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How easy is it for your customers; whether that’s your candidates, clients or possible talent to start a dialogue or a conversation with you?
Well, that’s the topic of today’s podcast and it’s something that isn’t mentioned often but the subject of today is marketing and sales friction and it’s something… It’s a bit of phenomena that’s happening at the moment particularly with our online world. So I’m going to talk a little bit more about it and how it relates to you and your recruitment company. So join me on the other side.
So today’s really interesting topic is all about marketing and sales friction and how that might occur. And it’s become quite topical recently to talk about it particularly online with all the sort of online retail stores – where you go along and buy things online. Everyone seems to be buying everything online in theory. Not actually quite true. However, we can learn an awful lot from the big boys in retail and in online e-commerce platforms in how we might market out business. How we can interact with our customers.
Because you’re actually face-to-face with somebody, it’s much easier isn’t it to convert them or to persuade them that your recruitment company or in our case, a marketing company is the sort of company that they should be working with. Now, imagine when you are online it’s not quite as easy because you don’t have that face-to-face interaction. So this is where companies try and create an environment that minimizes that friction that happens just before a sale happens.
So let me give you a couple of examples. One which you obviously know very well. It’s a place that I seem to spend my entire life and that’s Amazon and another one called HealthSpan and HealthSpan is a place where you can buy multivitamin tablets, cod liver oil, whatever you want. Fabulous website and very good customer service as well but we’ll come on to that one in a second. But Amazon, one of my favourite places to hang out… it’s the old one click sale that very… I spend a fortune… Well, I seem to spend a fortune on Amazon.
I’m an avid reader and believe it or not, I don’t even possess a kindle. How antiquated is that? I just live the feel of books and everything else but you know, it’s not uncommon for me to read book a week easily. Sometimes more and many of them are business related books. So I’m always on Amazon and what is wonderful is I just get the name, go on, look for it and its incredibly easy.
We also have Prime. Isn’t Prime good? You pay so much per year, in fact they are doing a bit of a naughty thing at the moment but I won’t get into that too much… But with Prime, what happens is we pay a fee and therefore all our postage is free so I’m doing a bit of advertising here for Amazon. So of course you can buy most things on Amazon. You can buy anything from fridges, freezers to books or whatever else you want and they make it incredibly easy.
So why do they create that environment of friction free selling? Well, first of all, their search engine, the Amazon search engine is incredibly quick. Straightaway, you are presented with nice images of what you want to buy. In the case of a book, sometimes you can flip over the pages and you have reviews. So straightaway you have reviews that you can look at and you can make an assessment on. For start up, how many reviews has it got? The more reviews it has, well, that’s a bit of a tick.
So there’s little friction on Amazon and what they will also do of course is they will tell you what other people have bought. So for instance a while ago, I was buying some video equipment for a client. I was having a look and I couldn’t remember the name of this bit of stuff that basically you plug into the side of it and what was wonderful was Amazon actually told me what I needed to buy. No friction, nothing. And it was very easy… click, click, click, click, click and they got it delivered home and delivered within 24 hours… easy.
I talked about this other company HealthSpan which is a place online where you can buy vitamins and all sorts of stuff there and again, great looking website, very easy to buy. They so some very interesting things around pricing and what was interesting was on a Saturday morning I attempted to buy some vitamin tablets and my… something happened with the orders… It was going through… so I rang them up and spoke to two pleasant people, both of whom had the same story which we are going to come on to in a moment.
So you think about, how does that extrapolate to, if you like, true B to B (B2B) Business to business marketing and particularly as a recruitment company? How can you minimise friction? Well, I think the first thing is make yourself easy to find online. And even in today and I’m recording this in 2014, the first half of the year, there are still recruitment companies online that are very challenging to find.
So A, yes we all know about search engine optimisation and keywords. But you know, the key thing to do is to get found for you r brand name. Have a blog on your site make it easy for people to find your website. Make it easy for people to find your LinkedIn profile.
Now something that I have mentioned on these podcasts before is that you know, make sure that you have claimed all your social media channels because if someone is searching for Spencer Recruitment then you know, you need to have a Facebook page that is going to get found. Because it’s the classic scenario of no one wants to walk into an empty restaurant. It’s the same when it comes to finding people online.
If someone can find 4 or 5 different links your website, maybe your Facebook page, maybe your LinkedIn profile page, your 123 page, whatever else that you have, or wherever else there are links about you and your organisation, that is a great credibility tick that is very positive for you. And it reduces that friction.
