How To Get Your Customers To Say ‘Yes’


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You have targeted the right demographic, promoted the right product and got your visitors to express interest in the product. Yet, there can still be many a slip between signing up a lead and actually making the purchase.

One of the biggest challenges in converting an interested lead into a customer is not the price or even the product. It is the trust deficit. Does your customer trust you enough to pay you for your product or service? Do they believe in the quality of what you offer and more importantly, do they trust you to be there for them in case the product or service did not work as advertised?

Charles Green in his Forbes column calls trust “the new core of leadership”. He points out that trust is a relationship that needs both the trustor and the trustee to align. The role of the trustor is to take risks and that of the trustee is to be trustworthy. Trust breaks down if either one of them fails. As a business owner, you are the trustee and there are several ways to establish yourself as a trustworthy provider:

    Provide easy to reach 24×7 support that customers can reach out to at any time
    Provide decision-making powers to support staff to take decisions without having to escalate
    Devise a clear and consistent returns/refund policy
    Have a clear pricing policy with no hidden charges
    Establish a marketing strategy that does not involve gimmicks

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but you get the idea. When you have a transparent policy, customers trust businesses better and transact more freely.

But while trust is the core essence to any business transaction, that may alone not be sufficient to persuade a customer to say ‘yes’. According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, the author of the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, there are six core tactics that are most critical for successful persuasion. He lists them out as Reciprocation, Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity.

In short, customers feel obliged to transact with you when you provide them with a favor. The best example of this is the free samples that grocers give out at their stores. Committing to consistency is critical to establishing trust. So is providing social proof that everyone is buying your product convinces your customers to buy from you as well.

Among the tactics that Cialdini has listed out, perhaps the most important element for a business is establishing authority. Why should a customer heed to your claims over those made by your competitor? While Cialdini points out that using people in authority (like doctors, professors) make the claim for you works, this may not apply for all kinds of business.

As a general rule, one of the best ways to establish authority is by establishing a medium of communication with your customers and try to provide them solutions in the industry you cater to. Do you sell toothpastes? How about a monthly column in a popular magazine where you advise on dental care? Are you a restaurant owner? How about organizing local food events.

When your business becomes the go-to authority for your industry, customers are more likely to trust you, which in turn helps them make their purchasing decisions quicker.


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