How to help customers make decisions
White or brown bread? Rent or buy a house? Dog or cat? Exciting new job or in-house promotion? In our everyday lives, we’re faced with an endless barrage of decisions.
As you’ve probably experienced, too many decisions can feel overwhelming and is likely to make you not want to decide at all. If every decision feels like life-or-death, then you can go completely blank, letting opportunities pass you by.
When this is how potential clients view your sales process, you’re not going to hit the numbers you want. You need to take away difficult decisions and make choosing your company the only obvious option. How do you do that?
The six principles of purchase decisions
In his Entrepreneur article on building an automated selling machine, R. L. Adams identifies six key principles that underline client purchase decisions.
As you lead clients down your sales funnel, you feed them more information and answer their questions in order to ensure they make an informed decision. When designing your sales funnel – and especially the decision-making stage – think about the following six principles:
- Reciprocity — “The company has given me all this TIME and VALUE through their content and emails and calls. They’re invested in me, so I should invest in them.”
- Commitment — “They gave me that free shipping deal and I’ve already said yes, so it makes sense that I continue with them.”
- Friendship — “They’re so friendly and warm and they genuinely care about my company’s success and my personal wellbeing. I relate to the stories they tell and the customers they’ve helped. I feel good being around them and good about my decision to work with them.”
- Authority — “These guys are the best in the business. Look at all those awards they’ve won and those articles about them and speaking engagements. My business will be in good hands if I choose them.”
- Social proof — “All their reviews online are glowing! And look how many followers they have. That many people can’t be wrong. I should choose them so I can see what everyone else is so excited about.
- Scarcity — “There’s only a few days left to take advantage of their offer, and only so many places left. I don’t want to miss out and have my company fall behind or have to pay a higher price later on. I’ll sign up now!”
You can include elements in your sales process that speak to all these principles. For example, you can:
- Use customer testimonials, case studies, and infographics to create value for prospects, as well as demonstrating social proof.
- List numbers of followers and customers – “2,000 customers choose COMPANY” – this builds trust and authority.
- Create limited time offers or offer discounts to clients if they sign up immediately.
- Build a streamlined sales funnel that automates each stage. The easier you make things for the customer, the less opportunity they have to drop out of the funnel. It also frees up sales team time for speaking with and delighting customers.
- Use free downloadable guides and other content at the beginning of your funnel to offer something of value.
- Use retargeting ads on Facebook and Google to get your name in front of prospects, so they see how popular you are. You can show them video testimonials and other social proof through those ads.
- Train your sales team on how to improve their techniques while remaining friendly and approachable.
How are you driving decision-making in your sales funnel? What can you do to improve?