You’ve worked hard (darn hard, in many cases) to get prospects to your site and sales pages – and many times they are on the verge of buying when they suddenly decide NOT to. What happened? How can you get so very close to making a sale only to lose it?
It’s no secret that most people are shy about spending money. They’ve had one or a thousand and one experiences in the past that taught them to exercise massive caution before parting with their hard earned money. For example, they’ve made a purchase and then never used the product. Or they made a purchase and then realized they had to invest even more money to enjoy the product. Or perhaps they got something for free which ended up costing them time and even money. We’ve all been there, and the accumulation of those experiences teaches everyone of us to exercise extreme caution when making a purchase, and even when accepting something for free.
Many times the prospect is sitting on the fence, and the result could go either way with the slightest bit of a push. Here are several methods to get more of them to jump off that fence and buy your product. And while none of these are all that glamorous, they are deadly effective at increasing your sales, both short term and long term.
1. Provide lots of detailed, authentic contact information and proof that you are who you say you are. Give your real address and a real phone number. If you have an actual brick and mortar business, regardless of whether or not it is open to the public, show a photo of it. Use photos of yourself and those who work for you on your contact page. Have a group photo of all of you if possible. If you’re a solo online marketer, show a photo of you and your family. (Yes, you’ll still look professional.) Show photos of yourself at events related to your niche. If you’ve personally won awards for work in your niche, display those as well.
2. Legitimize your website. Join the Better Business Bureau and display their logo on your website. Display anti-hacker seals on your shopping cart. Has your website won awards? Display them. Do other well-known companies or websites recommend you and your website? Display these seals or recommendations prominently.
3. Make a list of frequently asked questions with detailed answers and display it on your website. Add to the list as you receive questions from prospects and customers.
4. Be consistent. Discrepancies are big red flashing warning signs to prospects and will derail a sale nearly every time.
5. Be honest. Don’t just tell them what’s so darn great about your product, also tell them what you’re product doesn’t do or who should not buy it. Be candid, be open, and be real. If you come across as a trusted adviser who always speaks the truth rather than a slick salesman, you will build a loyal customer base who believes what you say and acts on your recommendations with little hesitation. Just as in the offline world, your reputation means everything.
6. Solicit and use testimonials. Never underestimate the power of testimonials. Ask your customers for feedback on the product they purchase and their experience with you and / or your company. Put up a wall of testimonials and place the link to that page on every other page of your website. And don’t just use the “Everything was super fantastic!” testimonials. When a customer has a problem, bend over backwards to make it right, and then ask that customer to write about their experience. Everyone knows that even with the best of companies things can go wrong – what they want to know is if you stand behind your business and fix problems when they occur.
7. Ask others to evaluate your website. Find people who aren’t afraid to give you the unvarnished truth, and ask them to go over your website just as if they found it through Google or some other means. Ask them how your website makes them feel about your company, what’s missing and what can be improved. If they were in the market for your product or service, would they buy? Why or why not? What would make them hesitate? What makes them suspicious or leery? What makes them feel comfortable?
All of these things may seem small and mundane, but you’d be surprised how often they make the difference between getting the sale or losing the prospect forever.