This is Part 2 of a 5-part series on how to drive more sales for your business or company with Content Marketing.
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There are a number of reasons why a customer won’t buy from you. Some are beyond your control, but for the most part majority are not.
Though I’m sure you can identify others not listed here, I’ll go into the reasons I have identified based on my experience working for companies, with clients, and as an entrepreneur myself.
1. Lack of Perceived Credibility
Getting someone to buy into what you’re selling starts with getting someone to buy into you first. If they don’t, no matter how amazing what you offer is, how low the cost, or how much it benefits them, they just won’t buy.
There was one instance where an IT company tried to get clients to buy their Software Development services.
The recurring problem they had was no one really knew who they were or if they could deliver on what they promised.
They lacked evidence of success which affected their credibility, and affected their ability to gain clients.
2. Focused on Selling, Not Adding Value
Customers today want more than just a business that sells them something, they want a business that can offer them value FIRST, and value doesn’t mean features and benefits, it means connection.
Today’s market is heavily social and connection driven, so customers want you to establish this connection first.
Establishing this connection is the only way you’ll get them to pay attention to what you’re selling when it’s time to sell it. This is where Content Marketing comes in.
If you don’t then you come across as just another salesperson trying to ‘trick them’ in order to sell them something and take their money.
3. Wanting them to Buy Without Showing Why They Should Choose You
Customers don’t buy because what you sell has a lot of features, benefits, or is shiny and new. They buy because of what it does for them.
To help them see why they should choose you they need to know how what you sell helps them solve a pain point or challenge they have, or helps them achieve a goal or aspiration they have.
To do this means first understanding what is the general pain point and/or aspiration of your customers, then positioning what you sell as the solution.
It’s not enough to tell them to choose you, you have to demonstrate why you and not your competitor.
4. Customers Aren’t Aware of the Problem What You Offer Solves
Sometimes the reason customers don’t buy is because they can’t make the connection in their minds between what you sell and how it helps them.
Don’t take for granted that they will immediately see it once presented (a mistake I’ve made several times in the past).
Sometimes to get them to buy means first taking the time to educate them. Not on what you sell, but on the problem they have that what you sell addresses.
Failure to do this means failing to get them to see why they need your business in the first place, which means little to no sales for you.
5. You Haven’t Created a Sense of Urgency
What I’ve learned is creating a sense of urgency in what you sell is just as important as making them aware of the problem.
Sometimes they know they want and even need what you offer, they just don’t see it as a priority for them at the moment.
To create that sense of urgency you have to constantly be stressing the immediate and current challenge or pain they are having that what you offer can solve.
By the way this pain must be something that is important and urgent to them that they consider painful, not you. The greater the pain, the more urgent they will see the need to solve it.
6. You Haven’t Taken the Time to Understand Your Customers (and it shows)
Customers today can quickly tell when a salesperson or brand is trying to sell to them, rather than learn about them and what is in their best interest as the customer.
If you don’t take the time to do this then you will quickly lose credibility, and as the first point I made shows no sale happens without it.
Furthermore, because you fail to make this connection they will ignore your marketing message.
Without taking the time to understand them, and show that you do, they won’t care about you or your business.
7. Your Customers Just Aren’t Ready to Buy
There is a concept I've spoken on called the Buyer Pyramid which explains that only 3% of your customers are ready to buy right now. Which means the other 97% just aren’t and why that is.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the 97%
In such cases they aren’t ready and there’s nothing you can do to persuade or push them to buy right now. Furthermore, trying to do this will only lead to them being turned off and going elsewhere to do business.
What you need to is create a lead nurturing process that will take that 97% and over time get them to warm up to the idea of doing business with you. This way when it’s time to buy they will choose you over your competitors when they are ready.
Patience is an absolute must in knowing how to deal with this group, but if done right it will pay off way more in the long run.
8. They’re Not Your Actual Customer
One of the things I’ve learned is that at times customers don’t buy because they're not your customers.
In other words, there isn’t a good product-customer fit for what you offer. Trying to force a sale to a customer that has no use or need for what you sell is just a waste of time.
It may take some time, but knowing who will actually buy from you is key in making and sustaining sales, and not wasting your company resources selling to the wrong customer.
9. Trying to Sell to the 'Unsellable'
Finally, there is a group of customer that no matter what happens they will never buy from you.
This is something you just have to accept as such and not try to force the sale. The best approach here is not to sell to them, but empathize with them. Try to understand their point of view, and help them to see and understand your point of view why you hold the beliefs you do.
It may seem like a waste of time, but if they see that you’re willing to understand and communicate with them, rather than dismissing them as of no value to your business, it builds goodwill for your brand.
Indirectly they can become brand advocates and refer your business to others (even though they may never buy).
My Final Thoughts
Selling effectively in a digitally driven business environment is more than just pitching what you offer expecting people to buy from you. You have to learn how to establish rapport, trust and credibility with your potential customers first.
But that's only the beginning.
You have to take time to understand your customers and also understand that most of your customers won't be ready to buy now, or may need you to hold their hands to go from not knowing about the problem what you offer solves, to making the connection between problem and your offering as the solution. You have to become that bridge for them.
If you can learn how to be good enough at each of these elements you'll start to see a difference in how customers respond to you, and thus a difference in increasing your sales.
It's why I love Content Marketing so much! It allows you to do all that and more!