Every week we talk to potential customers about their online presence. Sometimes we contact the potential customers, and sometimes they get in touch with us. Often there’s a very interesting pattern that shows up when folks contact us. And it usually goes down the same path every time.
With my most recent inquiry it struck me. What if people shopped for a new car the way they shop for a new website. What would that coversation look like? Well, what follows here is exactly what the conversation would sound like.
A painful conversation
The phone rings at a local Nissan sales office. “Nissan sales, this is Dave. How can I help you?”
“Hi there. I was searching the Internet looking into buying a new car. I found your number, which is why I’m calling you. I was wondering what a new car costs……..”
Dave pauses for a moment. It’s an odd start to a sales call. “Well, what type of car do you want? We offer a variety of models for sale.”
This isn’t quite the answer the caller was looking for. “I’m just trying to find out what a new car costs. You know, what’s the average new car cost?”
The salesman is a little confused at this point. “Well, there’s a range of prices depending on the make and model of the car you’re interested in. We’ve got basic packages for our Versas, we’ve got off road ready Xterras, we just recently received the new diesel Titans…….”
Now the caller is frustrated. “Makes and models? Look, I just want to know the price for a new car. Whats a Versa, Xterra, and Titan? I wasn’t asking about those. I just need to know the price of a new car. Can you tell me that, or should I call someone else? It doesn’t sound like you want my business if you’re not willing to answer a basic question about price.”
Dave takes the phone away from his ear for a moment to stare at it. This can’t be a serious call, can it? “Sir, we have a wide variety of cars. We have 2 door cars, 4 door cars, 4 wheel drive cars, 2 wheel drive trucks, 4 wheel drive trucks. Depending on what you’re looking for the prices will vary. What is it you’re looking for exactly?”
Completely frustrated the caller responds. “What I’m looking for is the price of a new car. I guess you can’t help me with that. Geeze, my neighbor just got a new vehicle to tow his Airstream. A Dodge, with a big pickup bed and a diesel engine. I’m thinking something like his……”
“Sir, you called a Nissan dealership. We sell Nissans. Maybe you’d like to come in to our shop to see what we have?”
“I can’t believe you’re not going to give me a price. What’s your mananger’s phone number? You’re not very good at your job.”
In a final effort to restore some sanity to his world, Dave offers an example. “Well, since you said your neighbor just got a new Dodge truck, I’ll tell you about the new diesel Titan. It starts at $50,000 and up. It’s a four door……..” Dave gets cut off at that point.
“$50,000? You’ve got to be kidding. I was thinking more like $10,000. Never mind, I’ll keep shopping. Ask a simple question and get a run around…….”
The phone clicks off.
I’m sorry to say this, but I’m not joking
Every week I receive e-mails and phone calls from potential customers. Every call seems like they’re reading from a script. They want to know the price of a new website. When I start to explain that every website is different, and that there’s more to their online presence beyond, “just a website,” I can hear the frustration building. They simply want a price for a new site.
Cars come in all shapes and sizes. Fuel efficient cars, hybrid battery powered cars, fun two seaters where you can take the top down, serious 4×4 off road vehicles. And depending on what you want the price will vary. The same thing can be said for houses, insurance plans, medical care, groceries, and more. There isn’t a blanket price for “food” out there guys. It depends on what you want. And the same can be said for websites.
Can you imagine the phone call to a restaurant where the caller simply asks, “What’s the price for food?” Yeah, that would go over well.
Do you just want an online business card? Do you want an e-commerce solution where you can sell products online? How about security & backups? Is it your intention to reach a global market and make visitors want your product? These are all questions that we have to ask before we can even give potential customers a quote. We need to learn about what it is you want to achieve, and then we can determine the time and effort it will take us to deliver a solution that is a fit for you.