Fact: People love to buy but … they are afraid to do so. Fear is the strongest sales objection you will ever have to deal with. In fact, it is the only one you will ever have to overcome. Anything else that might be preventing your prospects from buying from you has its roots in fear.
Price, time or other commitments are simply your prospects excuses for not wanting to admit that they do not feel secure to buy from you. Behind any sales objection hides one of such questions as:
- What will happen if I buy from you and things go wrong?
- What will be the consequences to me?
- Is my career, reputation or position at stake?
- What will my boss/spouse/family say?
- Is that really a necessary purchase?
- Will you provide me with enough support?
- What if I can get the item cheaper?
Buying poses a risk and quite often prospects take it on a personal level, fearing how much trouble they will get into if they buy from you. And, one of the most important things for you to do, regardless of whether you run your own business or work for a company, is to minimize that perceived risk. Failing at that means only one thing, no sale. Use the following tips below to minimize the risk of buying from you:
1. Build Customer Awareness about You and Your Company
Educate your prospect about you and your company before you even initiate the selling process with them. Increase your business accountability by becoming known as an expert in your field. Create your brand advocates. Be everywhere your prospects are, in person or via your publications, writing, advertising and more.
Here are some simple ways to achieve that:
- Write a blog
- Write a column in a publication that’s read by your prospects
- Send a regular newsletter with advice that helps your clients and prospects
- Speak in public
- Organize networking events
- Run regular training sessions for your clients
- Do anything else that can help you become known. You will know what will work best for you.
2. Become Famous for Your Customer Support
Think for a second. . . are people afraid to buy from Zappos? Of course not, the company is famous for its support and because of this one thing alone, it is hard to fear purchasing from them since they will listen to you if things go wrong.
Strive to achieve the same level of perception about your business. If your prospects heard about your amazing support before they even met you, how hard do you think it would be for them to decide to buy?
3. Show Mind Blowing Testimonials
Build social proof of your service and customer support with great testimonials. Post them up on:
- Your website
- LinkedIn profile
- Social media
- Business card
- Your brochures
- Product packaging
Testimonials are like a seal of approval for your business. Showing that others have been satisfied with your service or product is one of the most powerful ways to reassure potential clients to buy from you.
3. Offer a Sales Guarantee
Offer a guarantee that will be hard to beat. At my company, we give money back if our clients realize that our course didn’t bring the desired result. In other words, there is no risk for the buyer to try us out. Worst comes to worst, they will loose some time in their day going through our product.
4. Follow Up With Your Prospects
Regardless of what you do, there are times when you are not able to overcome your prospects fear of buying before they meet you. But, you can still do it afterwards. Show your prospect that you care about them, reassure them that you will not disappear the minute they hand over the check. Follow up with them regularly, check if they don’t have any questions to ask or don’t want to clarify some information. Be proactive and come up with ways to stay in touch while offering value.
What other ways of reducing your prospects fear of buying do you use? Is there anything I missed?
Safety Net Photo via Shutterstock
Thank you Isaac.
Pawel, I will say that your post got me to thinking about my printing businesses. We send out a monthly survey to all our customers who we did business with in the prior month. We also ask for comments. Those comments are excellent testimonials to put on our website and in our email blasts. Our prospects and our existing customers need to see that using our services will not get them into trouble and that we do what we say.
Stephen, that’s exactly it! Those testimonials can help you build a positive image of your business in the eyes of your prospects. And, that can only help your business grow. Well done.
Thank you for the comment Stephen.
Great article, Pawel. Particularly about ‘testimonials’. Its very important to wow the customers and get them talking positively about your products and services, and then unleash powerful word of mouth to take the business to the next level.
Thank you Dhana, I appreciate that!
Pawel, this is an excellent reminder post for me — reminding me of the many things I can do today to further cement my small business customer relationships. Thanks for a great job. Really!
Hey TJ, thanks a lot and delighted to be of help 🙂
Pawel Grabowski wrote an excellent article that you provided a link to. Another great way to reduce risk is by selling a “test service at a nominal fee” Most people, sane people anyway, don’t switch vendors or make a big buy of any product or service. They do a test run, a trial or sample. Help them establish metrics for your test, help them track results and deliver beyond their expectations. This gives them confidence to take a bigger step.
This article is great advice. ESPECIALLY if you have an online business. They don’t know you, you’re a total stranger, there’s no real person-to-person interaction other than your content and email… so it’s extra important to establish credibility and trust on your website and sales pages.
Enjoyed your article. I also believe that you can reduce risk a customer perceives by increasing your familiarity with the customer. This can be done by not only selling your differences compared to what the customers uses and does now so solving their problems but also to sell your equalities too – where are you equal compared to what they do and use at the moment so causing minimal disruption, upheaval and hassle changing to you. I believe risk always dominates over value – sort the risk out then sell the value. If you sell the value before addressing the risk you end giving stuff away for nothing as they will not buy!