Promoting and advertising is the key in making your company successful. With out this you will not get far as many companies have gone. I can name a few here even in WHT that did the right type of advertising at the right time, and are huge. You can have the best prices, and the best support, but if you donít have the pazam within the promoting you wont be noticed and or not be successful as you wish.
So the question I am wondering when you are talking to a person (local) and trying to tell them why a website would help them and their company, hobby, or other interests. What is the best way to tell them?
You will definitely need to do your homework on this. The best thing to do is to find out as much as you can about the industry the company is in; basically know what their products are, who their primary customers are and the environment they are working through. Once you know them well enough, you could work out how the web would work best for them and what that would bring to them such as opening up new markets, brand awareness, nation wide or global support or otherwise.
Load up several websites of similiar nature and if possible show how successful being online means to them.
It always helps to have facts and figures ready, newspaper clippings would help too.
Some companies can benefit from being online and others would not gain a thing. In your research you will be able to figure that one out. Getting a web site does not just mean putting a page up but it could sometime means a drastic change of how the business would conduct themselves. If a company just deals locally and they get walk in customers, they may not be able to handle things like interstate or global customers, they will need to determine the best means of shipping the product to them and that means new order fulfilment system comprising of payment collection, packaging and payment collection to say the least. There may be other areas of concern such as taxation, legal issues and others. A whole new opportunity for them would usually mean a whole new headache with it.
Torith - Hi. You're absolutely right that promotion is the lifeblood of your business.
The way you pose your question I take it that you are talking about serving the needs of local customers with fairly modest needs. As eddy said, finding out a little bit about the person, then explaining how a website could make their company more dynamic and profitable, or their hobby more fun and social, would be the way to generate interest.
However, for people who haven't thought at all about having their own website, and who may know nothing about how to set one up, this might be a bit time-consuming. All the education and persuasion that you'd have to do probably wouldn't justify your investment if you have to *sell* them on the idea of having a website, *as well as* getting their hosting through you.
On the other hand, if someone is thinking of getting a website, and all you need to do is convince them to get their hosting through you, that's much easier. You could have a business card with your URL and a few benefit-oriented selling points on it. If the sales message on your site is compelling, you have a good chance of making the sale.
The other option (and I think perhaps a better use of your time) would be to get people who are thinking of getting webhosting to flock to you! You can do this by putting up flyers, classified ads etc. and offering a free report that targets your prospects. E.g. "7 easy steps to becoming a webmaster" or whatever. You can learn about this type of marketing by searching on Google for "two-step marketing" or similar.
One idea might be to probably contact a free seminar on how to launch a business on the internet in your local community center and invite the local businesses and whoever is intended to attend to be there. This way you could while talking about web businesses, you could add information about your businesses and your services. This would be a great way to reach out to the interested parties. Have a small discussion time for any one interested in knowing more or to sign up with you.