By their very nature, people don’t like change.
Sure, life is a constant state of change — children turn into adults, they go away to college, they buy a house, they get a job, they meet someone, they have children, etc. Those are all big changes. But in general, people don’t like a lot of change in their lives. They drive the same kinds of cars, they hang out with the same kinds of people, they don’t take a lot of risks, they aspire to a life of status quo.
People are skeptical (and even fearful) of change because change is risk… and people are risk-averse.
So, when you have a Prospect in your sales funnel and you are presenting them with an opportunity to buy, they may cognitively understand that the product or service will help them, but their risk-averse instinct tells them that an agreement to buy is risky… and risk is bad.
In my experience, people are fearful of the following four risks (in the context of a sales funnel), and these four risks will keep people from buying:
- Losing money (i.e. paying for a product that turns out to be worthless)
- Losing time (i.e. spending time purchasing the product and then not finding it helpful, or needing to work longer in order to “earn back” the money lost on a useless product)
- Losing effort (i.e. spending time and energy to use a product that is not valuable, or needing to work longer to “earn back” the money lost on a useless product)
- Losing face (i.e. being embarrassed in front of family or friends because of a purchase)
I think there are many other risks that keep people from buying — the risks of losing freedom, privacy, and assets, for example. But the four risks I’ve listed above are the four I’ve seen to be the most common and the biggest fears that keep people from buying.
When people feel these risks, they will give the seller all kinds of objections (some will be related to the real risk they are feeling but many will be totally unrelated, as a sort-of unconscious smoke-screen).
If you want to get people to buy from you, you need to overcome these risks by doing the following in your sales funnel:
- Address objections head-on before they can even be asked by the customer. Read a previous blog post about 8 ways to destroy objections before they are asked, and read a Weekly Sales Funnel Challenge blog post where I gave an objection-handling example.
- Overwhelm them with value. Read a previous blog post where I talk about the reason why people are afraid to buy, and blog post about something called the 9X problem, where people are afraid to move off of the status quo.
- Use guarantees and measurable assurances (including testimonials).