Many companies and salespeople make a great job attracting potential customers. They get the customers interested, engaged and ready to make the buy-decision. When it comes to the moment of truth, i.e. making the buy-decision, however, the customers begin hesitating and even backing off. Houston, we just lost a potential customer.
In selling and sales management, and marketing, we often learn how to attract customers, how to present our offering, overcome objections (that the customer might have to our offering/service/solution), and close the deal. Then, maybe, following up on our customer. It all seems so straight forward, or so we like to think.
In reality, however, working with companies across industries and countries, I see how much money companies are ‘leaving on the table’, without even realizing it or the reasons for that. One of the reasons why a warm customer might not convert from a potential customer to actually buying from us, i.e. making the buy-decision, is that the potential customer perceives it difficult to buy from us. That’s right, they perceive (feel and think) that it is difficult to buy from us. Really? Yes, really.
I have studied this phenomenon and can relate to the hesitation of many potential customers. Many salespersons and selling organizations (suppliers, vendors) actually make it difficult to buy from them. The reasons for a customer’s perception of it being difficult to buy can range from simple to complex or small to big, depending on whom you ask, of course.
For example, when about to sign the contract, the ready-to-buy customer might be asked by the salesperson or customer account manager to also sign several pages of small print (often the selling company’s “standard” terms and conditions) which the now-not-anymore-so-ready-to-sign customer has not been given the chance to read beforehand.
This is enough to make the customer feel at unease, resulting in hesitating and postponing the signing the agreement. “Maybe I am asked to sign something that I shouldn’t”, the buyer might think. This is enough to cause hesitation, suspicion or even mistrust. If the situation is managed poorly by the salesperson or customer account manager, the customer might simply walk away. Does this actually happen in real life, you might ask. Short answer: Yes, way too often.
The below video, which I originally posted on Linkedin, briefly discusses this topic. I hope that this inspires you to look and reflect on how easy or difficult you make it for your potential and existing customers to buy from you.
Is it easy for your customer to make the buy-decision or is there something that might increase your customers hesitation and thus hold back making the buy-decision?
If there are obstacles, remove them to the extent possible. If you cannot remove them, you might want to shift them for example to an earlier stage in the process. This gives you (and the customer) the opportunity to go through the potential obstacle together and iron out the questions.
My tip to you: Make it easy to buy from you.