Making your product pages into a great sales presentation

So, yesterday we looked at how many website product pages were the equivalent of the worst sales presentation ever. How then can we make our product pages like a really good sales presentation?

If you remember, I suggested you imagine half a dozen prospects are sitting in front of your best salesman. What would he do? Assuming he didn’t know anything about them, and wasn’t able to find out, I think he would want to talk about the benefits of the product, show a demonstration of some sort, offer the technical specifications as a handout, and conclude by offering tailored support material to follow, as well as ensuring that follow-up appointments are made with each individual. A proper story, a focus on the customer, and closure.

So – can we replicate that on a website product page? I don’t see why not. The first thing to do is to describe the benefits of the product. This is basic marketing copywriting, although far too many product pages just list features instead. If you’re unsure, every sentence should partially answer the customer’s question: “What’s in it for me?”

Then we need to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness and operation. There are two parts to this: an operational demonstration, which might be done by a (very) short video, and a commercial demonstration, in the form of a case study or testimonial. Of course, if your product is aimed at different market sectors or types of user, you might need to offer a selection here.

Next, the technical specifications. These are necessary evils, but never forget they’re intrinsically boring. This is an ideal opportunity to include the “click here to download the data sheet” link if you don’t want to actually reproduce the information as part of the page.

After that, you need to consider – as every good salesman would – all of the questions/objections which the prospect might put up, this far down the line, and have an answer for them. “I need to discuss the concept with my director”: make an explanatory White Paper just a click away. “How does this fit in with the rest of your company’s system?” – have a broad range brochure or catalogue available. “Can you make the exact model I want?” – offer some sort of product configurator. “What will it cost?” – provide an RFQ form individualised for the product. “I’m interested, but don’t need it now”: ensure they sign up to your unmissable mailing list. You can work out many more questions, I’m sure.

Finally, we need to “close the deal” by giving the prospect every incentive to take the final step, which in this case will be getting in touch and requesting a sales call. That means making it as easy as possible to do so. It doesn’t mean sending them off to a general purpose form where they have to tell you what product they want. It doesn’t mean asking for unnecessary information just to make your customer database look complete. If they want a call, then let them just give you their name and telephone number, on the product page itself. You know the product they’re interested in.

And let them know exactly what they’ll get when they respond, and why they’ll be glad they did.

Discussion

  1. David Turner

    Hi, How do you balance the points you’ve previously made about having long, or at least detailed, product pages with;

    a) the aims of good SEO and
    b) having a page people will actually read and
    c) the opinion from within one’s own business that the page should dwell on what sizes are available and having a phone number (and even a mechanism to purchase) on the page?

    Sorry for the hideously long sentence…..

  2. Chris Rand Post author

    My answers would be:

    a) detailed product pages don’t work against good SEO, quite the opposite, in fact;
    b) if you think readers aren’t going to have the interest to get to the end, ensure that the “next steps” are repeated down the page, or always visible, so they can bail out whenever they wish;
    c) obviously you want a phone number (and even a mechanism to purchase) on the page if you can; if there’s an opinion within your business that these shouldn’t be there (is that what you’re saying, David?) then you need to demonstrate through testing that they work, I guess.

  3. David Turner

    Hi, actually no, the feeling is that we should include a phone number and, later when it’s sorted out, a mechanism to buy. Going back to SEO, hadn’t you once advocated more detailed product pages, rather than just a paragraph, some bullets and a brochure download?

  4. Chris Rand Post author

    I do advocate getting as much information in as possible, for technical and SEO reasons – the only stuff which I’d leave to a separate data sheet are tables of product codes and numbers, which are boring on the web page and convey little to no SEO benefit. I believe the technical specifications are necessary, but I do accept they’re boring and recognise that some companies will disagree and will not want to include them all.

  5. David Turner

    In my instance, I think I may have to include basic information on product size ranges but this should fall short of detailed tables etc. Thank you.

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