How to Convince the Skeptical Customer

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In a recent post, copywriter Bob Bly said “people are more skeptical than ever today, and their B.S. detectors have never been more accurate.” I agree with Bob completely. Today’s consumer isn’t just willing to trust anyone they come across online. In fact, today’s consumer probably thinks you’re running a scam until you prove otherwise.

So, what can you do to convince the skeptical customer to buy from you? It’s certainly an uphill battle, but following the tips below will get you headed in the right direction.

•    Ditch the Gimmicky Sales Copy—The Internet is full of over-the-top sales copy making unbelievable claims that scream “SCAM!!!” Don’t fall into the trap of overhyping your product in your website copy. The more sales-y your copy sounds, the more skeptical the reader will be. Instead, focus on creating a true connection with your reader. Talk with the reader rather than screaming at them. Start by ditching words like best, #1, industry leader, and other meaningless phrases.

•    Use Testimonials/ List Your Clients—The skeptical customer isn’t going to take your word for anything. That’s why you need to have help from some trustworthy outside voices. Including testimonials from satisfied customers is one way to increase your credibility. Your testimonials are even more effective if they include pictures or come from recognizable sources. If you provide services to companies, ask their permission to list them in your client list on your website. A skeptical customer who sees you work with some names they know and trust will begin to trust you a little more.

•    Incorporate Statistics in Your Copy—
If you have any statistics relating to your product or services, include them in your copy. For example, if you’re a DUI defense lawyer, you might include something along the lines of “I have helped over 250 clients beat their DUI charges.” Any hard proof you have to back up your claims will help you come closer to turning that skeptic into a believer.

•    Offer a Free Sample—What better way to convince a skeptic your product works than to let them try it themselves? Companies of all sizes and from all industries have gained new customers by offering free samples. Microsoft offers free demos of most of their software; many cosmetic/beauty supply companies offer small samples of their products too. If you don’t offer physical products but instead provide services, offer website visitors a free consultation.

•    Eliminate the Risk—Why are customers skeptical? It’s because they’re afraid of losing something—most likely, their money. You can get past this obstacle by offering your customers a 100% money back guarantee if they aren’t satisfied with your product. Here’s the catch though: don’t bog your guarantee down with a bunch of restrictions and conditions. That will just give customers the impression that somehow they won’t get their money back. Make it a true money back guarantee.

•    Don’t Just Tell, Show—This goes back to the point of offering a free sample. Instead of just telling your customer about your product, show them. As mentioned above, one way to do this is to offer a free sample. Another simple thing you can do is to include a video demonstration of your product on the website. Remember, some people are visually-oriented, so, for them, seeing is believing.

•    Include Accreditations on Website—Another simple thing you can do to enhance your credibility is to include badges from your accreditations on your website. One common example of this is a Better Business Bureau certified business. Any industry-specific accreditations should also be displayed on your site. In short, anything you can do to build trust with the skeptical customer should be included.

What do you do to convince the skeptical customer to buy from you? Give me your best tips in the replies!

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