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How to sell website services to local businesses in 2022 [Video guide]

Creating websites for small businesses can be extremely difficult. Unlike selling a product where the transaction may take minutes or even seconds, companies that need websites often require a lot of effort and attention. Does your team have the capacity to handle the demand? The question is: how to sell websites without it creating a huge resource drain?

From product packages to templates, make selling websites simple by downloading our “6-Step guide for selling website services to local businesses” now.

Not only is creating websites for small businesses extremely time consuming, but mastering a sales pitch can be a daunting task that takes finessing. Your sales team must work to show value to companies that need websites in order for them to invest in your services.

So: how to sell website design services? Better yet, how to find businesses that need websites in the first place? Can an agency jump over all of the hurdles that come with selling website services? How can an agency really tick all the boxes for a wide variety of companies that need websites?

We’ve got the answers, plus many helpful tips throughout.

How to sell a website to a client

When you’re considering how to sell a website to a client, it can be helpful to think of it just like any other product or service that you’re selling. A prospective customer is only going to buy from you if they understand the value of the purchase.

To help create a clear value proposition for companies that need websites, salespeople should carefully consider which benefits to target when it comes to selling website services.

Tip #1 for how to sell websites: focus on improvement opportunities

How to sell web design services? Start with identifying current design improvement opportunities. Begin by evaluating a company’s current website. It is likely that they already have one, so do your research and be sure to show them where their current site could be improved. Look for things such as website speed or design flaws and be clear on how you can add value.

According to Google developers and their Page Speed Insights (PSI), a website speed score of 90 is good, 50-90 needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor (Google).

But what do these numbers mean when it comes to how to sell web design services? What if you’re not a “tech person” and find yourself struggling?

Don’t worry.

It’s completely understandable that for a salesperson, it can be tough to understand the technical aspects of a website, or what to look for in quality design.

The main thing for a salesperson to focus on is the user experience (UX). To simplify this further, a salesperson can do a subjective test and ask themselves:

“How does this website make me feel? What could make this a more engaging, enjoyable experience for a potential customer?”

Tip #2 for how to sell websites: do your research

This point is tied into the previous one. Beyond asking yourself or your salespeople to be intuitive when it comes to identifying areas for improvement, solid research always helps.

When you're pitching your website services in an attempt at creating websites for small businesses, do your homework on their website beforehand. You want to be armed and ready with the right knowledge.

Better yet, pretend you're their target consumer. Identify a few key areas where the site experience could be improved for ease-of-use and conversion. Or, as a different tactic, come armed with a list of competitor websites that are successful, and describe how your services could help bridge the gap.

Research is a big component of your work, from how to sell websites to how to find businesses that need websites in the first place.

How to sell web design services: improvement indicators

Let’s recap.

When creating websites for small businesses, you’re dealing with companies that cannot afford to throw money behind something unless the value add is crystal clear.

One way to add value is to identify opportunities on a prospect’s current website and pitch your services as the solution. It’s how to sell websites the smart way.

Yet we know that research is hard work and takes time. We’re here to give you a little shortcut. For companies that need websites, here are the two main aspects you should look into as areas you can help improve when creating websites for small businesses.

Classic car

Site speed → The aforementioned site speed is a good one to reiterate. How to sell a website to a client? Make it clear that website users demand fast loading pages. Position it as a necessity, not just a “nice to have.”

Tip #3 for how to sell websites: the three seconds or less rule

To get more specific without requiring additional technical knowledge, a salesperson should look for a page that loads in approximately three seconds or less. Any longer and a business is vulnerable to losing online conversions.

Other helpful data points:

  • Almost 70 percent of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer (Unbounce).
  • Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (Portent).
  • 73 percent of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load (Neil Patel).

So how to find businesses that need websites and services? Find the slowest ones.

Design

Design → You may be asking yourself how to sell web design services without a background in design? Do you need to have an artistic, visual eye? After all, website design is extremely important for the customer experience.

But don’t be intimidated. You don’t need a graphic design degree to help companies that need websites. When selling, a salesperson with no idea what to look for can focus on these things: consistency, simplicity, and whether or not it's easy to read.

  • Consistency: The layout of the website should have a consistent theme. Navigating through the pages of a prospect’s website, you should experience a similar look throughout the site.
  • Simplicity: Website doesn’t overwhelm visitors with content and avoids using aggressive animations or effects.
  • Easy-to-read: Avoid aggressive color schemes, neon fonts, and too much content. Users should easily skim a website’s homepage and know what the business does.

