12 August 2007

Do you make it easy for people to buy from you?

This is another one of those concepts that on the surface appears to be really obvious but it’s surprising just how many businesses make it really hard for people to give them money. Typically they have overly complicated procedures that make buying anything from their business a nightmare. For example; they might not take credit cards, they might be physically hard to find or they are never open at convenient times, they never seem to have enough sales staff on especially at the busy time, they never seem to have what you want so you have to order it in and wait weeks for it to arrive if it ever does and so on. These businesses just seem to miss the point and to me, this shows a real lack of respect for their customers. How many people will recommend a business like this? Clearly not very many.

If you want to attract more customers and keep them coming back often, make it as easy as possible them. If you don’t they will go somewhere that does – and it is a simple as that. Of all the marketing pieces of advice that I can give, this is easily one of the most powerful and the most cost effective.

The key word here is simple – keep every aspect of the sales process as simple as possible. To do this you need to be a keen observer of how your sales system works right now. Evaluate it, talk to your customers, talk to your staff. What could be improved or streamlined to speed things up and to keep people putting money in your cash register? Do this evaluation with an open mind or even better, get someone else to do it with an open mind and fresh eyes. Most sales systems fail over time, they get fatigued like the business itself and if you take the time and energy to give yours a makeover the results can be virtually instant.

I often hear business owners saying that they don’t take some credit cards because the merchant rates are too high. If you are in business today and you don’t take credit card you are absolutely positively going to lose customers. Put your prices up to cover the costs and accept the credit cards. Your customers expect it and if they like to use a particular credit card for whatever reason and you don’t accept it they are likely to go elsewhere.

Think about the last time you went to a business and they wouldn’t accept the credit card you wanted to use. It was an inconvenience and an irritation. What other difficulties have you encountered in the buying process and would you go back to the business where you were confronted with the problem?

So before you spend a pile of money advertising or promoting your business, why not take some time to really improve the way you sell to your customers. Challenge yourself to find ways to make as easy as possible and take enjoy the compliments that will come from your customers saying how easy it is to do business with you. The best part of this is that they will tell their friends and your business will keep attracting new customers simply because you treat people with the respect they deserve. Making it easy for people to buy from your business is simply good customer service and people expect it.

3 thoughts on “Do you make it easy for people to buy from you?”

  1. Jean says:

    A timely article for me AG… turned away for lunch (shortly after 2pm) right here in downtown Cairns… by not one, but two establishments which we frequent regularly. It’s not the turning away so much as the manner in which it is done. A scowl and a “sorry y’er too late” from the business owner is not good enough treatment for regulars. I will, of course, be going elsewhere from now on. They for their part will probably wonder why they haven’t seen us in a while. They just don’t “get it”.

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Andrew Griffiths is Australia's #1 small business author with 12 best selling books now sold in over 60 countries. He's a writing and publishing expert, an international speaker and leading business advisor with over 20 years' experience. Andrew presents around the world and is considered an expert in entrepreneurship and an authority on building a profile. He is a thought leader through writing, publishing and speaking and is featured regularly in mainstream global media.

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