Ever wonder why some people buy from you almost without hesitation…
…yet others who seem like a great fit for your product or service can seem 99% convinced but then just… disappear?
We’ve all been ghosted by a ‘sure thing’ before.
And I’m sure you’ve had that “Was it something I said?” feeling right after it happens.
In digital marketing, it’s often more like “Was it something my sales copy said?”
Usually we’re left cluelessly wondering “What if…” for a while, before straightening up and moving on…
After all, business is business, right? Nothing personal, you tell yourself. It happens.
But then, just like with your first crush who barely noticed your existence back when you were 11, some rejections are harder to take than others…
And so the question pops up again when you least expect it:
“What if it really WAS me..?”
Luckily, in marketing at least, there’s a cure for all this lingering What-If-ery.
Because when you know what’s turning off your ‘sure thing’ prospects, you can fix it. And that leads to better messaging, and more successful marketing.
Sometimes it helps to simply ask what the problem was.
It’s not always possible to question the ‘ones that got away’ – although asking non-buyers what went wrong is one way of doing it.
But, like a heartbroken 11-year-old, you can also end up looking a little… well, pathetic.
So how about keeping dignity intact and asking the folks on the other side of the fence: your happy customers and clients?
That’s something I did the other day on a client project, and it ended up being crucial.
We turned to the people who were delighted with their purchase, but who also – like with the vast majority of online transactions – almost certainly had some reservations before handing over their hard-earned cash.
(In this case, my client’s product is an online booking & management tool for small businesses that schedule appointments with their customers. Since the project is still ongoing, I’ll keep them anonymous for now.)
We asked a range of questions using a version of my research survey process, and got some fascinating, insightful responses.
But there was one question I wanted to highlight in particular…
We asked a bunch of their most engaged users:
“Did you have any hesitations before using the product? Were you reluctant or unsure about anything before trying it?”
The responses we got back were honest, thoughtful and contained a treasure trove of objections we were able to address in the new sales messaging.
That’s a big win from asking a pretty simple question.
People opened up about the worries they had around having to learn and adapt their biz to the product – particularly for their older customer base, since they’d need to use it too. For example:
“I was worried that some of my clients wouldn’t like having to book online as some are older and don’t like technology”
They also mentioned how they were initially unsure about committing to my client’s subscription model – but how once they understood exactly how the free trial worked, they felt more comfortable about signing up:
“Unsure about committing to something long term without knowing what it was like, but the free trial period was amazing and the fact that I can cancel whenever I need to is reassuring”
Some even expressed concerns about a perceived ‘flaw’ in the system that might let others snoop on them – which wasn’t actually the case, but that alerted us to another potential objection all the same:
“Losing control and competitors being able to view our diary to see how busy we are”
Most interestingly, that mention of “control” was one of several responses using that word…
So it became clear that, even though these people were looking for a more automated solution to help them run their businesses more efficiently, many were still worried about ‘letting go’ and ditching their existing processes.
As one respondent put it:
“I reluctantly left my appointment book behind 2 years ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made”
It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes your customers will also feel that way about the failing ‘status quo’ – about their tried & tested but no-longer-reliable way of doing things…
It’s human nature to want to hang on to our routine, to want to stick with what’s worked so far, even if it’s flawed and starting to cause problems.
So if you can speak directly to this in your messaging and show how others just like your prospect overcame the same fears by letting go – and crucially, who made that decision for themselves – you actually give your message LESS ‘selling’ to do.
All this info direct from our customers’ mouths meant we were able to plug a few big leaks in the messaging, and address some key objections future site visitors might have.
So this month’s Clarity Question you should ask your clients & customers whenever you get chance is this:
“Did you have any hesitations before using (YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE)? Were you reluctant or unsure about anything before trying it?”
You can use that Q in an automated follow-up survey after purchase… in your client review process if you’re a consultant or service provider…
…or even as part of a more focused research effort to help you better communicate your unique value to your IDEAL customers.
If you’d like more info on what that looks like, drop me a line here.