Tip #4 for how to sell websites: consider digital accessibility principles

Digital accessibility is the ramps and rails of the internet. It ensures that the greatest number of users can enjoy and engage with a website, including of people with disabilities.

With only about 5 percent of the internet currently accessible (AudioEye), offering knowledge and awareness about digital accessibility principles such as color contrast, alt text, labeling buttons, and more can be a big differentiating factor when it comes to creating websites for small businesses.

How to find businesses that need websites

So, how to sell a website to a client that has no web presence to begin with?

Good news: If your prospect doesn't have a website, then the salesperson’s job just got a whole lot easier. In the age of digital dominance, a small business must have a website in order to remain relevant and to drive online traffic to their storefront.

So the companies that need websites are all the companies. How to find businesses that need websites? All of them do. Case closed.

When contemplating how to sell web design services, especially to businesses who are clearly behind when it comes to tech adoption, you can keep the following in mind:

  • A website is a piece of valuable digital real estate, and without one, a business is essentially without a home
  • In fact, one in four consumers say that they are unlikely to visit a business they can’t find online (Digital)
  • A website is a 24/7 marketing tool for a small business, allowing them to promote their brand without extensive effort
  • A website drives customers to your storefront, as consumers are searching for businesses online every single day

Bottom line: Consumers are looking for companies with websites, and a website is critical to the success of a local business. How to sell websites effectively? Make it known just how essential online real estate in the form of a website truly is.

How to find businesses that need websites? Trick question. Every business does. Just make sure to always be clear about the value you’re adding.

Creating websites for small businesses with big fears

As we mentioned before, small businesses have limited resources. They are likely running a tight ship and don’t have an infinite amount of money to throw at problems.

Understandably, a local business might have a big fear of investing in one-time freelance design work that costs thousands of dollars. Plus, at the end of the day the designer who targets naive companies that need websites might disappear as soon as they cash their check, never to be heard from again.

At the end of the day, small business owners don’t always understand how a website works, and they need assistance along the way from professionals creating websites for small businesses specially.

Goals, direction, and brand can change a lot from year to year. It can be extremely frustrating for a local business when a website no longer communicates their company’s message correctly because their one-time website contractor is not around to help.

Tip #5 for how to sell websites: make your web agency sticky

For an agency to be successful, it's not just about how to sell websites—it's also about how to develop long-term client relationships to grow business.

Providing ongoing value will be beneficial to both parties, and keep your agency making money and growing. So how can you make your web agency sticky?

How to sell web design services that help your agency stick? A local business needs active solutions to their website problems or demands. Offer the right tools and services to allow your clients to be successful with their websites.

A major reason that contracted websites fail is due to failed maintenance and a lack of functionality testing. Creating websites for small businesses is not a one-off thing—it’s an investment in a long-lasting relationship. The completion of work on a website should not end when the first iteration of the site goes live.

Here’s how to continue to develop your partnership with the businesses purchasing website solutions from you, including managed WordPress hosting.

1. How to sell a website to a client with maintenance packages and design upgrades

Your clients are looking for ROI; offer them the right resources to have monthly recurring revenue. This can come in the form of maintenance packages, or design upgrades (yearly).

2. Companies that need websites also need management and design tools

A website needs ongoing management and design assistance to keep it fresh and relevant. Better yet, offer your clients the tools to manage and build their own website with your agency’s help along the way.

3. How to sell websites with add-ons

Add on additional products to your website services to keep clients sticking around. This could be things like website live chat, a built-in appointment scheduling widget, or even a review generation service to get great reviews added on to your clients' site for their customers to see.

Creating websites for small businesses can be the meat and potatoes of your offering—add in the spices and vegetables with smaller widgets and services to really go the extra mile as a web agency.

You can find website creation, reseller hosting, and add-ons like live chat, appointment scheduling, and more in Vendasta's SaaS marketplace.

Two essential solutions to offer to companies that need websites

How to sell web design services that tick all the right boxes?

In order to fully satisfy a local business’s website demands, you’ll need to offer a variety of website services. Vendasta offers a variety of resellable website apps and services that your agency can use to help in the development of your clients’ websites.

