As the director of marketing for Dibbee, an online fundraising start-up, I am finding online customer acquisition to be a difficult and time-consuming task when approaching leads in person. When marketing an online-based product or service, how can I utilize in-person introductions to transition those meetings into online sales?

Michael Luchies, Director of Marketing, Dibbee,



The question here seems to be how to engage someone you’ve met face to face with the online interface where the deal actually gets made. There are a number of ways to look at this.

If you chat with potential customers at a networking or informal event, there was a time when encouraging a visit to the site and passing along a business card might have been the only options. With the evolution of mobile devices, you might consider keeping some elements on your phone that can be easily “bumped” to the prospect, or simply included in a text (with a direct link to your site, as well!). If you have multiple people doing this, consider individually coded landing pages to track the success of each salesperson. It can be invisible to the customer and generate valuable information for sales management.

Assuming the conversation occurs at a trade show or other “sales” setting, similar mechanisms can be applied as part of your “pitch.” The critical element remains making the connection to your online presence as effortless as possible.

Remember that regardless of how enthused people might seem as you explain the offering, it won’t be long before they move on to the next issue of the day and forget about the value proposition. This means that wherever you send them needs to lead the way quickly and easily to the actions and engagement you hope to use in making the prospect a customer.


About the author: Mike Porter, director, Master of Business Communication Program, University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business