The Evolution of Online Sales and Tattoos

The Evolution of Online Sales and Tattoos

Jun 26, 2023 | By Jen Barkan

For the last six years, I’ve been thinking about getting a new tattoo. After all, a tattoo is a big deal. I’ve been envisioning what I wanted–my dog Tito’s profile filled with all my favorite flowers and colors. I even had a friend draw it for me so that when I was “ready” I would know exactly what I wanted. In February, my doggy Tito passed away at age 16. He was my favorite–please don’t tell any of my other pups. His passing was also my trigger to finally get the tattoo. 

I knew what I wanted, but now I had to find the artist. So, I started searching online, of course. I looked up local tattoo shops in my area and prejudged their ability based on how well their website functioned. Was it relevant, fast, and up to date, and did I like the vibe? I then looked at the individual artist’s profiles, which directed me to Instagram so I could see all the pictures of their beautiful work. When I found an artist who looked interesting, I sent her a DM. Her response was lightning-fast! She DM’d me back and asked if I had an idea of what I wanted and said the next step would be to set up a quick 15-minute in-person consultation so that she could meet with me and make sure we were on the same page.

It’s consultation day and I’m nervous. It’s been 25 years since I’ve had a tattoo and Tito’s head is a bit bigger than a sunflower on my hip. Suzanne greets me by name and introduces herself. Threat level reduced. She already has her iPad pulled up with the Tito rendering that I DM’d her, and she’s ready with some specific questions that I hadn’t even thought about. Do you want to incorporate his name on a collar to make it more personal? Ummm….Yes!! Threat level way down. Suzanne saying Tito’s name = She’s invested in this with me and she cares. 

After we agree on the artwork, Suzanne sets expectations on what will happen on the actual tattoo day. She goes over how long it will take, what I should wear so that I’m most comfortable, how much it will cost, and what I should eat and drink that day, and she gives me space to ask any questions. 

As you can imagine, when I walked in two days later, it was a pleasant experience. Compared to 25 years ago when I got my first ink, I pulled out the Yellow Pages and looked up tattoos and found one of two places out in the middle of nowhere. I walked in off the street and said I wanted a sunflower, and a very scary man placed a sunflower on my hip while saying a total of five words…..“You’re done, and that’s $40.”

But what does this have to do with online sales? EVERYTHING! Your buyers are at home thinking and planning and envisioning what their next new home will look like. They have it in their minds, much like I had Tito’s tattoo in mine. They start by researching homes online. And if your website isn’t pretty and relevant and up to date, you get crossed off the list. Sometimes they research for years and then a life-changing moment occurs. A new baby, new job, divorce, kids leaving, etc. pushes them forward one step closer and out of just the thinking/research phase into the “let’s go see about it” phase. They call and reach the Online Sales Specialist who is friendly and excited and wants to talk about what the home shoppers are envisioning and how to make it a reality. The Online Sales Specialist sets expectations on what’s going to happen when they come out for a visit. 

The handoff from online to onsite is seamlessly executed, and the sales exec preps for the appointment, so that when that buyer walks through the door, they are greeted with a personalized experience. They greet them by name and reference the kids, or maybe they mention that backyard for Tito. 

This is the evolution of buying a home today. It starts with envisioning a better home or lifestyle, researching online, browsing a relevant website, viewing pretty pictures of homes, a real person answering questions and setting expectations, and engaging with a “Suzanne” to make the vision a reality. Notice my story didn’t mention chatbots or self-setting appointment features, or auto-generated artwork. It started with a great website with pretty pictures and ended with Suzanne and a little Tito on my left shoulder. 

Jen Barkan
Online Sales Coach

Jen Barkan

Meet Jen

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