1. Hosting solution

A hosting solution that is secure, fast, and allows for storage is key in the development of a successful website and a big value-add when it comes to how to sell a website to a client in a way that closes.

Vendasta’s Website Pro allows agencies to utilize the power of WordPress sites through the security of the Google Cloud Platform.

How to sell websites that are unlike other hosting solutions? With Vendasta.

Vendasta offers a solution that partners with the Google Cloud Platform. Agencies are able to know how to sell a website to a client with confidence, thanks to reputable solutions backed up by the most trusted source on the internet.

The Website Pro solution delivers with automated storage, speed, and security so that your local business clients gain peace of mind knowing they will never have to deal with server catastrophes again. Building trust is essential when it comes to creating websites for small businesses clients and abating their fears and apprehensions.

Tip #6 for how to sell websites: emphasize the power of WordPress

If you’re asking yourself how to find businesses that need websites, you also might be questioning the emphasis on WordPress hosting.

Why WordPress, anyway? Pay attention, because knowing how to position WordPress might be how to sell a website to a client that is on the fence.

WordPress has 65.3 percent of the market share amongst CMS-based websites (Tooltester). Companies that need websites can rest assured, as WordPress continues to grow its reputable brand. and is recognized as one of the greatest tools for website management.

With over 455 million websites using WordPress (Earthweb), we believe that WordPress is the clear go-to web development tool. Vendasta’s Website Pro allows anyone to set up a website or import a WordPress site that already exists within minutes! Creating websites for small businesses is a breeze.

Through the combination of Google Cloud infrastructure and the power of the Vendasta platform, a web agency can offer a hosting solution that drives engagement.

There is no better way to show ROI to your clients than to give their business live reporting and analytics about their websites. Vendasta’s Website Pro leverages Google Analytics to present clients with a dashboard of success measures.

2. DIY website creation services

How to sell websites to very hands-on companies? Most local businesses will want a lot of say as to what kind of content is on their website. What’s more, communication is often a barrier for web developers who are creating websites for small businesses.

Your agency can add value by eliminating the communication barriers when building and creating websites for small business clients by offering the client the ability to create responsive websites on their own.

WordPress can be tricky for individuals who don’t have time or interest to commit to learning a bit of code. Although much of the internet relies on WordPress, a drag-and-drop website builder is much more suitable for local businesses who don’t have the technical prowess. How to sell web design services, then, for business owners who have a knowledge gap?

Good news. A business owner or employee does not need web development experience, a design background, or backend technical experience to operate drag-and-drop website tools. Vendasta’s Website Builder tool gives companies that need websites the power to create a website that they want, all in a comprehensive tool.

It might not just be about how to sell a website to a client, but how to resolve some of their uncertainties in the process. If a business is unsure of what to create or how to design it, then they are able to choose from a variety of templates to ensure their website performs successfully.

How to find businesses that need websites, pitch, and sell

The subtitle of this section could be: the art of the pitch.

Not to be a broken record, but when you sell websites, your sales pitch comes down to communicating value to business clients.. To sell website services you must:

  • Get client buy in: Showing value in your agency’s services is how to sell websites like a pro. This is what a salesperson does to show a local business where to improve their current website or show the value of creating a website.
  • Eliminate the fear of one-time website design: Freelance web design contractors have created a stigma around websites. Taking that fear and turning it into trust is how to sell web design services  to create long-lasting relationships. One-off web design is simply the creation of a site and offers no assistance after the site is built. Show your clients that your agency (and Vendasta) are able to help them with their website along the way.
  • Offer a variety of services for their business: Offer numerous web building solutions to your clients. If your client prefers WordPress, no problem! Enable your clients who are already using WordPress to import their sites to your web hosting. For the companies that need websites with simple solutions that they can control, offer drag-and-drop website building tools.

How to sell a website to a client: summary

In order to stay competitive and meet the demands of your clients, your agency must offer a variety of local business solutions, including website services. Other agencies, freelance designers, and self-build tools are stealing valuable clients away from your agency.

Differentiate yourself from the rest and offer local businesses the essential website services that will help them succeed online.

Original author Zachary Yuzdepski. Updated in 2022 by Domenica Martinello.

About the Author

Zach is a former content strategist with Vendasta. He is fascinated by digital marketing, international studies, and exploring the relationship between technology and business.

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