Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Four Strategies That Reduce Buyer Risk

Today’s post comes from a great newsletter I receive, The Copywriter’s Roundtable. It’s John (Jack) Forde’s creation, and it’s superb. You can sign up here if you’re interested --

The post I pulled from is about reducing the risk a buyer perceives. It’s from a piece called “How to Sell When You Don’t Have the Lowest Price” by Dave Kahle. The tips are great for eBay sellers and everyone else. I’ve inserted eBay-specific comments.

4 Risk Reducing Selling Strategies:

1. Build solid, deep relationships with the key decision-makers. Relationships mitigate risk. The greater the relationship, the lower the perceived risk. That's why the salesman with the longer relationship almost always has the benefit of the doubt in a competitive situation. Its not the price - its the risk. [On eBay, this is about building customer relationships via newsletters, gracious correspondence, attention to detail, and great customer service.]

2. Make ample use of third party recommendations, customer lists, case studies and testimonials. All of these say to the customer that someone else, or lots of someone elses, have used the product or service. That means its less risk for your customer to buy it.

3. Try to get your customer as physically involved with the product as possible. For example, if you're selling a piece of equipment, try to get the customer to trial the equipment, or at least visit somewhere its being used. The more your customer can see and feel the actual thing, the less risk is it to them. [If possible, eBay sellers might encourage a prospect for a high-ticket item to handle the item in a store to get the feel of it and pick up some of that “gotta be there” vibe.]

4. Finally, work with your company to create offers that reduce the risk. Trial periods, money-back guarantees, delayed billing, warranties, service desks - all of these reduce your customer's perception of risk. [guarantees, flexible return policies, and product support offers apply to eBay]

The winners in the competitive selling arena of the Information Age are those who are the low risk providers, not the low price people.

From --

P.S. and have the lowest prices for "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing" (McGraw-Hill, 2005)

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