Whenever we sell a product or service, we forget an important question.
The question: Why did you buy?
So why is this question so very important?
It’s important for several reasons
1) It validates the purchase decision
2) It gives you an understanding into the trigger
3) You can manage expectations better
First let’s start with the purchase decision
Whenever we buy something, we’re usually faced with a bit of buyer’s remorse. This buyer’s remorse kicks in, while higher in a pressure situation, nonetheless shows up in a low-pressure situation as well.
And in asking the client why they bought a product/service or a course, you’re asking them to write down their reasoning.
The purchase moment is very emotional
While all of us give a logical explanation why we bought into a product, the reality is that the purchase is emotion-based. We know this to be true, because if two people offered exactly the same product/service, you’d choose one over the other, purely on emotion.
But there’s logic too
And when customers write back, they give you both the logic and the emotion. And in doing so, they confirm to themselves that they’ve made the right decision. It’s one thing to think about making the right choice. When you write it down, you really have to think it through. And that makes a customer more likely to ratify their decision to buy.
This is no doubt good for you, as a seller. However it’s also great for the customer, because once they’re clear about why they bought a product/service, it strengthens their resolve to consume it. And when they consume it, they get greater value from their purchase.
If that were the only reason, that would be reason enough. But there’s a second reason as well and it’s called “the trigger”.
So what’s the trigger all about?
When we write sales copy, we’re not exactly sure which part of the copy resonated most with the customer. And yet, when you get a response from your customers, you’ll find there’s a sort of clumping up towards certain points.
You’ll find over time, that customers seem to be repeating the same thing over and over again. And that “same thing” may well be in your headline. Or it might not.
Take for instance, a book on “how to buy a car”
This marketer was sure that he’d done all the testing possible. But just for the heck of it, decided to ask clients why they bought the book. And there, in the middle of his bullet points, was the prime reason. They bought the book because he was “showing them how to buy a car at $50 over the dealer’s price”.
That information alone was worth the price of the book many times over. But the marketer wasn’t aware of the power of that bullet point. Once he was aware, he could take that bullet point and move it to the headline—thus ensuring even greater sales.
And when you ask for the trigger, customers will come up with other reasons too…
For example, when we asked customers why they signed up for the Info-products workshop, here are some of the points.
- What should be in our ‘Company bible’?
- How to systematically break that down into information products.
- Where do we start?
- What’s the process that we can follow?
- How do we know what people will pay for and how much they will pay?
- What’s the best way to test before we build?
- Where to start and stop and how to know when it’s time to break off into a new product?
- How to put the information together so it’s helpful and people want more.
I don’t know if you noticed, but that list reads amazingly like bullets
Or potential features and benefits. And once you have an insight into what the customer really wants, you can go back to your sales page and check if you’ve covered these points.
You would also need to write at least a few e-mails or leaflets to sell your product or service. The points you receive from your client can be the basis of future e-mails and leaflets.
But there’s a third point why “why did you buy?” is important
The third reason is simply to manage expectations
Remember when you visited a foreign country?
You read all the books, saw tons of photos and yet, when you got there, it was somehow different.
I remember going to the Taj Mahal in Agra when I was about 18 years old. I’d seen photos of the Taj, hundreds of times. Yet, when I was there, it was so much bigger, so much fancier than I’d expected.
And your product can be fancier or less fancier than clients expect.
The problem is often not rooted in the content
It’s rooted instead, in the expectations. Once a client gets to the end of a service, or reads through a product and doesn’t find what they want, they feel cheated.
They’ve spent time and money—but mostly a ton of energy. And they’re less likely to be trusting of your products and services in future.
And you really want them to trust you wholeheartedly.
This is why you need to ask the question
The question brings up their needs and you can either head it off at the pass or include it in your material. Heading it off at the pass, is not easy. You have to let the client know that the results they seek will not be available. And you let them know what they’re going to get, instead.
Often a client is very happy with the fact that you’ve taken the time to speak to them, and whether they decide to go ahead or not, they will retain that positive memory of you in future. And trust will be gained.
However, in many cases, you may not be covering what they seek
If you’re offering a service or physical, you can tag on an extra bonus (though that may not always be possible).
However, if you’re offering information, you don’t have to change your core information structure. E.g. Let’s say someone has read the book, “The Brain Audit“.
On going through their expectations, you find that they have questions that have not been covered in The Brain Audit.
So do you tweak the book? No, of course, not.
Instead you can tag on with a follow up PDF, audio or video—much like a FAQ (frequently asked questions).
Yup, that will solve the customer’s dilemma and give you the chance to create additional information without having to tamper with your core product or service.
The “why did you buy” question is very important because:
- It validates the purchase
- Gives you a ton of selling points and trigger points, that you can use in your sales material.
- Helps manage expectations, heading off issues at the pass, or adding bonuses that solve the customers problems.
However, there are exceptions to every rule
You see this sometimes on sites like iTunes or Amazon.
There’s this petty, idiotic customer who wants to pay nothing and wants the world. He’ll say something like, “I’m rating this product as a bad product because it is worth 99 cents, instead of $1.99.
This kind of petty customer is never going to be the customer you need or want. They will treat the product or service with disdain, ask for too much and you can never, ever manage their expectations.
Of course, you’re welcome to try but it will end in tears—that’s for sure. So avoid these painful customers at all times.
The good customers—the ones that are going to stay around for a while
They will be happy to answer your question about “why” they bought your product or service. And in doing so, you’ll get a bounty of information and goodwill.
Be Kind, Be Helpful or Begone: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website
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