Thursday, 28 May 2009

You want me to generate leads for a sofa bed company?

One of my clients is an Interior Designer with her own sofa bed range. I've been asked to find a way to generate leads (i.e. serious business enquiries) from the visitors she gets to her web site.

I'm used to working for people who sell by appointment. My job is to find people ready to say yes. It might be yes to a phone call, or an appointment.

As a general rule, sofa beds aren't bought that way. Most people visit a showroom, and see if they like the look of the various sofabeds on display. They'll want to see it unfolded, test it for comfort, and get a feel for how it's going to work in their home. Faced with the prospect of buying it 'sight unseen', it seems unlikely we'll sell many direct from the site.

Why? Because of doubt. Doubt about...
  • Whether or not the product is any good
  • Whether or not it will work in the room
  • Whether or not it's comforable
  • Whether or not it will physically fit
  • Whether or not the seller is trust-worthy
My client isn't an Internationally known furniture brand, or a recognised online retailer. Neither Ikea or Amazon have anything like the same battle with doubt on their hands.

So how does one go about eliminating doubt, and turning casual interest into a serious business enquiry? The answer lies in taking over the conversation the prospect is having in his/her head.

On arrival, visitors are asking themselves whether or not the site contains what they're looking for. My first job is to eliminate everybody not in the target market. I can do that by making it immediately obvious the site sells bespoke designer sofa beds, and nothing but sofa beds.

I can then take over the conversation by offering to help the visitor find the exact sofa bed they need. I'll use special software written for the purpose. It's not expensive, and simply asks the questions that have to be asked to help the prospect.

It presents the sofa bed that best matches the prospect's answers, and follows up with an offer to customise it to his/her fabric and colour tastes. The prospect is no longer thinking about whether to buy, and is instead thinking about their sofa bed.

Once the prospect has finished, the system will ask the prospect if the resulting sofa is what they're looking for? If they answer 'No', it gives the person a chance to start over.

If they answer 'yes', it will ask if they're ready for a free consultation with a professional Interior Designer to further ensure they've covered everything they need to get the perfect sofa bed. If they answer 'Yes', it collects their name, contact details and a best time to call.

In other words, that's how I'll run a lead generation campaign for a sofa bed designer.