Are You Running a Velvet Rope Business?

There’s a bar just around the corner from where I live.

Cheap beer. Loud music. And plenty of seedy characters for people watching.

Basically, everything a guy like me needs to kick back for an hour or two.

This bar (which shall remain nameless) also had some pretty killer slices of pizza. It was the perfect spot for a late-night hunger fix…

(Notice how I’m using the past tense here?)

Now, this place didn’t shut down or anything. I still see people packing the patio when I cruise by on a weekend night.

Something much more traumatic happened.

One night I was hanging out there with a big group of friends. We’d just played some pool, and we were stuffing our faces with some of their famous pizza. All in all, shaping up to be a pretty good night…

Until we saw the rat.

I can’t remember who pointed it out. Things got confusing with all the shrieking and hysterics.

But there it was – scuttling along the rafters. Freakishly big. We’re talking New York City sewer system level here.

Then I was queasy. It was all I could do to keep my food down, much less finish it.

One of my friends pointed it out to the staff. They said they knew about the problem, and that they were “working on it.”

We left shortly after. None of us ever went back.

It’s a shame really.

They sell great stuff – good beer, food, and fun times with friends – but they didn’t package it right. Now all I see when I think of that place is rats.

What does this have to do with your online business?

A lot more than you might think.

There are a ton of businesses online selling great stuff. But they package their offers in a way that makes people run away screaming.

So you might not have a quality issue, but a presentation issue.

When someone lands on your website, what does it feel like to them?

Does it feel like trudging through a rat-infested sewer?

Or the entrance of a posh club where the bouncer raises the velvet rope for them and winks?

You aren’t selling to anyone and everyone. Doing business with you should feel like a privilege. A special experience crafted just for your visitors.

Your website design and copy has to reflect that.

Sounds shallow, but it’s reality.

People will judge the quality of your business by its appearance. They’re doing it this very moment.

Are you paying enough attention to this stuff?

Do you have a clean, easy-to-navigate website layout?

Testimonials from happy customers?

A persuasive, but not desperate, sales pitch?

Invest an hour or two going over your website. See if you can spot any weak spots that are giving people the wrong impression. Better yet, get someone else to look at it with fresh eyes and share their thoughts.

Do this consistently, and you’ll separate yourself from complacent, stubborn competitors.