4 Ways to Lower the Barriers to the Sale
You can do everything right when it comes to marketing, but if the barriers to the sale are too high, it will all fall apart at the last moment.
You may not think the barriers are high. What’s the big deal about clicking a button, submitting a form, making a call, scheduling an appointment, or walking up to a cashier?
But for your customer, this is a big moment. It involves a certain amount of investment. He or she is making a commitment.
Here are some ways that the barriers to taking action may be too high:
- The immediate next step is not clear.
- There are multiple next steps which are complicated or require too much effort.
- The purchase process is overwhelming or confusing.
- What happens after the customer takes action is not explained.
Checklist: 4 Ways to Clear the Path to the Sale
Your potential customers should not have to spend more than a second or two figuring out how to buy from you. Here are four ways to clear the path to the sale:
1. Make sure each piece of sales or marketing material (email, ad, brochure, etc.) has only one purpose and a clearly stated call-to-action (CTA).
For instance: If your focus in a brochure is to drive people to your website (“Learn more by visiting [website]”) then don’t use any other CTAs, like “Sign up for our event,” or “Come to the store on [date] for a discount.”
You must choose what’s most important and emphasize that CTA only.
2. Make sure your call-to-action is easily visible and explained.
This is where elements of framing can be very useful:
- You can number the steps for getting started and define what they are.
- If you’re gathering multiple pieces of information from your customer, section off the form fields — even putting them on successive pages — so that providing answers doesn’t feel like a lot to do.
- You can use imagery to highlight the specific CTA. That might mean using arrows, large buttons, and simplifying the layout of your website or collateral so there’s nothing to distract from the CTA.
3. Don’t ask for more than you actually have to have right now.
No extra requests. Add-ons can be lucrative for you, but they may impede the purchase process for your customers.
4. Tell them in plain language what’s going to happen next.
This isn’t a horror movie. You need to spoil the next scene and let them know that there are no nasty surprises lurking around the corner after they take action. Let them know what to expect from you and explain what should happen post-purchase.
Focusing on intentionally lowering barriers will increase the chances that your potential customers will purchase from you.
Your customers should feel satisfaction and relief when they choose to take action — not confusion or frustration. It’s the customer’s job to make a choice; it’s your job to make it feel easy.
This is an edited excerpt from my book Mission, Market, Message: The Actionable Guide to Marketing for Small Business Owners, which you can purchase on Amazon.