When you ask entrepreneurs about the biggest challenge they’ve faced in setting up their startups for getting Customers, most won’t talk about developing their product, recruiting their team, or even raising funds.
The hardest part for them is simply to generate more sales.
Consumers are generally reluctant to adopt a new product. Because even if we are attracted to the novelty, things get complicated when we have to pay for it. Offering an exceptional product is no longer sufficient. You will have to convince your target of this exceptional character.
Learning how to convince a customer isn’t all about your persuasiveness, and finding the right arguments. It is above all a work of listening, which therefore requires knowing your target “intimately”. To hit the mark, you are going to have to understand who you are talking to, and the benefits they can derive from your product or service.
How to convince a client: the biggest challenges to overcome
When trying to convince your target to use a new product or service, you usually have to overcome 3 obstacles:
- Ignorance. Consumers like to make thoughtful buying decisions. If they don’t know what your product can do for them, or if they don’t understand why they need it, they just won’t buy it. They may also be reluctant to trust a company they don’t know.
- The uncertainty. Your future customers may also not be able to clearly see certain aspects of your offering (for example whether your product is worth it and how it performs better or is useful than that of your competition).
- Complacency. You will also need to overcome the complacency of your personas. Some customers will be happy with the products or services they are already using or even not using for a given application. Your job will be to encourage them to change their habits.
While these three challenges are almost always present when you launch a new product or service, they won’t necessarily take the same forms depending on your market, but especially your buyer persona.
Define your buyer persona
Defining your buyer persona is absolutely essential to setting up an effective marketing strategy and determining how to convince a customer to buy your product. This representation of your target (or prospect) quite simply allows you to better understand their needs. And therefore to adapt your content, your message, and even the design of your product or service.
For example, you might know that your target customers are HR managers. But do you know what their specific needs and interests are? And what is the typical journey of your buyer persona? In order to fully understand what motivates your ideal client, it’s essential to develop detailed personas and gather as much information about them as possible.
The most complete personas will almost always be based on market research. But also on the interviews or surveys that you can carry out with your real users. Depending on your market, you may thus have several personas, each of which will require a different approach.
Tailor your sales efforts to your persona
At the most basic level, developing your persona will allow you to create content and messages that speak to your target audience. It will also allow you to target or personalize your marketing to different segments of your audience.
For example, instead of sending the same prospecting emails to all the addresses in your database, you can segment your messages by buyer persona and customize them based on what you know about them. Even better, by combining your buyer’s personas at the point where they are in your sales cycle, you will be able to create highly targeted content.
From this data, all you have to do is present your product or service accordingly. And in particular by emphasizing its advantages. Not only will this help consumers understand exactly what your product is for, but it will also present it in a positive light. Talk about the results your persona can achieve with him, how he will solve his problem, the money he will save, etc.
Take care of your brand image: the importance of social proof
There is even more effective marketing content targeting your buyer persona in determining how to convince a customer.
It doesn’t matter if you claim your product or service is essential for them to solve their problem. Your marketing speech will never have as much impact as the recommendation that someone close to you might make.
This is called social proof. Whatever form it takes, its goal is the same: to convince your target audience of the value of your product through neutral third parties.
For example, you can promote a scientific study that proves the usefulness of your product. Ask an expert in your industry for support. Or take a more traditional route and feature credible customer testimonials, which your prospects will see as an unbiased source.
4 out of 5 consumers are in fact more inclined to trust the recommendations made by other consumers than the advertisements to which they are exposed. In the age of social media, having a bulletproof brand image and a strong presence on these platforms is essential. Treat them as much as possible and encourage your most loyal customers to share their experiences on these channels.
How to Convince a Client: Leverage FOMO
Convincing your target to use your product or service does not just mean appealing to its rationality. As much as we would like to think of our decisions to be rational, our emotions influence most of them.
When thinking about how to convince a customer, focus on the positive emotions that your product or their purchase will elicit. Very often, this strategy will work more effectively than an objective argument.
A good example of this principle is that of FOMO ( for Fear of Missing Out ). A good way to get an undecided buyer to take the plunge is to send them the message that they might be missing out on a great opportunity. Rather than just focusing on adding value to your product, present a time-limited offer (or a number of recipients) to show them what they might be missing if they don’t complete their purchase.
Release the pressure: Let your customer decide what to do next
If there is one thing that consumers hate, it feels like they have a knife to their throat. So when setting up your acquisition strategy, you need to understand that the key is to balance your marketing rhetoric.
Not only will your prospect be more likely to believe in the usefulness of your product or service if the arguments don’t come out of your mouth, but that of an impartial third party. But he’ll also be more willing to buy it if he feels the decision is entirely up to him.
In other words: give him some autonomy, and the possibility of deciding what to do next (which formula to choose, how long to commit, when to validate his purchase, etc.). This will make you look more like a consultant than a salesperson.
Of course, you can suggest options that he can choose from. Or tell them about the next steps in their buying journey. However, by letting the customer decide for themselves, without pushing or prompting them to choose one path over another, you will send them the message that you do not see them only as a customer, and that their opinion matters.
Learning how to convince a client may not be the kind of knowledge you thought you would gain by launching your startup, but it is still one of the most important for ensuring its viability. Of course, the means that we have listed in this article are not exhaustive, but they are certainly the most effective.
Now it’s up to you to experiment with different acquisition strategies until you find the winning combination for your product/service, and especially your persona!