Believability - Youve Either Got It or You Aint!
Believability is what's missing, and the majority of all businesses have the same problem. They advertise Institutionally, they fail to inform and educate their potential customers, they believe (and sometimes it's true), that they have the best product/service in their field. Trouble is, the customer usually doesn't appreciate that fact! Big Problem.
Having an online business is not unlike having a shop in the high street. Both have to be advertised. The shop distributes flyers, brochures; mailers, advertisments etc. and hopes for a percentage return on their investment (usually poor, but that's another story). However, the shop has one small advantage, it has a physical presence, customers can visit it, view the product, the decor; the furnishings; even the owner!
This allows them to at least judge for themselves whether the business is all it is said to be. There is at least an element of credibility and believability here that you as an online business owner don't have.
So what do you do? Well, there are several ways you can build belief, but to begin with, you have to realise that in the minds of your potential customers, Perception is reality! What they see when they visit your site, how easily (or otherwise) they were able to navigate it; how informative and content-rich the information was, all and more of these aspects of your site contribute significantly to your visitors perception of you as a business.
So the first way to build belief, is to ask yourself, does my site offer visitors the right Perception of my Product/Service.
Secondly, do you tell the truth? I don't imply you lie, but do you tell people what you are about, do they know your USP, your purpose for being in business; the source of your products? Realise this, people love to be informed. The more you tell them about you, your business, your product/service and why you believe these to be the best people can buy; the more likely they are to do business with you.
Thirdly, Build Rapport with them. View your business from the point of view of the potential customer. Understand their concerns, see the perceived problems they may encounter when trying to order; understand the doubts they may have. Ensure that your site is structured in such a way as to eliminate, or certainly minimise these problems BEFORE visitors arrive. Simplify at the beginning, not when the problems arise.
Where possible, provide a FREE sample of your product/service. This is really the ultimate belief builder (in some cases it this is not true eg if you tell me you sell the tastiest apples in the world, but I dislike the taste - you see my point). Generally speaking though, this is an essential aspect of marketing.
Where possible, provide a demonstration. The internet is great for this because you can utilise audio, video; interactive etc to allow your potential customer an insight into your product/service.
Strangely enough, if your product or service has a flaw, admitting this is more likely to endear a customer to you, because by admitting your flaw, you are being honest. This willincrease their belief in you as someone to do business with. Believe it, honesty is very powerful, it can only do you good.
In terms of your product, be Specific. Tell people the nitty gritty of your product or service. The more you tell, the more you sell. They ARE interested in detail, they base their purchases on the amount of information they are given. The more doubts you address, the more likely they are to purchase. Inform them!
Try also to make comparisons. Don't knock your competitors, but do compare what you are offering with that of the competition and highlight the benefits they will get if they purchase from you. Ask yourself, given the competition WHY should someone purchase from me? Answer that question and you answer your customers question.
Give a Guarantee. The bigger the better. Give it in writing, the stronger the guarantee, the likely they will buy.
By utililising the above tools, you will build Believability with your potential customers. Many businesses loose customers simply because they fail to instil Believability.
Look at it like this, if you told me you had the best product in the world for (anything), then you would think that I would buy it, right? Wrong, truth is I am Jo average and I hesitate to buy, why? Because I don't believe you!