15th February 2017
5 common ‘buying blocks’ and how to overcome them
The success of your business depends on being able to attract new customers and then keep their custom and loyalty in the long-term. Many businesses struggle with the process of attracting new clients. They may get the website traffic, the social media followers and even the phone calls but, for some reason, it doesn’t convert into that all-important foot through the door.
If this is affecting your clinic, it’s helpful to understand five of the most common concerns or ‘buying blocks’ that could be stopping your potential clients from committing to a treatment.
1. Not being aware of your business, treatments or services
It could be that you’re not talking clearly enough to your target customers or that, in trying to appeal to as many people as possible, your marketing is coming across as bland and generic. The danger with this is that your clinic marketing may look and sound exactly like other clinics, in which case your potential customers may not even be aware of your business, treatments or services.
To begin making your target customers aware of your presence in the marketplace, it’s necessary to answer some key questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What does a typical patient look like?
- What keeps them awake at night? / What’s their pain point?
- What matters to them?
- How can you solve a problem or help their life to look better in some way?
Once you know who you want to reach, you will find it so much easier to find them because you’ll start looking for your customers in the right places. It will also become easier to stand out from your competitors by creating a brand that resonates with your potential patients.
2. Not understanding the benefits of what you offer
Is your treatment marketing focusing on features rather than benefits? This is a big mistake.
In order to sell any product, treatment or service, potential customers need to understand how it will benefit them to buy. With aesthetics or dental-related treatments, the benefits are more than just whiter teeth or a reduction in wrinkles. They’re about feeling great about your smile and how people react positively to that confidence, or feeling more comfortable in your own skin and how that impacts on your daily life.
3. Not seeing the value
Closely tied into the point above is that people often hold back from buying if they can’t see the value of a product, service or treatment. When we talk about value, we’re not just talking about a monetary worth. In fact, value is defined as ‘the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something’.
Many businesses make the mistake of highlighting the price of what they’re selling as if that’s the single factor influencing the buying decision but, in our experience, businesses come into their own when they focus less on price and more on value.
If you can tell your potential customers what they have to gain from buying from you, it will help them to overcome their buying block. Generally, if people can see the value of a purchase, they will find a way to afford it if they can.
4. Feeling that your services aren’t accessible to them
When most of us make a purchase, we choose to buy from businesses that appear to be in alignment with our own values. For example, people who are passionate about animals might choose to buy from companies that stand against animal cruelty.
We also gravitate towards businesses that seem to appeal to people that we perceive to be just like us – referred to by marketers as a ‘Unique Buying Tribe’ – or, as an extension of this, we may gravitate towards businesses that reflect who we aspire to be.
A buying block can occur when people feel that your services aren’t accessible to them for some reason. Maybe they don’t see themselves fitting in with your typical customers or they may be worried that they won’t have a chance to speak to you before their treatment or that you won’t be there for them afterwards.
Simple steps such as featuring real-life before and after images or reviews from genuine customers, or reassuring patients that you’ll be involved in all stages of their treatment from the initial consultation to the aftercare can help to promote a sense of accessibility and reassurance.
5. Being frightened of making a mistake
Last, but far from least, is potentially the most common buying block – fear. There are lots of reasons that people feel frightened when buying:
- What if I regret my purchase?
- What if it’s a waste of money?
- What if I don’t get the results I want?
- What if I make a fool of myself by buying from the wrong person?
When buying treatments in the health and/or beauty/aesthetics sectors, people may be fearful that their appearance will change for the worst as a result of treatment. They may also be frightened of choosing the wrong practitioner.
If we buy a product, most of us have the reassurance of knowing that there’s a 30-day returns policy and that we can get our money back, but what kind of reassurance is there for people who will be physically changing their appearance in some way?
One of the most powerful things you can do to break down the barriers between your clinic and a new patient is to address and alleviate their fears. Talk to them about other cases where you’ve made a positive difference, explain your training and credentials, feature reviews from other patients, tell them about the initial consultation, introduce your staff, show them times you’ve appeared in the media giving your expert opinion, be honest about the pros and cons of treatments, create realistic expectations, and show that you’ll listen to them and respond accordingly.
These simple steps can break down buying blocks and skyrocket your customer conversion rates, as well as creating a powerful foundation for a long-lasting relationship with each new customer.