I have an idea for a new parlor game. But this one would be for businesses and played in a company’s common area, like a conference room.
It’s called, “What does your website say about you?” And it involves one or two rounds of players. (Don’t mix the two groups; keep them separate.)
Round one: your employees. This includes your sales team, your management team, and your service reps.
Round two: your top prospects. Get 5 people who would make perfect clients for you. They can’t have done any prior business with you.
The game rules couldn’t be simpler.
Rule #1: Every player takes a look at the company’s site for about 5 minutes. They’re encouraged to visit as many pages as possible.
Rule #2: Every player has to answer the following questions:
- What does this company do?
- What’s their #1 specialty?
- What makes them different them from their competition?
- What industries do they serve?
- Are they strictly local? Regional? National? Global?
- How big is this company?
- Who’s running the show? Are they accessible? Welcoming?
- On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being super professional, how professional is this company? Why’d you give it that grade?
- How important is quality to this company?
- How important is the client to this company?
- What sorts of clients do they have now?
- Describe the company’s personality.
- Is the company in step with the times? Support your answer.
- Does it seem like an industry leader? In what way/s?
- Is it clear to you where this company can bring value to yours?
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Can you easily find the information you’d typically seek on an industry site such as this?
- Did you encounter anything that frustrated or bugged you on this site?
- How was the overall design? Attractive? Professional or amateurish? Easy on the eyes? Fun?
- Was there any one thing missing from this site that you expected to find there, or any one thing you encountered that was a turn off?
That’s it. Just 20 questions for each player after they give your site a “look-see.”
Most prospects check out your web site in a B2B environment to vet your company before they’ll even consider contacting you (or meeting a salesman).
Read through the answers from each group of players. Do they jibe? Do the answers reflect what your company’s all about? If the results point to a major disconnect, you’ll know you have work ahead of you. I suspect that the employee answers will differ quite a bit from those of your prospects.
I use this exercise myself. Every time a prospect reaches out to me – for example, in the printing industry – I go to their site and mentally answer those 20 questions. Then we have a phone conversation, and before we cover any other ground, I share my impressions of their company based on their website.
Sometimes, the stars are truly aligned. If I describe their business pretty accurately, just from my looking at their site, they’re darned near overjoyed.
When I’m studying any site, I look to see if there’s a reason for my return. Is there content that relates to me and/or helps me in any way? Is this site a resource for me? Will I bookmark it?
It’s not easy, this web site business. Getting it right, which includes keeping it current and true to your company, is work. Often, it’s a chore that no one is in charge of – or it’s created, uploaded…and abandoned.
Your company website is worth your attention. Expect that prospects will be stopping by for a “look-see.” Does your site serve you well – or is it hurting your reputation?
(c) 2014 Margie Dana.