When things seem too complicated, buyers hold off.
As a consumer, you know this is true. When given a lot of options and strategies, most of us shut down and hold off on making a decision to buy something.
It is no different for buyers – you have to make it easy for buyers to want to do business with you.
Robert’s Maine Grill is a great New England restaurant in touristy Kittery. I drove by a number of times over a few weeks before ever going in – wondering what such a fancy looking place was doing in an outlet-mall town. It seemed out of place – which is why I love how they have the addendum to their big sign out front, saying that in their “fancy” restaurant, flip-flops are WELCOME.
You can immediately tell that they just want you to come in – and not worry about what you are wearing. It is a brilliant marketing move to encourage someone driving by who is having to make a split-second decision to turn in and park. Inside, they are down to earth folks and really are not overly fancy. They took an objection some people might have – their more formal-looking restaurant, and put the flip-flops sign up to assure you it’s OK to come in. Smart.
I remember when I first went looking for a smartphone and how confused I was (yea, that was a few years back). Now it is pretty easy because of so many millions of smartphone purchases later everyone is getting it right (most of the time). When I started looking, I could not get basic questions answered so I would never buy. Finally I met a super helpful sales rep and they answered all of my questions. There was nothing left for me to do but buy.
Amazon makes it easy to buy with their recommendations using what you have bought in an algorithm to help suggest other similar items. On the other hand, Google is offering me ads everywhere online and I really don’t like it. I would never click on anything served up to me by Google’s ad team. It is too much – too often.
So how to make it easy for your buyers? Here are a few ideas:
Start by asking them.
Listen to customers. Have annual or semi-annual account strategy sessions where you ask not only how you are doing with them but how you could serve them better. What do they need that you don’t offer?
Email an agenda ahead of time when you have phone meetings, This can help a busy client remember what it is you are talking about and have a point of reference.
Send follow up notes summarizing a discussion. If you missed anything, they have the opportunity to correct the notes. People like this because they don’t have to create it themselves. You’ve done it for them.
What other ways do you regularly help your clients to keep working with you on an ongoing basis, or ways that you help new buyers to do business with you?