Today I got a call from a salesman working for a marketing company.
Now I run a marketing agency, but this gentleman claimed to be able to “help agencies grow”.
I’m normally skeptical of cold calls, but I told him I’d give him 30 seconds to give the pitch. After all, I don’t try to be unreasonable, and if it really helps me, I’m all for it.
But he couldn’t do it.
All he was able to stutter out was something about “normally this is a more dynamic conversion…we offer the largest network…we partner with Google…”.
Honestly, after 15 seconds, I was trying to figure out how to get off the phone without being a total jerk.
I still have no idea what his offer was.
Here’s the problem: Like you, I’m busy. I was in the middle of a couple complicated client projects when I received the call.
And this poor salesman couldn’t get his message down. He needed 10 minutes to give his speech.
And because of that, he lost a potential sale.
Now, let’s flip this from sales to marketing: People are giving your website less than 30 seconds before they decide to leave.
They are on your homepage a fraction of the time that I gave this salesman to give his pitch.
Which means your site needs to draw customers in quickly.
There’s no time for confusion, for lack of clarity, or for wasted text.
You have a moment to connect with someone.
And most websites are very, very bad at this.
When we work with clients, I know whether we can make a big difference in the client’s business after being on their site for about five seconds.
If I can figure out what they do, why customers should care, and how to buy from them in 5 seconds, they are easily in the top 5% of websites.
But I’ll get leads from clients, spend five minutes on their site, and still have no idea what they do.
They are full of jargon such as “SaaS solutions provider” and “industry leader at solving complex problems using best practices”.
What the heck?
Sometimes it takes a 45 minute conversation to really understand their business.
And (I’d like to think) I’m fairly intelligent.
If your customers can’t look at your heading and understand what you do, they’ll bounce.
Here’s how to know if you’ve got a good site: show it to your grandma. If she can understand what you do in 10 seconds, you’re in good shape.
If she can’t, it’s time for some rewrites.