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Monday, November 14, 2005

Are You Making This Foolish Mistake About The Internet?

Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads, asks in his Monday Morning Memo whether you need a web site for a local business.

He asks "how many months has it been since you went looking for information in the yellow pages? How many minutes has it been since you asked your favorite search engine?"

The answer my friend is that you can see that people are searching all the time. He says that web sites are the most overlooked advertising form there is. I agree, although I do think the USA is actually ahead of people in the rest of the world.

He says that every small, owner-operated business needs one. Think how many businesses that covers!

But it doesn't mean that everyone needs to take orders online. What he's saying is that people are moving more to the internet than the yellow pages.

As the web develops further and broadband becomes standard the web will be theonly directory people need to use to find companies, services, products and people.

That means that the information you have on a great yellow pages ad needs to go into your web site.

You need to make getting your service easy for your prospects. Do you think it's easier if all they need to do is to look on the Internet and see what you do and how you can help them?

Do you think it's easier if they can order online from you?

Do you think it's easier if they can hide behind a computer screen to talk to you?

Why do you think catalogue selling used to do so well? For the same reasons the ease and comfort of shopping from your favourite chair without the hassle of a pushy salesperson.

The point that Roy makes is as follows:

"Don't think for a moment that your customers aren't already online."

I believe this point is hugely, vastly important but viewed complacently by many and as more and more prospects get online its going to become more and more important.

Look at the tracks we're all leaving all over the Internet.

Search on "Jim Symcox" on Google and you get the articles I've posted, the forums I posted to years ago on Deming, my web site and this blog.

It's dangerous to your profits to assume your prospects are "too old", "too rich", "too poor", "too technophobic" to be online. Because you won't see them come to your site, but they'll visit. Whether they do anything while they're there depends on you and what you're doing on your site.

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