Why is it that one of the hardest things to do in business is move people from being aware of your brand, maybe even actively interested in some of your products, to actually making a purchase?
Why is it so hard to grow revenue and sales even when marketing is doing well?
In this post, we are going to answer those questions and propose a simple solution that can help fix your sales issues.
There are several main reasons people do not buy according to marketing expert Joanna Wiebe. We’re going to talk about each of those in order to better understand the obstacles to making the sale. From there, we’ll turn to proposing a few simple solutions to help you grow your sales as a business.
The first obstacle you have to overcome is inertia. This is an easy one to pass over, but it’s worth thinking about more.
There is a routine in which people live their lives. Routine is comfortable and familiar. Disrupting the routine can be frightening or lead to anxiety. It creates uncertainty.
When you have a routine, you know how your day will go. When you do not have a routine, everything feels less solid.
This is why children thrive on having fixed daily routines, of course. But adults are no different. We need predictability in order to feel comfortable and at home within ourselves and within our lives.
We want to know what the plan is and that things are going according to plan.
This is the biggest reason you struggle to bring in new customers.
If someone has not bought from you before, that means you are not part of their routine. So they will have to break their routine to make a purchase from you. Then, depending on what kind of product you sell, they may have to alter their daily routines to fit your product or service into the new routine.
Suppose you’re a restaurant. If people haven’t been to your place before, it’s easy for them to continue not going to your place. Other national brands will be better known. They may also already have a local spot or two they love to visit.
So why would they try your place?
Or imagine you’re an online business. Your customers haven’t met you. They probably know next to nothing about you. And now you’re wanting them to risk trying something new.
Why should they?
If you want people to buy from you, you need to give them a reason to disrupt their routine and try something new.
One way to give them a reason is to make it harder to say “no.”
Offer a one-time only discount
Send a short-term deal
Give something that will incentivize action right away and overcome their inertia.
This is very easy to do with SMS marketing and, indeed, is one of the main use cases for SMS marketing.
That being said, to truly overcome inertia you need to know your product inside and out and your prospects inside and out.
Being able to sympathetically understand what motivates your prospects, what they’re afraid of, what problems they have, and so on will help you close the deal.
Here, again, SMS is a great channel because of how it personalizes your communication with prospects and customers.
One of the reasons people don’t like visiting stores or talking to sales reps is simple: We do not like saying no to other people.
And so when we talk to a salesperson, the interaction often goes one of two ways:
Either we say ‘no’ because we don’t want the product and have an uncomfortable interaction or
We end up saying ‘yes’ to something we don’t actually want.
Shopping online helps people avoid that uncomfortable interaction.
What this means for your business is that you often will need to move slowly in order to win the sale.
Many of us tend to be suspicious of salespeople and will take a long time to decide whether or not to buy.
How do you overcome this problem?
You give people ways to slowly build trust at the pace that is comfortable for them.
As Wiebe suggests, on-site chat can be helpful. But you can also use:
Transparent and easily accessed information
A strong About page to all help build trust
SMS is tricky to use with this problem. On the one hand, a person’s phone number is often something that is guarded a bit more than their email. So you may need to go some way toward earning their trust before they share a phone number with you so that you can text them.
That said, once you have their number, texting is a great way to continue building trust because, again, it is a highly personalized, customizable form of messaging.
We all have limited budgets, both businesses and consumers.
So when we come across a new item we could spend money on, virtually everyone starts running the mental math in their head:
“If I spent money on this what will I have to give up?”
It may well be the case that it is more rational for the person to buy your product than it is to buy whatever it is they want at that moment. But wants will often win out, even if the want is slightly irrational.
To overcome this challenge, you need to identify what particular “want” your product appeals to and begin by appealing to the customer in that way.
Perhaps you’re a business coach: The “want” you help your clients get is higher revenue or maybe a more engaged workforce which translates into a more stable company. Those are things any business owner will want.
So even if you have a more immediate need you’re addressing—maybe you help someone improve office culture or you have techniques for improving sales performance—you should start out by emphasizing the particular “want” you can fulfill.
Focus on that and you earn the person’s interest and engagement. Once you have that, then you can start thinking more about how to pitch particular products.
There are a variety of ways you can do this using SMS.
You can test various messages across your list and see what resonates with people the most—that’s a good way to identify the particular “want” you’re fulfilling for people.
You can also use SMS to engage in actual conversations with people in order to better understand their situation and what particular need or problem has brought them to you.
“Friction” refers to the various steps and tasks a person has to get through in order to do something on a website.
Clicking a link is friction
Checking a box is friction
Scrolling down the page to find a link is a minor type of friction
The more friction, the fewer purchases, sign-ups, etc.
So if you want to increase sales, there’s a simple thing to do:
Make it as easy as possible for them to buy.
If they’re on your website and they’ve already clicked “buy now” on the product page, why are you asking them two or even three more times to confirm the purchase?
If you want people to get to a certain page on your site or a certain area in your store, make it easy for them to do that.
The easier it is for people to do the thing you want them to do the more often they’ll do it.
SMS fits into this problem quite neatly. You can use SMS messaging to send people links that will take them directly to a product page or a checkout page. By doing this, you’re making it even easier for them to make a purchase:
Open the message
Visit the page
Make the purchase.
Do note that, as always, you need to be smart in how you use this.
If people feel spammed by you with product offers that aren’t relevant to them, you’ll lose subscribers. But if you know your customers, you know what drives their decision making, and you know when they want to buy, then you can use texting to arrive at the right moment with the right offer.
And that should lead to higher sales and revenue numbers for your business.
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