So you’re telling someone about your new business, you’re excited because they seem moderately interested in what you’re talking about, and then comes the big question…
“So, what’s your website?”
You feel awkward, embarrassed and probably stammer out something like “Um...Well... I really have been meaning to get one up, but you know, I haven’t gotten around it it yet, and, um, well… I’ll let you know when I do get one…” Meanwhile, your new-found enthusiasm plummets as you wonder how you’re ever going to come across professional -- let alone make any money -- if you don’t even have a website yet. It IS the 21st century after all.
Let me stop you right there.
Yes, it’s the 21st century. Yes, it would be nice if you had one, and it would add a degree of professionalism. But really, since when does one degree make that much difference anyway?
The reality is, plenty of people make really good money with NO website, and you can, too.
Let me explain. First off, here’s why you don’t have to feel awkward in these conversations:
In these situations, you kinda feel like you’re being put to the test, and then failing. But the reality is, they are NOT trying to test you --hell, they probably wouldn’t even know what to test you on if you asked them to.
You see, for many people, “Do you have a website?” is just the best response they know how to give when they hear that someone is starting a new business. It’s just small talk. It’s just something to say. It’s really NOT a test. They want to be supportive & show that they’re interested, but they just don’t know what to say -- especially if they aren’t entrepreneurial themselves.
How do I know this?
My hairdresser told me. :)
It wasn’t on this exact question. The topic was babies and she asked, “So, is he sleeping through the night yet?”
I said, “I don’t even know what that means. Is that even a real thing, do babies really sleep through the night?”
And that’s when she said it. She give me a bigger insight into interpersonal dynamics than I ever would have guessed.
“Oh, I don’t know, I thought that’s just what people say. I always hear people ask that when someone has a baby. Does it not make sense?”
Bingo. It’s just not a great question to ask. Wouldn’t it be better to ask if I was happy than if my baby was sleeping through the night? Wouldn’t it be better to ask if I was healthy? Wouldn’t it be better to ask if I needed any help?
But she simply didn’t know any better.
Likewise, to the average person who doesn’t know what it is to have a business, asking if you have a website is just a guage that they use. It’s something to ask. It would be better to ask whether you’ve helped people. It would be better to ask whether you’re making money. It would be better to ask how you find clients.
But they simply don’t know any better.
So they ask if you have a website. Make sense?
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s talk about what you SHOULD say in those conversations instead of clamming up and thinking “Oh, my God.”
Take this as an opportunity. This is someone who is TRYING to show you that they are interested in what you’re up to, so engage them in a conversation. Ask them about their experience with the problem you help people with, ask them if they know other people who are face that problem.
If they ARE someone who has that problem, then here’s where you’re in luck...
See, if you had a website, it would be easy to just tell them your web address and leave the ball in their lap to send you an email.
But that wouldn’t serve either of you very well, because chances are they’d get busy & forget, and you’d have no way to get in touch with them.
Instead, try something like this:
“Actually, I find that for people who are really struggling with [insert the problem you help people solve] the best way to help them is to just get on the phone with them to talk about their particular situation.”
You might even add:
“Of course, down the road I will have a website built when the timing is right, but in the meantime, I really find that talking to people one-on-one is the best way to help them as well as grow my business.”
Instead of feeling awkward & embarrassed and -- at best -- seeming unprepared, you have suddenly come across as smart and business savvy.
Plus, you’ve positioned yourself well to invite them to have an interview or sales call with you and a sales call will make a new entrepreneur far more money than sending them to your website and asking them to email you ever would have.
Got it? Feel Better? Have any questions?
Please post your comments below & let me know how it goes next time somebody asks whether YOU have a website up yet. :)