I get a call from a potential client. “Bart” was referred to me by a business colleague. He runs an oil company in New Jersey. He has heard of the success my business has had in promoting oil companies, and selling oil and services online. We do the standard dance of him asking me what I’ve done, and me asking him details of his company and website. He then asks me to send him some literature of my services along with examples of how I can improve his website.
WOW! That’s his reaction when gets my email. You see, I suggested that my company re-do the website, and focus on selling and mobile. Bart takes offense to my suggestion that his website be replaced. “I just built that website less than 6 months ago, paid over $10k for it, and I have a great relationship with the designer. Are you crazy?” Yes, Bart is in love with his new website. The brochure and logo designer that built his website is probably a close friend. And, he just spent $10K. So the reality is the new website is not aligned with the business direction. And any money that would be spent towards selling online and mobile was taken by the logo designer. “Besides,” says Bart, “people just call on the phone when they want to order oil. They’re not going online”
Bart listens to his wife tell him that she does “everything” on her phone. At the line at the bank, she’s paying a bill. In the waiting room at dance, she orders tickets to a show. At soccer practice, she checks sales at her favorite department store. Bart is not buying it. And he’s handcuffed himself, and really likes his website.
Where some people throw good money after bad, Bart is not willing to admit that he made a mistake with his website and spend good money to fix it. He will continue to believe that his customer will always call. The reality is that smaller companies with a bigger and better online and mobile offering will slowly chip away at his customer base. He’ll wake up one day a few years down the road and realized he made a mistake. It’ll probably be too late. Maybe he should listen to his wife.