The Many Ways Your Business Can Be Found By Customers

Chauncey: Welcome back to the Being Found Show. We are talking about what it means to be found, how your customers are finding you and where you need to be available for customers in this new buying environment. Let’s start with social media, it seems to be the new Yellow Pages with the added benefit of community involvement.

Jake:  Right. Social media has the community word-of-mouth thing going on where people have always said, “Hey neighbor, who would you suggest for carpet cleaning?”

Chauncey: Right, It’s a prime example of, “Who should I use? I want to buy a doodad. Where should I buy my doodad?” Somebody comes in and says, “You should buy your doodad here.” But then their five friends come in and say, “You shouldn’t buy your doodad there. That’s shady. We had a bad experience. You should buy it here.” And five more people come in and say, “Yeah, the second option is way better.” You actually have some sort of interaction to that referral.

Jake: Yeah, and that’s something Google hasn’t quite done yet. Google is great with local but I think that social media has got the community thing down pretty well.

Chauncey: Yeah. They just flopped on that Google+, which sucks. I don’t think it should have. I don’t see why they got rid of it.

Jake: Well, it did get hacked though, right? Was that part of it or was that kind of after they decided to get rid of it?

Chauncey: I don’t know. I just don’t know but I don’t see why they would … this is actually … Google+ was their second attempt into creating social. And I don’t see why they would get rid of it. I think that they would just slowly expand on it and let it be there because it was really quite functional. You could be friends with the people you were sharing your Google Docs with and you could have circles and … I don’t … I guess it really just comes down to branding and sales.

Chauncey: Okay, so another way that you can be found for your business is external marketplaces. This can be for both services and products. In the case of products, we’re dealing with like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. In the case of services, we’re dealing with like Angie’s List and stuff like that. There’s even real sort of specific ones; carpet cleaning ones, there’s The Concrete Network. There’s really niche ones that generate leads for people.

Jake: I was working with a client the other day who was saying they got a lot of leads from A Place For Mom.

Chauncey: Oh yeah.

Jake: So they ran an old folk home and A Place For Mom is a place where they …

Chauncey: Yeah I’ve seen the commercials but I didn’t actually know what A Place For Mom was. So A Place For Mom is basically a marketplace for senior living?

Jake: Yes, it’s a lead-generating site.

Chauncey: So a lot of these sites are lead-generating. That’s a prime example. That’s a great way to put it. You basically pay for those leads but you know what, anybody who is running a business and isn’t aware, you really sort of need to come up with a monetary amount that a lead is worth to you. If you are a carpet cleaner, maybe a lead is worth 20, 30 bucks. If you’re a lawyer, maybe your lead is worth 200, 500 bucks. It really sort of depends on the return and the amount of warm leads.

A cold lead is basically somebody who you reach out to that we don’t even know they want your services. A warm lead is somebody who is interested and a hot lead is somebody who wants it now.

So who’s converting and figuring out those numbers. So these lead generating marketplaces, they’ve actually done a pretty good job for the industries and they sort of figure that out. Of course, they’re trying to make a buck but they also realize that you are their industry and if they take you down well then they take themselves down.

Email lists may seem like a cold lead because you’re reaching out to them, but some people want you to find them, they want you to do all the work. They want you to come to them so when they take the time to put their name into your email list, they want to hear from you.

Jake: Or maybe you’ve been found in one place on the buying journey, but you want to remind them that you’re still there.

Chauncey: So basically, a good way to sum this up is to think about the terms of communication technologies. Think about the different ways that people like to communicate and those are basically the ways that people are found. So they like to use their laptops, they like to use the phones, they like to … What do they like to do with their phones? What do they like to do with their laptops? So on and so forth.

Jake: Text messaging is a way people are communicating alot. We’re coming up on a world where people will talk into their phone. It’ll be a text message. It will get sent to the other person and they’ll listen to their phone tell them the text message. I’m serious. This is what’s going on, yap.

Chauncey: So text is big, personally I’m a texter. I don’t want somebody to call me. When they call me, I want to know what’s going on in the first sentence. If you’re not my buddy and you’re calling me up, I hate it when a business calls me up and they’re just like, “Hey this is Janice and I’m just calling to talk to you about blah blah blah.” And they don’t even get there. They ask me how I’m doing. “Hey this is Janice from this place. How are you doing?” I’m like, “Get to the point.” I literally say, “Who are you and why are you calling me?” I know it’s horribly rude but not as rude as just calling me and not telling me why you’re calling me. So I like text. People who communicate with words out of their mouths could learn a lot from text.

Chauncey: Let’s not forget using the phone to communicate with potential customers. Of course, you always want to be available on the phone. We’ve talked on here a lot about trust factor. When I see a website and there is no phone number I’m automatically suspect. If they’re offering a service or in any way taking money and there’s no phone number for me to call up and yell at somebody who took my money, I’m suspect. So there needs to be a phone number on there and there needs to be somebody who answers that phone. If you’re an owner-operator, maybe you take that message and you make it clear, “Hey, I will get back to you immediately” but actually get back to them immediately. That’s the hard part.

Chauncey: Then the final communication tool you should consider using is chat. It is a big one. Big, big, big one. It is the new one. Basically you could be available on your website all the time. People can just pop open a little chat, “I’ve got a question.” You can answer it. You can be there to answer people’s questions immediately. Look into it. Lawyers are doing it. Anybody who has some sort of advice business, do that. Get a chat program. Talk to your web developer. Get chat on your site. 

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #65 or subscribe to our Podcast.