Does this ever happen to you?
You’re in a store, browsing idly through the items available… and then this happens.
You see something you would love to get. It could be anything:
- A cool gadget that would help you work, play, or travel much more conveniently than before…
- A ridiculously stylish pair of shoes – that also looks super-comfy…
- An expensive bottle of Scotch you’ve always wanted to get, but never seen for sale until now…
You stare at it wistfully for ten minutes, weighing all the pros and cons – and you come home empty-handed.
Despite wanting it, you couldn’t justify the purchase. It happens to the best of us, including many of your customers. Sometimes, for whatever reason, they can’t go through with their purchase.
It doesn’t matter if you offer thousands of products, or just one. You could be offering a service, and still get the same reaction: somewhere between “YES, give me that!” and “Nah, I’m not interested.”
It feels so much worse than a no, doesn’t it?
But don’t worry – most of the time, you can still convert your undecided customers. And today, we’ll show you how!
Let’s talk about five most common types of undecided customers, and come up with ways to sell them on your offer.
And we’ll start with the most obvious one…
1. The Skeptic
You will recognize The Skeptic by these words (and variations thereof):
“How do I know [your product or service] actually works?”
Sometimes, they also want to know if your offer will work for them specifically – marketers like to call this the “Special Snowflake Syndrome”.
There are a few ways you can overcome The Skeptic’s objections.
Assure them that your offer is risk-free. A rock-solid guarantee will go a long way towards persuading them to give your product or service a try.
Most of the time, this type of customer wants to believe that your offer will work for them. All you need to do is make the decision as easy as possible on their part.
Appeal to their rational side. Most purchasing decisions are emotional, not rational. An undecided customer is most of the way to “yes” – but they need to justify the decision to their rational side. Luckily, it won’t require much effort on your part!
- Quote a relevant scientific study that proves the effectiveness of your product or service (we do it all the time by explaining how whiteboard videos are superior).
- Explain in great detail how your product or service actually works – your customer is just waiting for an opportunity to nod and say, “Yes, that makes sense, count me in!”
- Prominently feature any formal credentials or endorsements you have: awards, certifications, you name it. These things won’t make or break the sale by themselves, but they work wonderfully when trying to persuade an undecided customer.
Create a dazzling piece of proof. The Skeptic wants proof – so give it to them! There are several ways to do that:
- You can record a demonstration of your product – like Elisha Otis did with the elevator emergency brake back in 1853.
- You can show off “before” and “after” pictures or videos of people using your product or service to emphasize the dramatic transformation.
- Create a persuasive case study featuring one of your long-time, loyal customers – so the long-term impact of using your product or service is plain to see. And if said customer is very similar in demographics and psychographics to The Skeptic, you get bonus points!
2. The Busy Bee
The Busy Bee would love nothing more than to take advantage of your offer… but the time isn’t right! Maybe they’re a high-powered CEO proudly working 80-hour weeks. Maybe they‘re working two jobs to support their family. Maybe they are just lazy.
All the excuses offered by The Busy Bee fall in two categories:
- “I don’t have time for this.”
- “I’d love to do it later, but right now the time isn’t right.”
It seems like a hard objection to counter, but we’ve got you covered. There are at least three ways you can persuade The Busy Bee to give your offer a shot.
Use scarcity when selling. Putting a clock on your offer might seem sleazy, but it works. Scarcity, combined with urgency, can get your undecided customer to a definite yes or no answer, fast.
For more details on how to incorporate scarcity in your marketing, check out this post on the topic.
Show how it will save them time. Sometimes it’s as simple as proving to your prospect that investing some time and money in your offer will actually save them countless hours in the long run!
If you have a product or service that can do that, don’t forget to explain it to The Busy Bee. After all, all they want to do is focus on growing their business. If you can show how you will save them from wasting time on stuff that doesn’t matter, you’ll convert them.
Use personalized sales. Finally, if your customer is legitimately busy (e.g. if they are a C-level executive), you might want to change your approach entirely. If the potential deal value is huge, and the prospect is hard to reach, consider taking a personalized approach.
Take the time to court them, get in a room with them – for a formal sales conversation or a friendly lunch, doesn’t matter – learn what they are concerned about, and create a tailor-made proposal for them.
After all, if they don’t have the time, but can pay top dollar, you can always create a premium-level solution just for them!
3. The Comparison Shopper
This one is pretty much self-explanatory.
While studying your offer, The Comparison Shopper is looking at every single one of your competitors, too. And there’s only one way to persuade them to choose your product or service over all others…
Use scarcity AND demonstrate superiority. To sway The Comparison Shopper, you need to emphasize everything that makes your offer superior – or even simply different.
Is your product more functional? Show it to them. Is it powered by industry-leading technology? Be sure to mention it. Do you have the most case studies and testimonials from high-profile customers? Show it off proudly, front and center!
If you want a good example of how to compare yourself to the competition, study how SaaS-type companies are doing it. They are experts at making their offer look good. Just look at brands like Synthesis or Hubspot to see what we mean.
Finally, to make your offer even more irresistible, use scarcity and urgency to compel The Comparison Shopper to make a decision.
4. The Cheapskate
It doesn’t matter if your product or service is very affordable or premium-priced – certain customers are always looking for the best deal possible. You can position yourself to turn them away… or you can try and convert them despite that.
You might think that the best way to sell to The Cheapskate is to offer them a discount. Don’t: discounts are evil, and they devalue your brand. There are better ways…
Show them how expensive your competitors are. Whenever you find yourself saying, “Yes, this is expensive, but…” – you already lost. Defending your prices is a self-defeating strategy.
Instead, you can use price anchoring to show to The Cheapskate how expensive the alternatives are. You can use your competitors as an example – or you can go even further and show all the other ways they can waste their money (e.g. buying an online course about online business vs. getting an MBA or hiring a business coach).
The purpose of this strategy is to show to your undecided customer that your offer, although it seems pricey at face value, is actually the most cost-effective.
Demonstrate your value – and the long-term savings. As we mentioned just now, defending your prices is mostly futile. But trying to convey the value of what you’re offering isn’t.
Can your product or service save the customer tens of thousands – or even millions – of dollars in the long run? Will it pay off ten, or a hundred, times over within a year after they’ve bought? Then make sure to mention it!
The more you frame your offer as an investment, not an expense, the more persuasive your marketing message will be.
5. The Loyalist
Coke versus Pepsi. Mac versus PC. Canon versus Nikon. Tesla versus all other car manufacturers. The Loyalist maintains their allegiance to your competitor’s brand, and seems like the last person you could sell on your product or service.
But that impression is false – you can, and should, attempt to convert The Loyalist. You can accomplish this in two stages.
First, you need to figure out what makes them tick, and create a campaign around it. If The Loyalist sticks to a particular brand religiously, it means that the brand in question has something unique to offer. Something that addresses what The Loyalist needs: their desires, fears, barriers, and uncertainties.
If you can figure out what this type of customer wants, you can create a laser-focused marketing message, directed specifically at them. And after that, it’s time for stage two…
Pinpoint and overcome their objections towards your brand. The Loyalist has a ‘strawman’ in mind: a distorted image of what they perceive your brand to be.
If you want to be successful at converting them, you need to address those objections and concerns head-on, and make your case in a persuasive way.
When you do that, you will be able to poach your competitor’s customers with little effort – once you’ve taken care of the objections, the advantages of your brand will speak for themselves!
Remember: “undecided buyer” does not equal “non-buyer”. Now that you know what drives these five types of customers, you will be able to craft your marketing message in such a way that gets them from “maybe” to “please take my money!” – fast!
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