Trust your way past buyers remorse!

Posted by Steve Robinson on January 26, 2017

I recently read a fantastic article in the Guardian where a 36 year old journalist, Stuart Heritage, (right) explains that he has just bought his first house. (I have 3 sons who are all generation-rent, so the article had real resonance!)

Is he excited? No. He is drowning with buyers remorse! Given his decision-making process, this remorse might well be for good reason (have a read and make up your own mind) but, for you, as a business who is selling a product or service, how can you avoid your customers experiencing buyers remorse?

First, it’s important to understand what buyers remorse is:

Post-decision Cognitive Dissonance is the formal name for the feeling of disappointment a person has after they have bought something significant, when they think they might have made a mistake.
There is a great deal of psychological theory behind ‘why’ this happens, most notably by Art Markman who is a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. You can find more of Art’s work HERE.

But second, let’s explore what you, as the seller, can do about it.

We are in a very different world to the one of 20 or 30 years ago, and fundamentally, people hate being sold to. So, your starting point now must be based on the fact that interactions with you need to be:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Enjoyable

The importance of belief in your product or service and building trust with your customer can not be underestimated, and these traits are only possible if you’ve provided a quality product or service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.

But even if you are inviting, informative and enjoyable to deal with, and the product or service you’ve sold is exactly as you promised, you may need to do other things to avoid buyers remorse getting into bed with your customer. Tried and tested mechanisms are;

  • Offer to refund money – no questions asked
  • Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product

Remember, one purchase is an order – two purchases is a customer!

These two offers alone will also mitigate buyer’s remorse because the customer will trust you more, just for offering these things, and we touched on above, trust is an essential part of the sales process. The good news is that there are loads of other ways to turn a first order into a regularly buying customer, which also help to minimise buyers remorse:

  1. Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
  2. Offer package or bundle deals. This makes direct comparisons much more difficult.
  3. Offer a referral incentive.
  4. Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.
  5. Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
  6. Offer extra incentives – longer warranties, free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
  7. Offer financing options, if that’s applicable.
  8. Offer a bonus if they pay in full and / or upfront.
  9. Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
  10. Offer a trade-up or upgrade from something they already have.
  11. You might even offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory to pay a tax bill, for your kid’s’ braces, or another tangible reason. Depending on your market, customers may well love that this makes you feel so much more human.
  12. Always try to offer additional, educational information to help them make their decision.

There are, of course, numerous other options and the choice may depend on what’s relevant for your market. Feel free to use this list of ideas to find what works best for your business, products/service and target market. Remember this…

“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll lift your company above the competition.” Jay Abraham

And above all, build trust!

Good luck!

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