On a recent getaway, my partner and I were admiring the view from a lookout when a lovely man, Neil, offered to take our photo. We were most grateful because the view was spectacular.
Turns out, Neil was a hang-gliding pilot who offered tandem flights. Lo and behold, he had a brochure in his back pocket and before we knew it, he seamlessly and flawlessly eased into a relaxed but polished sales spiel. (He smartly employed the norm of reciprocation. He did something for us, and now we felt compelled to do something for him – listen.)
When Neil described the hang-gliding experience he was actually preaching to the converted. I love birds of prey and have always wanted to experience the freedom of soaring like an eagle.
At a carefully timed moment, Neil explained that the wind conditions were good and he’d be ready to take us up individually, if we were interested.
Interested? Yes! But … yikes!
I desperately wanted to hang glide but I was way too afraid to take the leap – literally. We took his brochure, promising to think about it.
Back at our accommodation that night I researched hang-gliding risks and accidents, and felt reassured about the safety of introductory tandem flights.
With fears reduced, we both booked flights the next day. I was a bit nervous so my partner went up first. He loved it, but unfortunately by the time he came down the wind conditions changed and I couldn’t fly that day. No sale for Neil. No flight for me.
Later, I gave Neil some friendly feedback which he gratefully accepted. I told him his sales spiel was persuasive but it missed one important ingredient: fear reassurance. If he’d mentioned something like, “I’ve been hang gliding for over 20 years [which he has] and I’ve done X amount of tandem flights,” when he was first speaking to us, I’d have probably signed up immediately.
Every customer has fears
No matter what you sell, whether it’s flights or flans, every client has fears related to your offerings. All you have to do is acknowledge the client fears and provide adequate reassurance.
Fears can relate to:
- Quality of products and services
- Level of experience
- Cost blowouts
- Timeframe issues
- Lack of communication
- Customer service
- Overall trustworthiness
- Terms and conditions
- Refund policies
- Plenty more!
How to uncover the client fears
A good way to uncover your prospects’ fears is by asking previous clients why they chose you instead of a competitor; and what concerns they initially had.
Also, ask yourself this question: “If I was a customer, what would I need to know before investing in my own products and services?”
How to provide fear reassurance
Once you’ve uncovered the fears, provide positive reassurance in your marketing material and sales spiels. In the case of website copy:
Include a comprehensive FAQ page
A well-written FAQ page can address every one of your prospects’ fears.
Let’s look at this in action. As many of you know, Flying Solo has a variety of memberships including premium ones. If you were contemplating investing in a Premium Membership, you may have the following fear-based questions:
- Is it worth the money?
- Am I locked into a contract?
- Can I cancel at any time?
- Is it a hassle to change information on my directory listing?
- How will I stay updated in order to get the most from my money?
This is how Flying Solo currently addresses each fear.
Share your story
Prospects do business with people they like and trust. Share your story on your About page and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
Provide testimonials and case studies
If prospects see that others have successfully and happily used your products and services, they’ll feel reassured to use them too. This is known as social proof, and it’s powerful. Just remember to use authentic testimonials because fake ones create the opposite effect, and also, they’re illegal.
Consider publishing your prices
In some instances it may be wise to publish your pricing because fears relating to cost can stop people from making contact. Just be sure your content also includes information about the value of your offerings.
Provide some form of money back guarantee
A money back guarantee provides reassurance and increases sales because people are afraid of wasting their hard-earned money.
Send clear and comprehensive quotes and invoices
Another big fear is the possibility of cost blowouts and hidden fees. Tackle this by being crystal clear about what your pricing includes, and how it increases if clients change their requirements.
Another way to provide reassurance is to have solid terms and conditions that clearly cover all issues relating to pricing, timeframes and quality – this protects both parties and sets the tone for a professional relationship.
So this has been a pretty long article – thanks for reading to the end! What’s the one thing I’d like you to take away from the above? Client fears are like barriers, break them down and you’ll boost your sales. You might even jump off a cliff!
What do your clients fear and how do you provide reassurance? Or, have you got something else to add? Leave a comment below.