Website Design, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO, Susan Pomeroy, Ph.D.

The Real Reason No One’s Buying Your Product or Service

by Susan Pomeroy

why your site isn't selling

You’ve worked hard. You’ve got all the ingredients of a successful site. You’ve even got traffic. And still, nothing’s happening.

If I were doing an evaluation of your site, I’d look at everything: design, copywriting, calls to action, usability. All of these can—and should—be looked at, tested, and tweaked. But today I’m going to talk about one thing: your offers.

If people aren’t buying, why not?

“I don’t have the money.”

What to do? Check your pricing. If it feels right, think about time-delimited sales, special offers, contests, or reduced-cost products or service packages you could offer instead. Offer a DIY version in addition to your personal services.

“I’m not sure exactly which package is right.”

Are the benefits to the customer clear? Side-by-side feature comparison charts or even simple checklists are great for eliminating confusion about what’s included, or not.

“It’s not the right time.” (I’m too busy, going out of town, not in a hurry, etc.) 

Manufacture a sense of urgency by offering limited-time special prices, bonuses, or combinations of products/services.

“I’m scared.”

This is the elephant in the room, the real reason that underlies all other reasons. It’s that teetering-on-the-edge-of-the-cliff feeling that we’ve all had. People are afraid of change. After all,

  • What if they buy your product, which may be their last, or only, hope right now… and it doesn’t work?
  • What if they buy your product… and it DOES work?! OMG, change is hard!
  • What if they pay good money, and you turn out to be dishonorable, a scam artist, or somehow yucky and they’re out money, with no way to get it back? 

What can you provide that will allay these fears?

1. A guarantee. Spend some time thinking of one that you can honor.

2. Reassurance. Beef up the “trust” portion of your web site, and your sales page, with positive feedback from people who have used this service or product.

3. Add any security insignia that your shopping cart or transaction processor offers.

4. Stories. You not only understand your clients’ problems… but you have experience providing the results they seek. Use stories and testimonials to create word-pictures of success for your clients. When they can actually feel and imagine what a solution to their problem is like… their fear of change is often significantly lessened.

5. Yourself. Being genuine is a huge reassurance to people. When it’s a tangible fact that a living, breathing, thoughtful, honorable, vulnerable, sincere person is behind the products and services they’re buying, people tend to be more willing to take a chance. Wouldn’t you?

An online offer is a complex combination of elements: content, pricing, copy, layout, imagery, testimonials, and bonuses. If you’ve got traffic to your site, you’ve got a huge advantage… because you’ve got the opportunity to test, tweak, and change things until you achieve results.

But the biggest impediment to purchase, for someone who actually needs what you’re offering, is fear. Some marketers overcome fear with hype, pressure, and verbal legerdemain. In the long run, and if you’re in business to truly help people, I think we’re all better off counteracting fear by building trust.

 product sales

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