Fear is one of the biggest objections a seller has to deal with. If a buyer believes what you’re proposing is too risky, or the probability of failure is too great, then you’ll need to lower the risk for them to have a chance of winning the deal.
Those that take the biggest risks can often be the biggest winners, and on the flipside avoiding risk altogether can strangle innovation. But you’ll never win a risk-averse buyer over simply by asking them to take a leap of faith. You need to demonstrate a disciplined and systematic approach to limiting the risk factors, and help them to see that the rewards outweigh their perceived risks. Most importantly – you should show how you can share the burden of risk with your buyer.
Do your own risk analysis. Are your buyer’s fears real or perceived? Are they concerned that results will not meet expectations? Maybe their professional reputation is on the line. Perhaps they simply don’t like change.
Investigate their exposures and address them, before they become a real barrier:
- What’s going on within their organisation? Monitor company news, blogs and social media platforms to see what the organisation is putting out there and what risks, issues and pain points exist within their internal world
- What external forces are they contending with? Track market commentators, competitors and their end-customers. Look at relevant market forums, analyse wider industry data, understand what’s happening within their client base and supply chain. Uncover the external factors at play, ones that perhaps they have less control over.
Doing thorough research to understand your buyers fears and pain points will ensure you don’t miss any issues that could come back to bite you, and them, later on. It will also arm you with the facts you need to build reassurance in your sales strategy.
Big Bang won’t work
Don’t rush to failure – slow and steady wins the climb. When it comes to the risk averse, nano moves are often better. Alter your sales approach and break down the cycle into incremental steps. By doing so, the changes needed to integrate your product or service will be smaller and easier to handle.
At each stage, you have an opportunity to use the insight you’ve gathered to build in the comfort factor and lower the risks. Let them try you out for size. Let them ask questions, but make sure you have the answers. Demonstrate that at every step of the purchase process you are in service to them, you are there to support them and you will listen to their concerns. Approaching the closing stage will seem less daunting if they have seen it, and you, in action.
Social proof is a very effective way of demonstrating that there is little risk to a buyer.
- Educate your buyer about you, your company, and the product/service you are providing. Use the insight you’ve uncovered about where their risks lie to shape the content you share. Demonstrate results you have achieved, similar issues you have helped solve, and provide them with evidence that you are a safe pair of hands.
- Influence and demonstrate your accountability by being an expert in your field. Share advice and insight, and make yourself a credible go-to resource – someone they can trust. Deliver value by listening and responding to their concerns. Seek out engagement opportunities that demonstrate your expertise at every touch point and enable you to influence their decision-making process.
- Create and use brand advocates. Testimonials and referrals are great ways to dispel concerns and provide a seal of approval for the product/service you are offering. Let them see they are in good company, and that you have performed as promised. Let others do the talking for you, it is a powerful way to reassure.
Put safety first. Help the customer make the lower risk decision, you’re in this game together (sharing the risk) and you increase your chances of winning their trust and partnership.