Answer the Need Question and Solve the Buying Anxiety Issue
A big question that many people are asking is how to get clients or customers to spend today versus tomorrow given the current climate? I believe we are seeing a shift is values and everyone from the consumer to the corporation is struggling to identify what they should spend money on versus what is frivolous spending. Given that the country got in this situation due in part to the overconsumption mentality, it makes sense that consumers are re-evaluating their spending. Similarly, since companies are being scrutinized for their spending while asking for handouts, it makes sense that all companies are taking a hard look at how they spend their dollars. Presenting services and products in ways that has worked in the past may not work in the new environment. In the past people wanted to know more about the product and were more open to wow factors. Now, a company that can prove why their product or service is needed or helps solve the anxiety they have against buying it now will succeed. This will require a strong understanding of the customer and identifying their new values. Possible tools could be a re-look at the segmentation and identifying shifts as well as reaching out to customers to identify their current goals through surveys and conversations. Anything that helps identify the “need or anxiety to purchase” factor will be helpful so that you can better explain how your product and/or services solve their issues. This will help convey the proper message in sales pitches and marketing programs. During these times, we have seen the reaction of shifting to cheaper options. The does not mean the answer is to be the lowest cost provider, but if your customers need it as part of the solution, it would be important to add value options to the mix. For example, look at Hyundai Canada. While other companies are doing poorly, they are having their best year with a mix of quality, dependability, value, and financing. They get the mix their customers want. Also, if the main concern holding back your customers from buying is that they may lose their income, you may want to take a lesson from Hyundai again and provide a guarantee or return option. Hyundai has the ”return your car if you lose your job” promotion and when comparing Hyundai versus other car companies, sales are flat when everyone else is down 40-50%. They get the anxiety and have an answer. So remember, answer the need question and solve the buying anxiety issue.