I’ve been thinking about the single most important factor that determines if someone actually buys your product or service – and it’s trust. In order to buy, a potential customer needs to;

  • Trust that the product or service will do what they want it to do
  • Trust that what you say is correct
  • Trust that you will deliver the product or service
  • Trust that you will not abuse their trust (e.g sell their details to someone else)
  • Trust themselves that they can use the product or service correctly
It’s this last point that is really taking up my thoughts now as a provider of marketing services. However, I realise it’s relevant for many products and services that have any level of complexity or uncertainty…. like a chainsaw.
What I mean is that a chainsaw is a ‘fairly’ straight forward product. But if you haven’t used one before you’ll be thinking “Can I use the chainsaw without chopping my legs off?”
So you’ll probably not require high levels of trust in the other areas, if you buy from a decent retailer. But you’ll be wondering if you trust yourself not to chop your head off. I wonder how many poeple have thought of buying a chainsaw but didn’t because they didn’t trust themselves.
This is the same for many other products or services. For example marketing services or indeed any service that requires the purchaser to do 2 things…
  1. Step outside their comfort zone i.e it’s new to them
  2. Do it themselves, at least in part
Even if all the other trust requirements have been met (and that in itself is a series of articles for the future) will the purchaser decide in the end that they just don’t think they will be able to do it themselves. Do they trust themselves to not mess it up in a horrible and possibly dangerous manner.
So if you are selling a product or service that a potential customer may see as a ‘chainsaw’ you need to help them trust themselves. That can be very hard. Carrying on with the  chainsaw example a great way to help someone to buy one is to offer education around the product’s use – YouTube is a great example of where this sort of help can be found (see this chainsaw video). Training and ongoing support is vital – but the customer really needs to feel you will be there for them. Again they need to trust you will help. Case studies and testimonials are good for proving you will be there. As is allowing them to try before they buy, or buy an entry-level version that reduces their risk and level of complexity they need to learn.
So if you sell chainsaws or any complex product or service you need to ask…
“Will a potential customer trust themselves not to chop their legs off” have I made it so simple and easy that they will feel comfortable enough to buy it.
Also when asking this question – ask it to your target audience.