Selling The Right Thing

Happy Customer
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ash-rly

A couple of weeks back, I received an email from a website owner asking for one of my OpenLine sessions (which are currently booked about two weeks out).

In essence, the question was “Why aren’t our clients registering for our services?”

The situation required more discussion (in detail, anyhow) than I could cover in 15 minutes, but it also screamed for a blog post – because some of the things their site needs to attend to are core things that all of us need to think about.

It’s a great looking site, but the conversation with their real customers’ core thought process just isn’t there.

The reason for that might not be obvious, especially since the site looks nice and invites you to dive right in to do a search.

Problem is, there’s more than one customer population, and the second isn’t getting much attention on their website.

The site is a service directory, so by nature that means there are going to be at least TWO populations of customers: people wanting to list something in the directory and people wanting to find that something. Maybe more.

Because you might have other ideas, take a look at RentMyChurch.com and comment here if you feel I’ve missed something.

Customer #2?

The churches listed there.

If I’m renting my building to “strangers”, I’ve got a lot of questions.

Most rentals tend to be to church member families or friends of the family and this helps break down a lot of obvious barriers. Even so, many church boards require a vote at a council meeting before a rental is approved.

Now we’re talking about starting to commit to rentals to just about anyone who clicks a link.

At the very least, there’s needs to be a section that addresses all the what-if’s, questions, concerns and risk factors for a church who wants to start renting their facility in this manner. Something that describes the process step by step.

So what else is missing?

Let me put my church lady hat on…

I’d like to see a serious guarantee for the church listing their property/facility. A guarantee needs to make me feel like I’ve got as little as possible (or nothing) to risk and everything to gain, but in this case, the risk reversal just isn’t there. The current guarantee might be reworded this way: “If we don’t do anything for you in an entire year, we’ll do that again for nothing!”  Sounds different when you look at it that way.

Sales objections aren’t addressed. Try to hit them in advance, before you ever hear them from the prospect.

How does RentMyChurch get prospects in my local area to look at the site?

What are common signs I should look for to know I’ve got a good renter? Likewise, what warning signs should I look for?

Do you have sample rental agreements for churches who are just starting to dip their toe in this water.

If I’m a little church in a town of 5000 people, do I pay the same as the Lakewood, North Point or Willow Creek? (all are huge churches)

What about insurance and bonding?

Do you have sample check lists for check-in/check-out?

What paperwork should we need to create a successful rental?

What works and doesn’t work when creating my church’s “bio”?

What about photos? Can you refer me to a good building photographer in my area? (that is a gift, btw)

How do I know what dates are available?

Testimonials – there isn’t a single one from a renter or a church.

Where are the social aspects of a service? The 3 R’s: rankings, referrals and reviews

That’s just a start, but I think you get the idea. These aren’t things to be addressed AFTER the sale, these are things to show up front that show you DESERVE the sale.

Make a case

As we talked about with the compelling discussion the other day, make a case such that this is a no-brainer. What makes it clear that I’d be nuts not to list my facility on this site?

As for everyone else – what makes it clear that you are the only choice for what you sell or do?

There’s needs to be a section that addresses all the what-if’s, questions, concerns and risk factors for a church who wants to start renting their facility in this manner.