The entrepreneur’s dilemma: you have a great product or service. You love your business and truly believe in what you offer. You know it can help your customers.
But why are they not buying?
This can be a really frustrating position to be in.
Business is about selling. But how do you sell if they are not buying? There are several reasons why people don’t buy. In this article, I share the top 3.
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The first reason is wrong targeting. For one reason or another, you are speaking to people who don’t match what you are offering. The second reason is trust. There is something about you or what you offer that they don’t trust. The third reason is that they don’t know you even exist.
Now, let’s look at each of these reasons in a little detail.
Reason # 1: Wrong targeting
What does this mean? It means you are talking to the wrong people about your product or service.
Let’s look at a few factors that are involved in wrong targeting.
- People who can’t afford what you are selling
There was a time I was selling dresses that I was ordering online from U.K, I had this wonderful idea of selling high-quality products to people who can’t afford them.
After all, everybody wants and deserves high quality not so?
That was mistake number one. I call this trying to sell Foschini quality at PEP stores pricing. There is nothing wrong with PEP stores and there is nothing wrong with Foschini.
They both sell clothing. However, they target different demographics. This is why like I have said in my course Work Your Business, that you can find a dress in PEP stores going at $15, which is approximately ZMW150 and you are likely to find a dress in Foschini at $60 or approximately ZMW600.
Customer targeting is done through the definition of target audience demographics and psychographics. Wrong targeting can lead to poor sales results.
In the example above, the detailed customer profile of a person who regularly spends $15 on dresses is different from one who spends $60 on dresses.
– B. Your Items are not expensive enough for them
I wish more small business owners could remember that it’s not always about lower price. I wish I knew this earlier in my business, but hey, nobody starts out knowing everything.
There are shoes selling for $250 or K2,500 right here in Zambia and people are buying them. Do you think those people are interested in some “affordable shoe” going only at $15 or K150?
Think again. Such people might say that item is ‘too cheap.’ Go figure, and here we are worrying that our item is too expensive.
Choose who you are going to target and stick to that. This gives you the confidence to face complaints about either quality to price. If you are offering the $10 range, you will know that some people will not like the quality. If you choose to go for the $500 range, you will know that some people will complain about the price. But since you know who you are targeting, none of this will bother you.
– C. They don’t need it badly enough
You might be talking to the wrong people when they don’t need your product badly enough to want to pay for it.
For example, a beauty model is likely to be willing to spend big sums of money on weight management products. This might not be the case with a full-time home manager. The reason, of course, is simple, one makes a living based on looks while the other one might be able to do just fine with moderate weight management.
One of these needs the product much more than the other even if they might have similar demographics but you will find that their psychographics differ.
So, are you targeting your customers correctly? In my book, 7 Steps to Better Sales Results, I have gone into details about the demographics and psychographics one must consider when defining their customer. I have also given an example of 3 different entrepreneur personas and how they are defining their target customer.
Reason #2: Lack of Trust
Imagine I am at the gas station or what my friends and I call the filling station. A young man comes around selling USB flash disks. I remember that I actually need one. However, I am reluctant to buy. What would make me reluctant to buy in such a case?
I don’t trust the seller. I have many risk-related questions going on in my mind regarding the seller and the product he is offering.
Such questions could include:
What if the USB storage capacity is not really 8GB as it says on the label?
What if it doesn’t work, where will I even find this guy?
As Jay Abraham, one of the world’s leading marketing experts says on closing sells, you must offer risk reversal.
He says this “every time there is a buying transaction between two people, one or both sides are taking a risk”
I have covered this topic in some detail in my book 7 Steps to Better Sales Results.
Lack of trust is one of the major reasons why people don’t buy a product even when they need it and even like the way it looks.
Risk reversal is the key to overcoming this problem.
There are many ways to handle this but let me just give one example.
When you want to buy new software, you might have many risk-related questions about the product.
Will it work?
Will it be helpful to me?
Is it easy to use?
Can I manage to use it without constantly calling the I.T girl?
In order to address this risk related issues or the lack of trust, software companies offer you a 30days free trial. In this way, they are doing risk reversal so you will be able to have all those questions answered in the real world by actually testing the product before you buy.
What risk-related issues are involved in the product that you offer and in what way can you offer risk reversal?
Reason #3: They Don’t Know That You Exist
Here is the no-brainer.
How will they buy from you when they don’t even know you exist? Duh!
When I started my first job, I moved for the first time to a very small town. I was looking for some kind of hair product. Where I was coming from, this product was available in so many shops. Imagine my frustration when I could not find a single shop throughout the main shopping area that was stocking this product!
I can bet you that if you have a high-value product, there is someone looking for you and what you offer but they simply don’t know that you exist.
What are you going to do about that?
Here is my question: how many people know about what you offer?
Here is another challenge, how many people’s names do you have in your phone book? How many people are you connected with on social media? How many people are you in contact with through your church, your community or even your business?
Do they ALL KNOW what you offer?
Joe Girard was entered in the World Guinness book of records at the World’s greatest salesman. He was selling cars and his average was 6 cars PER DAY. Imagine that! He was selling cars like we would sell dresses or jackets. No wonder he was named the world’s greatest salesman.
He had many important sales practices which I have also outlined in my book but here is one important one: he always carried his business cards.
He even did outrageous things like throwing a bunch of his business cards into the air during sports events.
Now, I am not suggesting you do that although, what could really be wrong with it? Rather my point is you are already in contact with so many people. Why not make sure they all know what you offer?
I don’t mean constantly bothering family and friends with your product offers. What I mean is that they must know that if they ever need or get someone asking them about a product you offer, they should know, that that product or service can be obtained from you.
Now apart from your immediate family and friends, who else knows about what you offer? How well are you advertising?
Please, I hope, word of mouth is not the sole marketing strategy you use. If you are not interested in increasing sales, well then you don’t need to do anything but if you are, you MUST ADVERTISE.
There are so many ways you can do this. I challenge you to come up with a list of 5 different ways you can advertise.
We have covered the three reasons why your customers are not buying. These are:
-talking to the wrong people
-lack of trust in you as the seller or what you are offering
-ignorance of your existence.
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