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If You Build It, They Will Come

May 8, 2009 12:00 PM, By Don Kreski


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A well-designed, well-laid-out website will tell a potential customer who you are and how you are better than your competitors, while including keywords for search-engine optimization.

A well-designed, well-laid-out website will tell a potential customer who you are and how you are better than your competitors, while including keywords for search-engine optimization.

Though our industry continues to do well in the economic downturn, a lot of AV integrators are asking themselves, “What do I need to do to keep the orders coming as buyers trim their capital budgets?”

An obvious question is the condition of your website. There’s no doubt that your site is the first place that potential customers will look when they try to evaluate your company. “It’s all about whether they can trust you to deliver on what you say you can do,” says Bill Mullin, vice president of Chesterton, Ind.-based distributor Starin.

“In any large-ticket sale, a series of confirmations must take place,” he says. “The first step is to sell them on your company. They’re not going to let you in the door until they see you as a credible supplier.”

From there, a series of assessments takes place: The customer evaluates you as you assess his or her needs and the requirements of the project. “If you do this properly, by the time it comes to making a decision, it’s already been made,” Mullin says.

An AV integrator’s website should be, at minimum, equivalent to a very well-done printed brochure. Like a brochure, it needs to tell who you are and how you are different and better than your competitors. That can be a tall order if you compete with a much larger integrator—say, an AVI-SPL or a Whitlock—or if you must deal with others constantly stressing price.

“Your website has a very important place in this process,” Mullin says. “Properly put together, it will help you gain the trust of your potential client.”



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