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If you’re running a small business, there are all kinds of different things you need to do in order to pull the endeavour off and make it profitable.
You’ll need to have a pretty focused action plan, and set of KPIs to follow; you will need to be able to market and network effectively; you need to be able to invest your time and financial resources wisely, and more.
Introduction: How to make your customers comfortable spending their money
Ultimately, though, when all is said and done, things more or less boil down to the need to get your prospective customers to spend their money on your products and services, and to keep coming back, instead of becoming irritated, disheartened, and consequently trashing your name around town.
Customers are often pretty skeptical, and cautious, however – and a major part of getting them to pay for whatever it is you’re offering, is making them as comfortable as possible with the entire process.
So, without further ado, here are some tips for making your customers more comfortable with spending their money on your products and services.
Offer multiple payment processing options
Offering multiple payment processing options is just a great idea if you want to avoid sabotaging yourself, for pretty much no reason.
These days – with more convenient shopping options available than anyone could have dreamt of just a handful of years ago – customers expect to be able to conduct their transactions in as smooth and effortless a manner as possible.
So, if they pull out their credit card to make a payment, and you tell them “sorry, we only accept cash,” you can be pretty sure that you’re going to chase away a lot of people who might otherwise be quite happy to patronize your business.
This website offers tools for streamlining the payment process. But, in general, you should offer as many different payment options as possible, and make it as easy as possible for people to actually give you their money, if they decide to. Any small hurdle or irritation may well cost you dearly.
It’s unlikely that your business is going to be amazing enough, out the gate, that people will tolerate inconvenience in order to make a purchase.
Create a professional looking website that helps to set the customer’s concerns to rest
It may not be a good idea to judge a book by its cover, but that’s certainly what happens in the world of business, and especially if you happen to be running a business that exists primarily – or even just mostly – online.
Before making a purchase, your audience is going to take a pretty careful look at your website in order to get a sense of the quality, professionalism, and trustworthiness of your company.
If your website doesn’t look up to scratch, that will typically be taken as a red flag that you are an amateur trying to sell potentially dubious goods.
Of course, it may be that your product or service is excellent, regardless of the state of your website. But no one is likely to find that out in person, unless you are able to put their concerns to rest via a professional presentation and first impression.
A professional website should be well-designed, reactive on mobile devices, should include well-written content describing the specifics of your business and the benefits you can offer (it’s worth hiring a professional copywriter for this), and ideally should include assurance certificates and testimonials, if you have them.
Consider offering installment payment plans
If you’re the new company on the block, people may give you the benefit of the doubt and spend modest amounts of money on your product or service, but they are not very likely to drop large amounts of money into your lap, upfront.
One way of getting around this issue, and helping to differentiate yourself from your competitors – despite the fact that they may well be far more established than you – is to offer payment plans which allow customers to pay in installments, over a period of weeks and months.
Ideally, what should happen is that once your customers have their foot in the door and are using your product or service, they will realize just how good it is, and will stick with you over the long term.
In any event, you want to make it as easy and low-risk as possible for them to make that initial investment.