I have a new appreciation for those very straightforward signs you often see when you’re ordering at a place like Subway.
They have simple messages: here is the line. Here is where we make the food. Here’s where you pay. If we’re not ready when you are? Here’s where you wait.
And I’ll tell you why.
Our business is going through a growth stage, but not one big enough to address with staffing yet. For now we’re addressing with technology. I know what I want, I’m ready to buy, and I’m not interested in foreplay.
And I’m astounded by how many pages won’t just let me give them my money.
If we have to have a consultation before I buy a product, you lost me.
It’s one thing if you’re selling me consulting services, seo, writing, editing, anything where the cost will vary according to labor, difficulty etc. But for a product? I was ready to click buy. And now I’m not coming back.
If you give me too many options and none of them meets my needs, I’m audi 5000, G.
You can’t have a package for a solo entrepreneur, priced accordingly, then have the next tier of services make absolutely no sense. I want a non-free chat function for the site for myself, my two partners, my assistant and their interrn/part-timer/what-have-you to use.
The one I liked the best had options for 3 people, then the next level up was 7. Only the option for 7 was triple the cost of the one for three people.
Wouldn’t you make more sales pricing the next tier up for people who fall in-between, but see going up as a better value? Nonsensical. I ended up going with another company whose prices make actual sense.
Who knows what problems I’ll face with a company that can’t master basic logic?
If you approach me in the wrong way or at the wrong time, you’ve lost me.
When my friend and I are talking about how to fix my problem with the iPad I already own, that’s the wrong time for you to send me a public message telling me I could win a free iPad by filling out the 47 page form on your site.
When I already have one.
If spam made sense? Half of it might actually be effective. But no, it’s always some idiot with a grand scheme to send 10,000 messages to get one sale, when with slightly more effort they could have gotten 100.
If we’ve agreed on a price, I’m ready to pay and you complicate things, you’ve lost me. Unless we’re really good friends and I owe you a favor.
One huge thing that kills so many fledgling businesses is making the process too complicated. I know because I’ve done it. I’m not perfect – I still do it sometimes. But I own it, I work on it and I get better every day.
If you’re making it too hard for people who want to give you their money, you’ll never get the people who are on the fence. And you may not get the people who’ve already given you that money back again. And it’s the repeat customer or client that builds you a business rather than a profitable hobby.
It’s almost as bad as letting rapid growth drown your company. Which we’ll talk about another day. In the mean time, just remember. People want to give you their money. Make it as easy for them to do it as you reasonably can.
That doesn’t mean force your services into a template if you have a business where you have to give a quote each time. I don’t want all my plumber friends going broke.
It means, it would almost be better not to have a website than it would be to make it confusing how to get in touch with you. That is, if you actually WANT business. There are a few circumstances where you should make yourself less available, like when the last thing you need in life is a new client or customer.
But that’s another story for another day.