Getting new customers to commit is a difficulty that all businesses face. Consumers have a lot of options.
Convincing “fence-sitters” to choose your product or service over all of the others available in the marketplace is definitely one of the biggest obstacles you’ll encounter.
Some consumers are very well informed but often hesitate when it comes to buying. They have an abundance of information available at their fingertips about all the products and services they could ever need and yet they remain reluctant to buy.
Others are ready to make a purchase, but aren’t being wowed by your sales process.
How do you handle a prospective customer who continues to sit on the fence? Is it possible to nudge your lead towards making a buying decision without being too pushy?
Yep – you can gently and successfully steer customers towards making a purchase. Implement a few of the suggestions below and you will improve the chances that a lead will finally commit and decide to choose your services.
1. Create a Ton of (Valuable) Content
Content is the best way to make sure that leads have all the information they need about your products and services. In the past, direct mailers or newspaper ads may have done the trick but things are vastly different in today’s educated society.
The most basic way to showcase your business to potential customers is through your company website and email list. Having well-designed and informative content that’s published regularly is an absolute necessity. When consumers want to find out more information about your products/services, it should be delivered to them on a silver platter right to their inbox.
Vary it up too. The right piece of content for some may be different than others. Here are a few examples:
- Case Studies
- Demo Videos
- FAQ Posts
- Audio Reports/Podcasts
- Industry Specific Reports
You can also publish all of this sweet content on your company website. Not only will this provide visitors with additional information about your products and services, it will also increase your blog traffic and grow your list.
2. Build Rapport
The primary problem with websites, blogs, and poorly handled email lists is that they’re somewhat impersonal. By using targeted and consistent (not to mention valuable) interaction, you can present a more personalized message to potential customers that may just give them what they need to buy.
People long for connection – it’s a basic human need. Consumers want to know that there are actual human beings behind the company logo and you have to nurture that need.
A person who feels connected to a company is more likely to buy and will often develop a sense of loyalty towards that brand. While it can be difficult to develop a relationship with consumers online, it’s not impossible.
There are a couple of ways to do it.
One way to establish a sense of relationship with potential clients is by maintaining active accounts on multiple social media platforms. Being active on social media actually humanizes your company to consumers; people feel like they have a connection to your company because they are updated regularly on your progress and they can engage with you easily online.
Giving social a personal feel is hard to scale, but there are a few easy ways to make an impact:
- Highlight your fans that have gone through the trouble to reach out.
- When you interact, go over the top. Shoot a response video or make it public on your other social channels.
- Post regularly. Consistency is one of the best ways to build rapport.
Since emails are more exclusive than social media, customers feel as if you’re speaking to them directly. It’s also easier to scale. You can even set up a series of automatic emails to continue to engage clients over a long period of time, which contributes to the feeling of having an on-going relationship with your company.
All of that content can be delivered in the proper order (over time). One key to closing sales is demonstrating to the customer that your product/service fulfils an unmet need. Sending a personalized e-mail directly to the consumer right when they need it allows you to explain clearly how they will benefit from your services.
Building rapport in this way also ensures that the customer doesn’t forget about you. Social media and emails consistently remind potential clients of the products and services that you offer.
3. Use Social Proof
Social proof is when people take cues from others around them and make decisions based on what they observe.
Example: How many times have you bought something off of Amazon without taking a look at online reviews?
Customers want to be reassured that your company will reliably provide the products and services that you have described. Luckily, there are multiple ways you can provide social proof:
Testimonials: One of the most common means of social proof is the testimonial. The best testimonials are those that talk about the issues clients were facing in the past and how your company resolved those issues. Testimonials can be featured on your website or included in those emails sent directly to the consumer.
Endorsements: You can see this type of social proof on virtually every book cover in existence. Publishers include quotes from well-known authors, journalists, critics, etc. praising the work in order to encourage browsers to become buyers.
Press Mentions: If your product is the subject of an article, whether it be in a trade magazine, local newspaper, or a major media outlet, it’s sure to boost your company’s social profile. Guest posts you’ve published are a common way to get those logos. An endorsement could easily sway those leads that are still wavering.
4. Simplify Your Primary Message
It’s possible that your leads are unwilling to make a purchase because they aren’t sure that your product solves their biggest problem(s). Maybe they’ve checked your stuff out and read up, but they’re paralyzed with indecision and just want to know that their issue will be solved.
Here are a few suggestions:
Make Content “Skimmable”
We’re being inundated by so much information that we’ve started scanning and skimming content to see if it’s worth reading it in its entirety. This can present a problem when you’re attempting to make a sale, but the problem can be remedied easily through simplification.
Make your content easy on the eyes by breaking is up. Using different sized fonts to make sections stand out. Readers will be able to find what they need much faster.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Content
To simplify your message, you need to whittle it down to the essentials. The very basic requirements are acknowledging the client’s problem or need, explaining how your services address the problem or need, and asking them to take action. Be sure that all the communications you direct towards your customer are clear and concise. Their purchasing options should be laid out in an easy-to-understand format that allows little chance of misinterpretation.
Consider boiling everything down into an elevator pitch or a 6-second brand story.
5. Mitigate the Risk & Create Urgency
These two items are lumped together because they deal with both sides of a basic human emotion, fear. If they fear the risk, comfort them into buying. If they aren’t taking your offer seriously, give them something to lose.
Taking Away Doubts
Moving leads over that final bump may come by eliminating any perceived risk of purchasing. The most straight-forward way to accomplish this is to offer them a guarantee. If customers are wavering and unsure about which company to hire, they will feel more secure giving their business to a company that provides them with an assurance of quality.
You can also answer those fears directly through a well-timed email (big surprise).
Putting in Some Worry
Creating a sense of urgency can have a direct and tangible impact on the amount of sales you make. There are several ways to accomplish this. One option is offering a limited quantity of product. If customers think that there’s a chance the product will “sell out” or end soon, they’re more likely to buy.
If your product is evergreen, don’t worry. You can offer a time-sensitive discount, free trial, or give a bonus to buyers in order to encourage purchases. Creating urgency brings your product to the top of your customer’s priority list and can convince otherwise indecisive clients to make a sales decision quickly.
A Word on Follow-Up
So you’ve done all of the above and your lead still isn’t committing to buy. Well, don’t give up. Being persistent can most definitely pay off. You should continue to follow-up with your lead.
Depending on the price and use of your product(s), the buying cycle can naturally be over a year.
There are a lot of ways to keep your company in the forefront of the consumer’s mind without inundating them with the same dry sales pitches. Try sending out e-mails to mark special occasions, such as the customer’s birthday. You can also send messages that reflect the current season or up-coming events like Christmas or the beginning of the school year.
Take a look at your buyer personas and figure out the things that are important to your leads (hint: it doesn’t have to be related to your product or industry).
It can be frustrating when leads don’t convert directly into sales. Nudging a potential client over the line from indecision to satisfied customer may be difficult, but it can be accomplished with thought, care, and (most importantly) consistency.
This may take time, commitment and effort on your part, but the returns are well worth the investment.
What are you doing to wow leads off the fence?