From First Date to Marriage: A Proven Method of Getting Prospects To Commit to You
"If you ask someone to commit to something small first, then it
will be easier to get a larger commitment from them later."
-SUSAN M. WEINSCHENK, PH.D.
The first date
Ah—the first date: two people who've just met decide to have a more 'official' meeting.
The date might go wonderfully, the two might get along fantastically, and the two might have so much in common with one another—but regardless, imagine the surprise if one of them proposed marriage as the date wrapped up.
For most of you reading this blog post, your potential customers' first visits to your website are like first dates. Your prospects may be interested in what you have to offer, but they're not likely ready to commit to your services/product on the first visit.
Example: Bathroom remodeler
Let's say your company remodels bathrooms, with your typical project ranging in cost between $4,000 - $40,000.
Your prospects are likely comparing the competition and reviewing their options. They'll also likely take weeks or even months to make a decision. In other words, it's not likely that you'll get an instant commitment—that they'll turn into a paying customer—on their first visit to your website.
Here's what you can do to increase the likelihood your prospects will commit to your services:
Ask for a small commitment and earn their trust. These small commitments create a connection between you and your prospects—and actually help transform your prospects into qualified leads.
Of course, you can't ask for a commitment without giving something in return. So, in exchange for a small commitment from a prospect (think: providing you with their name and email address), you need to offer them something they'll find valuable. Consider offering...
- a free step-by-step guide to bathroom remodeling
- a Top 10 Tips list on how to get the most out of a bathroom remodel
- a Prepare For Your Bathroom Remodel checklist
- access to a bathroom remodel calculator tool
- the opportunity to enter a free giveaway or prize
Instead of only providing the option to "Call Us Now!", this website of a North Carolina home improvement company presents a variety of offers enticing prospects to make small, easy commitments. They're smart. Allowing their visitors to make small commitments is absolutely boosting the likelihood that their site's visitors will turn into paying customers down the road.
Gasp! First-date marriages aren't actually uncommon in the online world...
Okay, it's true. I've heard the stories (which mysteriously often originate from Las Vegas) that some people actually do get married after just one date.
Similarly, there are businesses to which prospects are often ready to commit after their first site visit.
Take, for example, a company in the drain unclogging industry. This company's prospects are most definitely looking for marriage on the first date; when they're searching the web, homeowners are looking to quickly find someone to unclog their drain ASAP!
In instances where prospects are indeed searching for instant marriage, company websites must persuade these prospects to pick up the phone or complete a contact form immediately. The sites must ask for their prospects' hands in marriage often and with conviction throughout their pages.
The plumber in the example below solves their customers' urgent, pressing problems. Appropriately, their website loudly and immediately "requests marriage".
Example: They might not have the most beautiful website on the planet, but the website of Pinky's Plumbing of Seattle smartly bleats: CALL NOW and SCHEDULE SERVICE NOW.
Wrapping it up...
When it comes to thinking about your website's content, consider your prospects' timelines and willingness to commit.
Are your prospects typically instantly ready to get married? Or will you need to date for a couple of weeks (or years)? If it's the latter, offer your prospects ways to take low-risk, easy actions (which are small commitments) before asking them to take bigger ones (like "Schedule an on-site consultation today!").
A profitable business website starts with a thorough understanding of the target client, including how they buy and when they're most likely to make the big commitment of moving from girlfriend or boyfriend...to wife or husband.