“What makes people not just stargaze but actually purchase?”
This is a great question that came up when speaking with one of my contacts, Gene Aquilini. Gene is the owner of Shallow Water Drift Co. – a fly fishing company in Calgary, Alberta. And it’s a perennial question – as business owners I’m sure we’ve all come across a number of window-shoppers or people that weren’t quite ready to buy, and have experienced our fair share of frustration as a result.
In this article I aim to answer that question, as well as furnish concrete examples of how to engage your audience so they move from browsers to buyers.
The short answer to Gene’s questions is this:
People will only buy when a) they see that your offering solves or addresses a particular need, and b) they need your solution *right now*.
In other words, people will only buy when they have gone through a process where they:
- identify a problem that needs to be solved,
- see how they can solve their problem or need, and
- believe that your offering is the best – or even better, only – solution for their problem or need.
Everyone else is going to be in browsing mode and “stargaze” until they have gone through that process. If they have not gone through that process, they will not feel compelled to act, because your offering will not seem relevant to their needs or life.
Ok, so how do I make my offering relevant to someone?
There are few steps you can follow to connect with someone and convince them of the value of their offering:
Get to know your customer.
Who would use your type of product or service? What kind of things do they like to do? What are major, and / or consistent problems, irritants or challenges they come across in their daily life that your offering could help them with?
In Gene’s case, his typical customer could be someone in a high-pressure job, looking to relax and de-stress. He is fortunate in that he has been running his business for a while now, so he has his existing customer base to examine, and he probably already has a pretty good idea of what kind of people look for and enjoy his service.
For those who are just starting out or have a small number of existing clients, I will cover how to go about this in more detail in future articles. But the main point is to really dig deep here and take the time to build a picture in your head of the typical person that would use your offering.
Get your customer to know you.
You can’t make an offer to someone if they don’t know you exist. You need to position yourself so that you appear in places where they hang out, and where they go for information.
Once your audience hears about you, they need to get to know, like and trust you. You can help them do this by sharing:
- Any blogs, articles or even reviews of products or services that you have done.
- Videos of you speaking to the camera, talking about something that is important to them and is relevant to your offering. By seeing and listening to you in video, people can get a much better sense of who you are, and determine whether they would feel comfortable working with you.
- What others have to say about you: reviews and testimonials are key.
All of the above will help your audience to understand the value you have to offer. Which brings be to:
Educate, educate, educate.
You need to educate your audience about their pain, problem, issue or challenge.
To go back to Gene’s example, it seems pretty clear that people in high stress jobs would know that they are stressed. But they may not know, or may be actively avoiding knowing, what stress is doing to their body. They may also not know is what to do about their stress, or if it is even possible to do something about it.
Gene’s challenge would be to open the possibility in someone’s mind that fly-fishing would be a great way to relax, unwind, and let go of everyday cares for a little while so that they could go back to work refreshed and invigorated. He could do that by writing articles, sharing customer testimonials, and maybe even sharing a 60 second video “break” of a quiet view of a lake with just the sounds of birds and insects. Imagine sitting at your desk, stressed about work, then coming across this video and taking a brief mental break, mentally transporting yourself out in the country. The emotional impact and effect would be quite powerful.
Your case might be quite different. In your case, your audience may not even be aware that they have a problem. Think of your typical late night commercial, like the sham wow. Until you saw that commercial, you probably had no idea that cleaning up messes with a regular cloth or paper towels was a MAJOR PROBLEM. You were probably just fine cleaning up messes with a simple old tea towel. Then you see that commercial and you suddenly realize – wow, I can get almost all spilled liquid out of my carpet, I can use this to take out staining liquids, I can use this to clean almost anything in and around my house – it acts way better and lasts 4 times as long as any other option… and you’re sold!
So in your case, your role is to identify a problem that your audience has, but isn’t aware of, and educate them about it.
Ok, so you’ve educated your prospects to the point where they have a problem, and hopefully you have built enough credibility and trust where they see you can help them solve it.
But there is still one other barrier to them deciding to buy – urgency. If they have no sense of urgency, if it is something that they feel can wait while they deal with other more pressing concerns, they will not make the purchase.
In this step, you have to highlight why they need to act right away.
In Gene’s case, it could be because perfect fly-fishing conditions have a narrow time window, and people need to come when the fish are biting. Or it could be because he’s highlighted the kind of harm stress can inflict on the body, and impressed on his audience the importance of doing something right away to decompress.
Your case will of course be different. But the key here is to highlight why your audience’s situation is no longer tenable and has to be changed right now.
It is at the fourth step that some of you may feel that we are getting to pushy and salesy, and you may be inclined to switch off.
I would counter that if you believe in your product or service, and you believe that it genuinely helps people, you would be remiss if you did not share it, and convince people to use it.
It is your responsibility to share your offering to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to make their lives better. Better lives do not come from just sitting around, they come when people decide to take action – and it is your role to help people take action.
Once you follow you take your audience through the above four steps, they will be much more likely to move forward – improving their lives, and yours.
Have a question? Contact me, or make a comment below – who knows, I just might cover it in one of my newsletters.
Want to wow your audience, and make more sales without hard selling? Learn how to leverage video & content marketing.
And keep an eye out for next week’s post, where I answer the question:
What is the preferred method of introducing a new brand, and building awareness of it in the mind of someone who has never heard of me before?
To your continued success!