A True Story About Someone Who Did Not Hire Business Design Studio!
This is a true story. It actually happened in 2003, right here in my office. If you are seriously considering designing your own marketing material or web site, it is worth reading to the end. And, if you are convinced that you really don't need any help with your marketing design, then you really will want to read it!
I needed to install a wireless network in my office. I had a referral to a company we'll call ABC Network Solutions, a local company that specialized in networking and information technology installations. They had a team who were certified in security issues, which was a newly "hot topic" in those days, and although they had only 3-4 people in house, they had a good reputation in the community.
Before I called, I went to their web site. Frankly, it wasn't much to look at - fonts all over the place, not consistent in the colors, navigation on every other page, broken pages, confusing language and a few token graphics that seemed slapped on. But, I knew their reputation and called anyway. In the course of talking to the company president, I asked who had designed their web site.
"Oh, we just do that in house - one of our programmers did it," he said.
"Okay, I understand" I replied."Would you be interested in having an attractive new home page and template designed that your programmers could use, which would improve the professionalism and credibility of your business on the web?" Hey, maybe I could barter the cost of getting my networking done!
"Nah. Not really" he said. "We're programmers and technicians - no one really expects our web site to look good."
I left it alone and hired one of his technicians to come install my network. He did a great job and I was satisfied.
About six months later, I received an unexpected call at my office. The gentleman calling said he was looking for an networking company in Tech Valley (that's what they call this region of upstate NY now) that specialized in IT networking security issues. He was calling me because he understood I had a lot of connections in this part of the country and he knew me by my writing articles online. I told him that I was sure ABC Network Solutions would be able to help.
"Great!" he said "I've got a potentially lucrative contract that needs to go to someone in your area - I'll give them a call - do you have a web site address for them?"
So I gave him their web site address over the phone. I could hear "clickety click click" on the keys. Then, I heard:
"Are you kidding me?!" he exclaimed.
"Who else do you have?" he asked.
"Um, I'll have to think about it - they're the only ones I can think of in that area" I replied "but if you're concerned about their site, I can assure you that web site is not a reflection of their professionalism!"
"Doesn't matter," he said "My client would never hire a company that looks like this!! How can anyone take them seriously?"
Well, I couldn't reason or argue with him. I knew he was right. And that was the end of our conversation.
ABC Network Solutions never knew what happened - they never knew that a "potentially lucrative contract" slipped away. I knew if I told the owner, he'd think I was just another gimmicky web designer trying to part him from his money. But that moment stuck in my mind because it is at the very core of what I help my clients avoid.
So, ask yourself: What first impression is YOUR web site making??
Not sure? You might want to start with our Speedy Web Assessments. Or give us a call at 518-729-4453 to discuss your future marketing strategy.
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