre-Selling
Copyright 2004 Sanjay Johari
How do your feel when salespersons knock at your door at odd times trying to sell something you are not interested in? I feel pity for these people who have to toil from house to house facing rejection at most of the places. And yet they wear a forced smile as they start their rehearsed sales speech. When they come to me at most inconvenient time (for me) and insist on selling when I do not want to talk to them, I find it, if you will pardon me, irritating; although I do my best not to show it as I turn them away as politely as I can.
Websites which have only sales pitch as their main content are very much like these salespersons who arrive when you are not looking for them. Visitors go web browsing primarily looking for specific information and not sales offer. When a visitor arrives at a website which offers information she finds useful and solutions to her problems, she is likely to visit again.
A website should not be designed only for selling something, though that may be purpose for setting up the website in the first place. The website should provide information and commentaries which can pre-sell the product to the visitor. It should attract targeted visitors interested in the content. Pre-selling arouses interest in the product prompting the visitor to visit again. She will try to satisfy herself with information provided, testimonials, bio of the webmaster, links to related sites and other considerations before she will actually buy the product. In a way, pre-selling tries to guide her in this direction and makes it easier for her to make a decision.
People are more inclined to buy what they "want" instead of what they "need". Once they set their minds on buying something, they look for reasons (or call it excuses) why they should buy, only to satisfy themselves, though the decision for the purchase has already been taken. Pre-selling provides reasons which they find "compelling" enough to part with money.
The website which has valuable content the visitor is looking for produces a pleasant experience for her. By pre-selling she is made to develop trust in the website and the webmaster and will look at the recommendations with an open mind. Once the visitor decides to buy, the website should ensue that she does not face any problems in making actual purchase. The links provided for the order page should work properly and the whole process should be kept simple. It will be very unfortunate if the prospective buyer calls off the purchase only because she finds that the ordering process does not work.
How will your website appear to your visitor? That is an important question
which should be asked often. Try to visualize yourself as a first-time visitor
to your site. Then see you site as if you looking at it for the first time.
How does it appear? Does your headline create a curiosity? Are you drawn towards
the main content or other features of your site grab your attention? Is your
main content "readable", interesting and not a sermon?
How far does it succeed in pre-selling?
Ask your friends to see your website and give their opinion on these and other questions. Website building is a dynamic process and is never complete or perfect. But whatever changes are made, they should enhance its pre-selling ability. It is good idea to actually test the website after changes are made. Any change which tends to reduce the traffic needs to be modified. The changes should gradually refine the website to attract more visitors.
Pre-selling should be seen as a service to satisfy the needs of the visitors who arrive at the website. It should be considered as the first step before actual sale. Pre-selling forms a bond, an understanding built on trust between the seller and the prospective buyer which eases the process of actual sale.