Sometimes the way to get more business is to simply make it easier for customers to buy from you. I was recently reminded of this when I tried to place a client advertising schedule with a local media company. Despite my best efforts to give them money, the company made it almost impossible for me to buy from them. I think this happens a lot. So maybe it’s time for all us to review how we sell to customers and clear a path for them to buy.
Give Clear Directions
Do customers even know how to buy from you? You may think it’s intuitive, but you’re in the business every day. Customers may not really know how to buy from you. This is especially true in a service business. For example, when I met with the rep from the local media company, she gave me a “media kit,” filled with lots of information about how great they were. But there was absolutely no information about how to buy. Now, I’m a seasoned marketing professional and I know how to buy, but a local, small business probably doesn’t know how to buy a media schedule.
So ask yourself, and your customers; “Am I leaving it up them to figure out how to buy from me?”
Sometimes we just need to get out of the way and let the customer buy something. Eliminate friction points in the customer’s experience that slow down the process. Back to my story with local media company (can you tell I’m protecting their name?). I requested some ratings information from them to help me make my final placement decision. They told me that to give me that information, they would have to schedule a meeting to explain everything. I was ready to buy immediately, but they wanted to schedule another meeting!
Are you requiring too much effort from your customers to buy something? How can you remove the hoops customers are required to jump through?
Give a Push
..or a helping hand. You and your customer are in this together. How can you help them with a purchase decision? Maybe they need to be able to compare your different options side-by-side. Maybe they need your specific advice on which product is right for them. Be available to help your customers make a decision. Finally, don’t forget to ask for the business! “So would you like to go ahead and purchase now?”
How can you work with your customers to make it easier to buy from you?
So, what happened in my attempt to do business with the un-named local media company? One day AFTER I placed an order with them, they called me back to let me know that I would need to pay cash in advance for the order to run. 15 minutes later I had the business placed with another company.