Now the next thing that can cause a bit of a challenge sometimes is people’s websites and I have been on some really interesting ones of late and the thing that you have to remember is though from a design perspective, they can look incredibly edgy and lovely of course created by designers who generally very nice lovely people. However, think about who is visiting your website.
Think about the average age of that surfer and what exactly is it they are looking for. You know if they are a candidate, they would want to get to the candidate page on your website. It needs to be clearly visible. Don’t start making it a wacky name because people aren’t going to work out what it means. Remember you’ve got literally seconds to grab somebody’s attention.
You need to have some really clear navigation. You know – home, about us, clients, candidates, sectors and testimonials, contact us, blog or news page whatever that might be… visible. You know the lovely drop down menus that you can have so somebody clicks on services you might offer and underneath it you might have candidates, clients, whatever that might be… the sectors that you’re working.
So you know, somebody clicks over sectors so they know it’s like engineer, its manufacturing, it’s whatever else, you know, its aerospace engineering. Whatever it is the sector that you are in, and then make sure that that’s clearly visible. Make sure that your navigation all works on your website and make sure that you have some nice images there, that it’s very easy for people to understand who you are and exactly what can you do for them.
Now quite often there isn’t enough information on websites and you know, there are two schools of thought here that well, “I don’t want to put lots of information on there because I want them to pick up the phone and ring me.” But you know there’s a fine balance here. They have to know… the person that lands on your website, whether that’s a client who wants you to fill some placements for them or whether it’s a candidate. They need to be able to know exactly what their next action is and you need to guide them through. So you know, make sure you got some video on there… video, very engaging.
You know, I’m recording this. This is a podcast. People can come along and listen to it. It engages people because it’s got that audio thing going on. Images – images of things that are related to your market. Maybe even images of you might be useful as well so that the person knows who they are dealing with. You know, “Do this group of people look like a nice bunch of people?”
There is a technique that we use in the online world which is basically heat mapping and you can tell where on a website someone spends a lot of time and it’s really interesting because one of the things, and this is something from your LinkedIn perspective as well because people look at your image, your face. And it’s the same on websites.
In fact, one of the most visited pages on our own website is our ‘about us’ and ‘testimonials’ because people want to have a look and see, you know, so where’s the credibility piece for, you know Denise Oyston and Sharon Newey. You know, people will be looking at that for you as well because people want some proof; they want some validation that you are the right person.
So this is where you can minimise all that friction. One of the things… hopefully by the time you listen to this, our brand new website will be up and you’ll see that we have an FAQ page so people can ask questions. Well people do ask us questions and we basically written a page out and we’ve answered their questions and some of the things that they might need to know about. Now the other thing, it’s gotten a little bit off piece in the marketing angle but maybe, maybe not, is to not have mixed messages.
So make sure that all your content is aligned and if people pick up the phone, make sure that your consultants are fully trained and that they don’t get a different message from different people.
I had a very interesting experience that worked to our advantage with a certain phone provider last week which has resulted in; I’m looking at it now, a brand-new iPhone that hasn’t cost me anything sitting on my desk. And uhmm very interesting… We actually spoke to two people and both gave us a different story and one gave us a better deal. Now yeah, that worked out very well for us in our situation. However, what happens if somebody’s ringing your recruitment company and they’re getting two different stories. So just think about that when it comes to sales and marketing friction.
So that’s the subject of today’s podcast. It’s a quick one but I thought it might be useful for you to have a little thought about, as we are moving into the year. We’re almost up to the end of the first quarter. We may be reflecting on what we have achieved so far.
What barriers maybe have we put in place ourselves? So you know, just have a mental check through. You know, Google yourself online. Can you be found? Can your consultants be found? Can their LinkedIn profiles appear? What about your website? Is it looking crisp and clean and demonstrating the brand image and the type of company that you are, that you want to portray? Is that happening? What’s the navigation like? Does it work? Have you gotten any broken links or bits on your website that isn’t working? You know, do you need to get a new website? Is it responsive? Can people on a mobile device find you? Is that something that you maybe need to consider? And you know, what process do you have in place? What’s your candidate journey? What’s your client journey? – once they actually do pick up the phone.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it and this is Denise from superfastrecruitment.co.uk. Remember you can always head over to our website. You can download our five strategies and watch all these videos and listen to these podcasts over there as well. So this is Denise saying bye for now!
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This podcast was hosted by Denise Oyston. Visit us on Google+.
As an ambitious recruitment organisation, THE marketing strategy to master is email marketing. It will consistently deliver both candidates and clients.