One of the hardest things to do in business is to get someone to commit to a purchase. The person must take out their wallet and hand over their hard-earned cash, with the expectation that whatever they will receive in return is more valuable than their money. Nowadays, with the proliferation of scam artists and snake-oil salesmen, making a sale has gotten even tougher for the aspiring entrepreneur. Customers are more suspicious and cynical than ever before, which does not bode well for honest business owners.
The steps to forging a commitment
Prospects are people and so are entrepreneurs. Therefore, the ability to form a personal relationship already exists. However, many business owners mistake professionalism for aloofness. They often see themselves in an authoritarian position, detached from general society. This is apparent in the robotic manner that voice-over telephone messages instruct customers, and in the frustrating way that client complaints are often passed around from one department to another without much regard for the time and well-being of the complainant.
Most large corporations can get away with this for a while, but there often comes a day of reckoning when all their prospects abandon ship and swim towards a smaller competitor who treats them better. It’s much more preferable to start things off on the right foot with your clientele.
Grab their attention
In order to establish a connection, you first need to grab a customer’s attention. This is the step that every entrepreneur, whether beginner or expert, should be familiar with. You need a product or service that stands out from the rest. Of course, most business owners already have a product or service that they are confident with, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered to set up shop in the first place. Grabbing the customer’s attention, therefore, is a relatively common practice. However, what isn’t so common is the ability to form a connection.
Form a connection
Most entrepreneurs just lay their products out on a table, whether online or in the physical world, and ask customers to purchase what they like. This may be appropriate for a garage sale, but once you expand your business outside the vicinity of your neighborhood, you will need something extra to draw people in. A connection is what you need.
A connection is nothing more than a shared lived experience. It is a commonality that unites two or more people. Instead of just displaying your products and services, a savvier marketing strategy would be to attach a personal experience. This makes sure that the customers visiting your shop or website feel as though you are more than just an acquaintance. For example, if you are selling back pain medication, detailing your own or a family member’s suffering with back pain will strike a chord with the potential clients. They will feel as if you are on the same page, rather than at arm’s length. This human component attaches a face to the seller, and it will no longer appear as if you’re living in a different sphere of reality to the buyer.
Make a commitment
The last part of the process is to make a commitment. Once the customer decides to purchase a product, there needs to be a personal follow-up message. This can be an email or a phone call. The operative word is “friend”. If close friends decided to buy one of your items, how would you approach the situation? Naturally, you would contact them and ask whether the product met their standards, whether there is something you can do to make the experience richer, and whether they have any complaints that you can solve. This must be the prevailing attitude when dealing with clients, even if they aren’t really close friends. Once the buyers know that you have decided to pursue a continuing relationship, they will reciprocate in kind.
Commitment leads to profits
At the end of a day, a fully committed customer stays loyal through turbulent times. If your company makes a mistake, your client base is likely to forgive and forget rather than rail and whine. They now treat you as a friend, since you treated them as one, and friends support one another.
Developing customer commitment might seem like a burden at first. It is not easy to handle prospects on an individual basis and set up systems that will facilitate this process, but the end result is worth the extra effort. A working relationship is a worthwhile goal in itself. The money is just an added bonus.