The Startup
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The Startup

Photo by Erik Eastman on Unsplash

Does your audience have enough confidence in you to buy?

You may have caught their attention with great marketing, and provided all the necessary information to make a decision to buy, but how do you get them to choose you amongst everyone else?

I’ve been thinking about…

  • What entices users to “buy” and then buy again?
  • How do you get your audience to trust you?

Are you:

  • selling products online or offline, or
  • promoting your consulting services, or
  • providing a service or experience?

The experience and expectations will be different based on the type of business but the considerations are similar:

  • Quality (Value, Knowledge)
  • Price
  • Availability & Convenience
  • Exclusivity
  • Customer Experience

Quality

Users want the highest quality for the most affordable price.

What does quality service or product look like?

  • it meets or exceeds expectations
  • it’s helpful or interesting or fun
  • long lasting, predictable experience
  • if there is something wrong, it is rectified in a professional manner
  • good ratings, reviews, feedback whether it’s word of mouth or online
  • great testimonials from clients, customers, colleagues on Linkedin or business website or social media

In the case of professional consultancy services, do you have an impressive client list or strong case studies? Have you published articles or white papers? Do you link to it from your website/online profile?

Price

  • Price becomes less of an issue when purchasing from a reliable source. This holds true whether you’re buying clothing or professional advice online.
  • Price is most important when users don’t know the service provider.
  • Price is important when the product or service quality varies.
  • Price is least important if there’s a return on investment or users learn something or it enhances their lives or they simply enjoy it.

Availability & Convenience

There are times when availability and convenience rank high — when I’m ordering a sandwich from the coffee shop around the corner.

How can you make your professional service more convenient?

  • online consultations to serve clients worldwide
  • being available across timezones to accommodate offshore clients
  • whatsapp support and comms for your service business. (I recently had a plumber diagnose an issue via video call and so he knew exactly what to bring by. The job was done in less than 30mins.)

Exclusivity

Sometimes people must have something to fit in — like an Apple product. Other times they want to show you that they have something that no one else has!

Which provider are you?

Who is your audience? The ones who need to fit in or be exclusive?

If it’s exclusivity, then you

  • need to have your business recommended by your ideal client or a small group of ideal clients
  • sell the dream, the aspiration, the image more than the boring details of your actual product/service
  • share before and after stories to show the impact of your work

Customer Experience

Depending on what we’re buying there are different expectations of online support and customer experience.

Examples:

  • I have very few expectations when buying an ebook. As long as the online checkout process is functional and I am able to successfully download the book, I don’t expect frills.
  • However, when buying clothing online, I’m most interested in getting value for money. It should look just as good as it does in the online store. My expectations include a high-quality product, secure checkout process, efficient delivery service and helpful customer support.

Existing vs New Customers

It’s a lot easier to get sales from existing customers — especially those who have had positive experiences with your brand.

But that first purchase is just so important! It determines the future of buying patterns — will they buy again, will they become a fan, will they recommend your product/service…

Once they’re hooked on your content or professional advice, they may even seek out your content instead of you needing to attract them.

If I buy from you and enjoyed your product, I will buy from you again and again. If I’m able to monetise what I learned, I will buy from you without considering the price.

How important is it to romance customers?

Freebies (including free consults and content), discounts and promos may be helpful to entice your audience at first.

But creatives shouldn’t have to slowly romance users by offering dozens of free ebooks, worksheets or iconsets. A few good freebies is fine. Even one high quality item that showcases your value add is sufficient.

Originally posted on my website on 9 February 2017

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 275,365+ people.

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