Have you viewed your business card and website with your prospective clients’ eyes lately?
Over the past year I’ve noticed a trend in business cards having minimal details. Websites are often the same. A name, perhaps a business name, an email address (or, on their website a contact form) and a mobile phone number. That’s it. Often the email address is not a domain address, i.e. they’re using their ISP email, gmail, hotmail or similar.
When considering whether I want to do business with someone I like to check them out. I’ll visit their web page (if I can find one), I’ll Google their name to see if they’re on Linkedin, Facebook or elsewhere and check to see what other information I can find out about them. Frequently I’m looking for services or resources that are local to me. The only thing that will make me know they’re local is that I met them at a local business event, but if I met them online, say via Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere often I won’t know where they are located.
Recently I met a lady who told me she was interested in finding out more about Virtual Assistants. She did tell me her suburb and gave me her card. But when I looked at her business card, and her website, neither one gave a postal address or even her suburb. Although there was a phone number listed it was a mobile and that doesn’t give any clues to location either. And yet she comes to your home or office to provide her service. If I hadn’t met her personally but came across her website I’d have no idea if she was near enough to me for me to want to engage her.
Someone who contacted me recently via Facebook asked me to like her Facebook page. I was interested in finding out more about what she does as a portrait photographer. Lovely work. But nothing to indicate where she is located or how to contact her other than through a PM. If you’re running a business and have a presence on Facebook you should be giving people access to contact information, particularly if your service or product is something that’s ‘local’. And that includes the URL for your website.
A contact form on a website is not sufficient. Sure, you can collect people’s contact details but if you don’t provide yours on the website then people are often going to move on. Not everyone wants to fill in a form on a website. Sometimes they like to give you a call and ask questions, or if you have a business where your location is important, i.e. photography, people will move on if they think you might not be near them.
The above is not only important for Virtual Assistants but also their clients. And their VAs can do them a great service monitoring their contactability and ensuring that all forms of contact are available on their business cards and their online presence.
So, while the new year is still young, why not start reviewing the contact information you make available for prospective clients and update it quickly? Oh, and don’t forget to include your signature block for email too. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to email people asking for their phone number or address if we’re organising a meeting because they just sign off with a name and the email address they’re using doesn’t reflect their web address.