It's a common complaint by sales people that the company website isn't good enough.

But really, do buyers use websites that much?

When we started DLA Ignite, my business partner, Adam Gray, (he's more technical than me) only spent a day and half spinning up a wordpress website and that lasted us 18 months as a business.

At that 18 month point, Adam came to me and said the website does not reflect our current proposition, so we decided to rebuild it.  I was told this was a "5 minute job" so I said (for a laugh).  Let's not forget we are a start-up, "why don't we take the website down and put up a message that the website is under construction and if people want more information then they should contact me."  So we did.

The "5 minute job" turned into; us not having a website for 18 months and we certainly don't think it made any impact to business.  Why?

Because our audience is on social and they know where to find us.

Think about how we use websites to buy today

Think about it.  If you wanted to go to Spain on holiday, you might look at the hotel website, but it would only be cursory look.  You would go onto social and look at the reviews at the photos the people who stayed there and they had uploaded.  That is what we know the REAL hotel is like.

We look at the 5 star reviews, but we also look at the 1 and 2 star reviews.  Let's not forget, when we do this, here we are on social, allowing complete strangers influence our buying behaviour. 

This is the same, regardless if it's a hotel in Spain or a B2B product

What can you do if your website is shite

1.  Get around to re-writing your LinkedIn profile.  It should not be a CV or copied from your website, this is your digital identity and should reflect you.  Who you are, your skills, your beliefs, who you are as a human.  Linkedin is your website it's up 24 hours a day, 366 days a year.  

It is not your companies Linkedin profile and it should not be a brochure for them, your buyer does not care.  Don't forget, when somebody comes to your Linkedin profile they will make decisions, "do I trust this person?" "should we place an order with this person?" "does this person look like an expert?" People buy people not companies or brochures.

The mistake we all make in sales is we forget that we are experts. We tell ourselves that the only thing between us and our competition is our unique selling propositions (USPs).  But your prospects are not experts, they cannot see the difference between you and your competition.  Unless you position yourself as different and I can tell you that most websites are the same.

2. The second thing you need is a network.  All of your prospects, all of your customers - you should be connected to them.  Don't forget, having a network is a great way to "wave" and nurture them every day.  Don't forget, your network is about conversations.  Each connection request should not be "I'm your sales person .." nobody cares.  This is a social network, be human, be interested in the other person.  Connect and have a conversation, and please don't pitch!

3. Finally you need content. This is how you can nurture your network.  The best content is written by you, share your insight, you know what business issues your clients have, so write about them.  This is not about giving adverts of your products, this is about giving that insight. 

Think about what you do on Facebook, you create micro niche content; content that easy to digest. 

If you look at IBMs Linkedin page here, they have 11.6 m followers, the posts about people get engagement, the posts about products do not.  Now I cannot believe that I'm cleverer than the people at IBM, but they don't seem to have worked this out.

There is brand content and there is relationship building content and they are very different.

If you have all of this in place, your company does not need a website.  OK, you might need one to show you exist as a business, but most websites are just brochures from an age of broadcast marketing.  They all say "buy our product because we are great" and all companies say that.

You don't need a website (as we proved) but you do need to be on social and you do need to have a strategic plan and a methodology. 

What do you mean that we need a social selling plan?

If I told you that our social selling and influence program is about "change" it might surprise you.

We don't do one day seminars.  Or hints and tips sessions.  Why? They don't work and you are wasting your money on them.

If I need to lose weight and get fit, going to the gym for an hour or a day is not going to do me any good.  I need to go three times a week and change my diet.  This is about a new way of life!

If you want to understand what social selling is then contact me or any of the DLA ignite team. They are all able to explain the business impact our social selling methodology (I don’t speak for everybody else in the industry) can make on your business in terms of profit, revenue and competitive advantage.

This is done, not by talking theory, but walking you through business case study after case study. We think letting other businesses speak is so powerful especially when the audience might be cynical or unbelieving. 

Contact me here or one of the DLA Ignite team, you can check out the team as the are Linkedin to our Linkedin company page, which is here.