This 1 Mistake on Your Website Could Be Killing Your Sales

Keep it simple, entrepreneurs have got places to be and people to see.

As an entrepreneur, I oftentimes get asked for my best advice for those starting their own businesses. I always say the same thing, “If you’re not a self starter, don’t do it. If you can’t problem solve, find another career.”

This sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. One of my favorite qualities I’ve come to learn about myself is that I can solve problems without the help of others, quickly and efficiently. I thank my Mother for this ability, as she raised me on her own and wasn’t a helicopter parent. She let me make a lot of my own choices, and I learned that sometimes those choices came with consequences. If she told me the stove was hot, I touched it to be sure anyway. Ouch.

I have realized in the past year that her parenting method actually gave me an advantage on some other people my age, as it seems I am more apt to do things for myself than to sit back and wait for someone else to figure it out. Thanks Mom!

Lately, my inbox has been assaulted with a barrage of sales emails from different apps, services, and the like where people promise that their products or services will increase my retu, turn churned customers into cash, or even automate processes to get more done each day. It seems like they’ve got it all figured out, but can they sell me on it?

All of these things sound great, and I click around their website in an attempt to figure out what it really is that they do, and more importantly, “How much does it cost?”

I will own the fact that I am a frugal person. I always have been, and I always will be. This leads to where I get stuck, most of these websites don’t have a pricing page. I understand that it’s not always so black and white, so having a structured price sheet doesn’t always work–but it’s a major pet peeve of mine.

If I can’t tell exactly what your app does, or how much it costs, I am A. not going to reply to your email and B. I am not going to use your service.

Even experts sometimes overlook the small things

About a year ago a friend of mine texted me excitedly saying, “Hey check out my new app and sign up!” I took a look at it, I found it to be pretty neat because it solved a problem I occasionally faced, which was getting parking tickets. Hey, when street parking costs $4 an hour I don’t mind taking the risk every now and again.

I clicked on the link he sent me and the website was easy to navigate and clear cut, but I couldn’t for the life of me determine how much the service would cost me. So, I shot him a text saying, “Hey, looks great but how much does it cost and why isn’t this information on the website?” He said, “It’s there, you can find it in the terms and conditions.”

Major red flag. I shot back, “If you’re not up front with customers as to how much the service costs, you’re going to lose a lot of interested people before they even have the chance to test out the service. If I wouldn’t sign up as your friend without knowing the price, why would a normal potential customer?”

He said it was a good point and he would work on that. I just took a peek at his website and the pricing is now proudly displayed on the front page.

Work towards bettering your brand

You’re not reinventing the wheel — but you should be wary of what makes it spin.

That being said, if you’re going to create a service, app, or website that caters to  entrepreneurs or business people remember who you’re dealing with. You’re talking to problem solvers, do it yourselfers, those who don’t want to waste their time typing out a message on a contact form, and waiting for you to answer for them to determine if they’re interested.

We are a culture of people hungry for instant gratification, don’t damage your relationship with potential customers by making the process too lengthy. Don’t we all want to figure out how to make small changes that will maximize our results?

Whatever your service or business, remember to always simplify the process for the end user. Entrepreneurs are generally impatient people, we’ve got things to do, places to be, and a hectic schedule to maintain. Keep it simple and you will be rewarded.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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