“If only our customers would buy more
from us” is a resounding phrase that is heard throughout many businesses these days as the demand for increased sales to offset rising costs. While we may wish to have more revenue by selling more, our
customers are at the other end of the spectrum facing rising costs themselves. They are looking at their money
and wondering how they can make it last longer. Every time they spend their money, they are facing a risk. Yet more often than not as businesses and organizations we don’t consider the risks that our customers face on a daily basis when thinking about buying from us.
An underlying factor why people don’t buy from us is that they perceive some sort of risk. Perhaps they are unsure of our brand, the new product, your service offering. They want to ensure that if they buy something for their company or their family it will leave them in good standing financially, socially, and functionally.
If you can figure out what the risk is that your customers perceive and offset that risk by communicating value, offering the best warranty or security to minimize their perception of risk.
Typically, customers have 4 types of risk perceptions. Financial, Social, Functional and Safety. By building a relationship with your customers and asking the right questions you can figure out what type of risk they perceive and allay these fears.
1. Financial Risk – Your customers are worried about the cost of the product or service not being equal to the value. You can reduce this risk by having payment plans, guarantees and creating a perception of value in the product.
2. Social Risk – No one wants to be humiliated or embarrassed and if the thought of buying your product has the potential of causing a social risk your customers will steer away. You can reduce this risk by positioning your product to the right market and engaging with your customers in a way that reinforces their ego and suggests that they might be the leaders in the buying experience.
3. Functional Risk - Your product needs to do what it says. Warranties and Guarantees can reduce this risk to your customer of buying something that does not work as promised.
4. Safety Risk – If your product has the potential to hurt someone, you need to be aware of that risk and have plans and strategies in place to ensure and reduce the risk to your buying customer. This may include government inspections, and certifications, and both
visual and invisible safety standards that give your customer the satisfaction that you have done everything necessary to reduce the risk of harm to them and those around them.
By figuring out how you can reduce the risk for your customers you are increasing the likelihood that they will buy from you. Many companies find that they get lots of hits to their website but few buyers. Unfortunately, if your customers don’t trust you for whatever the reason they are not going to purchase. People buy from people they like and trust.
Developing trust takes time and effort. In order to build that trust we need to develop a relationship; we need to develop credibility. The same goes for brick-and-mortar businesses as online companies.
A key factor in building trust is consistency. Your customers’ buy the first time and expect the same level of service each and every time after that. If you as the owner are giving great service, but your vision of that service level hasn’t cascaded down to your front-line employees, you have a problem that you need to fix. Building trust and consistency can improve your sales and increase your profits. Start today looking at your business
model and your organization with a new set of eyes and make notes on how you can reduce your customers' risk and increase your ability to grow your sales!
Dave Fuller MBA, is an Award Winning Certified Professional Business Coach the Author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Dave is a partner in the firm Pivotleader and has a passion for helping people like you get better results. Email your question or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org