Why Reducing Emotional Friction In Your Buying Process Could Be The Key To Winning More Business
Here is a fascinating phenomenon about human beings: We hate uncertainty more than anything – even more than actual bad news.
I learned this from psychologist and behavioral finance expert Dr. Daniel Crosby during my brief stint in financial services. And when I stopped to consider it, it made sense – once we receive bad news, we can work on accepting it. Until then, though, the unknown is a terrifying place.
Not only was this far more interesting to me than dissecting the differences between mutual funds and ETFs or writing a whitepaper about direct indexing, it also translated nicely to marketing.
Dr. Crosby’s goal, ultimately, was to help financial advisors guide their clients through periods of market volatility without panicking, selling all of their investments and hoarding cash in shoeboxes.
But his point about uncertainty is something to keep in mind when you’re considering how to remove friction – in this case, emotional friction – from the buying process. Here are five ways to combat uncertainty to make decision-making an easier, more streamlined experience for your prospects.
1. Build Trust By Building Brand
Obviously, this isn’t a quick fix or an overnight remedy. Building trust in and affinity for your brand is the very definition of playing the long game – but most things worth doing take time, and this is one of them.
Brand, by the way, isn’t about logos or colors or choosing Oswald over Open Sans. It’s about creating positive experiences, over and over, for your clients and your target audience.
Developing and sharing valuable educational content, engaging with users, being buyer-centric at all times and creating an incredible customer experience that people can’t wait to tell their peers about – those are all components of building a brand that’s likeable, recognizable and trustworthy.
Because when your prospects already like and trust your brand, they don’t hesitate when they’re ready to buy.
2. Be As Transparent As Possible
Sometimes, combatting uncertainty means making sure it doesn’t exist in the first place.
The most obvious example of this is pricing. We’ve talked in the past about how gimmicks and attempts to cattle-prod prospects into a sales conversation do not belong on your pricing page, because these are seller-centric behaviors, and we are buyer-centric marketers.
But another convincing argument for putting pricing on your pricing page is that it eliminates a lot of uncertainty.
“What will this cost per year? Can we afford it? Is it in our budget?”
Being up front about your pricing answers those questions for your prospects immediately.
And if your product, service or solution involves lengthy implementation or a process that requires time and energy from your clients, be up front about that too. The more information your prospects have, the less they’ll have to wonder about when they’re making a decision.
3. Include Video Whenever Possible
“Show, don’t tell” isn’t just advice for lazy screenwriters who rely on exposition instead of action for backstory and character development (is it obvious I watch the occasional Lifetime movie?).
It applies to marketing too, especially in the literal sense. Video is a powerful tool for overcoming uncertainty, largely because it’s really difficult to fake video.
Let’s take testimonials, for example. Written reviews can be embellished or fabricated entirely, and most B2B buyers are skeptical enough to question their authenticity.
But a video testimonial, including a name and job title that can be searched and verified? That’s something prospects can trust and will be more likely to consider as part of their buying decision.
Video also helps prospects understand what your product does, and it gives them a chance to envision it within their workflows. Screenshots don’t tell the full story, so if possible, add a demo video or two to your website to show your solution in action.
4. Put Together A List Of FAQs
Address potential roadblocks and hesitancies head on with a list of common questions you receive about your product or service. This should be easy to find on your website; in fact, it could warrant its own page.
Include objections your sales team hears on prospecting calls, as well as feedback you’ve received from clients and anything else you think potential buyers should know.
Showing your prospects that you acknowledge their uncertainties and can address them with comprehensive, honest answers gives potential buyers the opportunity to continue educating themselves before they have to speak with anyone.
5. Consider Using A Chatbot
Chatbots can – and should be – more than a glorified virtual greeter.
You can strategically place your chatbot on pages that might spark questions, use it to offer pieces of educational content designed to address potential uncertainties or go the live chat route to answer questions as they arise.
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