Do you know why people are not buying your products or services? It turns out most entrepreneurs and marketers have no idea whatsoever. Understanding the customer’s buying decision process is essential for marketing and sales of online courses.
When you speak to entrepreneurs developing an informational products and you ask them about their biggest challenges, they say something like this:
“I don’t know why people are not buying my product. I have traffic, e-mail subscribers, people are commenting on my blog and sharing my content but still very few decide to buy”.
That applies to people that seem to be great marketers. See, they know a lot about SEO, blogging and lead generation. Normally you would assume that they know how to sell their stuff. It turns out they don’t.
Customers go through 5 stages in taking the decision to purchase any goods or services. The buying process starts long before the actual purchase and continues long after.
For Fast Moving Consumer Goods the purchase decision process tends to be shorter/quicker, and for habitual purchase behavior or repeat purchases the decision process is short-circuited.
The marketer’s job is to understand the buyer’s behavior at each stage and the influences that are operating.
The oblivious, per Derek Halpern, are people who don’t even realize that they’re suffering from a fixable problem.
Imagine the woman who has had a pain in her back for such a long time that she doesn’t even conceive that there could be life without such pain.
Stage one is the recognition of the particular problem or need and here the buyer has a need to satisfy or a problem that needs solving, and this is the beginning of the buyer decision process.
Sales don’t happen without that factor. That’s the reason why you couldn’t sell neckties to aborigines.
Derek calls such people the afflicted. They may or may not believe that there is a solution.
Stage two is where we begin to search for information about the product or service.
People try to find goods for satisfying such needs. They search for information about the goods they want. Consumers can get information about goods from different sources.
The end result of the information search is someone who is informed. He knows about his problem, he knows that there are ways to solve their problem, but haven’t made up their mind yet in terms of what product to choose.
With the information in hand, the buyer proceeds to evaluate products, whereby the buyer decides based on a set of criteria (or emotional factors).
At this stage we buy or select a product/service/supplier. Buyers make two choices:
The process continues even when the product or service is being consumed by the individual or business. So if it doesn’t meet your needs or solve your problem you can take action to improve the product or service. Your actions at this point might inform other potential buyers who would be keen to hear about your experiences – good or bad.
It turns out there are several really good reasons why people, a.k.a. potential customers are not buying. When having troubles selling consider if any of these reasons is true. Then try to come up with a solution to overcome it. It’s not that hard but you must know what’s not working in order to fix it.
No matter how good or awesome your product or service is people will always have a resistance to buying it. It’s a natural response that we humans develop. Our job as marketers is to help potential customers overcome this resistance and to nurture them to make a purchase.
This is a rare case but sometimes people can’t really afford your product or service. They simply don’t have the money and even if they want it, they can’t have it. This can be especially true when you’re offering premium and expensive goods.
Solution: There are only 2 things you can do here:
switch your offering to other audiences that can afford your products/services
offer a payment plan
Often times the client has not time to decide and use your product. He doesn’t want to learn to use something new because he’s busy with other things that he believes are more important.
Solution: Show the value of your product or service to the client and how it can help him solve his problems. If you can increase his productivity, help him sell more or decrease his expenses, he will at least take the time to listen to you.
A lot of the times the potential client simply doesn’t see the value in your product and he thinks that he doesn’t need it. And as you know – people are not willing to pay for things they don’t need.
Solution: People don’t really buy product because they need them. They only buy solutions to their current issues and needs. This means that if you manage to communicate to them how your product/service can solve their problems, they will open their wallets for you in no time.
The client might have the need for your product but this doesn’t mean he’s going to buy it. If there is not urgency, he might as well skip and go for something that is more important at the moment.
Solution: Communicate to your client why he should buy NOW. Focus on the problem that you’re solving and explain them what will happen if they don’t take action. They might loose money, reputation, opportunity, etc. Sell them the pain and they will buy. You might also give them limited time offers to crease the sense of urgency. I know a lot of companies that make tons of money this way.
The last reasons why people are not buying from you is because they simply don’t trust you. They don’t believe your product or service is good enough or simply they don’t know if you’re worth it.
Trust is really hard to earn these days and it is required in large quantities for some products or services.
Solution: Testimonials, case studies and media reviews are great ways to earn client’s trust and to prove your value. You can also use different content like blog posts, e-book and webinars to establish yourself as an expert and to show that you know how to help them.
So if people are not buying your product or services take the time to analyze why this is happening. What are their reasons: is it because of lack of money, time, need, urgency or trust? And when you know what is the reason, you will know exactly what you need to do to increase your sales.