Imagine a salesperson who sells 24 hours 7 days a week. They do this 365 days a year and have a reach of over 2.4 billion prospects. They never get sick, have a holiday or ask for a pay rise. They even work at their best 100% of the time and can pitch to more than one person simultaneously.
It’s safe to say that you would instantly employ them.
That salesperson is your website.
Your 'Forgotten' Salesperson
Oddly, for many companies, the promise is far from reality. Often it’s not because there is anything fundamentally wrong with the website it’s because the business failed to do anything with it. (This is similar to buying a Bentley and then leaving it on the drive because the car doesn’t fill itself up with petrol.)
Daft though this sounds, it happens quite a bit and it’s partly because websites aren't tangible physical things. And by way of an illustration, if, on her way to her office, the Managing Director kept tripping up over a £5,000 piece of machinery that had never been plugged in it wouldn't be long before questions were being asked and heads were rolling. But it is not unusual to find £5,000 invested in a website which then gets forgotten about - they forget because it's not physically under their nose.
This can happen because the website is viewed as something that needs to ‘get done’ so they can move on to the next task – it’s a sort of ‘checkbox’ mentality. Successful websites don’t work like that. Unfortunately, a website owner can’t build it, forget about it and expect it to be profitable. In fact, you’ll find that the closer your website is to the heart of your business activity the greater its profitability. Conversely, the further it’s pushed to one side the less successful it will be.
a valued website will become a valuable website securing its ability to sell for you now and in the years ahead
The way to succeed is to treat your website as though it were just as important as the top salesperson in your business.
Your Best Salesperson
Your website will often be the first place people go to find out about your business, so it stands to reason that you would want to put your best foot forward to impress your visitors. Now, imagine you were meeting them face-to-face, you would want your best salesperson on the job. They would have a title giving them a sense of their place in the organisation and a certain amount of respect. They’d be paid a salary. And they would receive ongoing training to hone their skills and earn more money for your company.
If a salesperson automatically commands all these things doesn’t it also follow that your website should? Remember that your website is selling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is always promoting your business and can be seen by every single one of the two billion people online. Plus it is often the first experience many will have of your business.
So, it too should have a position in the business (i.e. everyone should recognise its value). It should invest in it regularly (by spending time and/or money improving it). It should have the relevant people trained to use it properly (regular updates, knowing what its capabilities are, etc.).
It may seem strange anthropomorphising a website but it helps give you a perspective on its value and how it should be treated. If you start thinking of your website as a person in its own right then you'll find that your thinking and behaviour towards it becomes more positive and action-driven. You’ll become the website’s advocate, mentor and assistant and its corporate value will soar.
A valued website will become a valuable website and secure its ability to sell for you now and in the years ahead.