Now that’s a bold question.
Let me tell you a story of why I ask it, and how critical this question can be for the success of your business.
I had been in an evergreen launch sequence from a very big name in the digital marketing space. I received emails over a 10-day period which took me further and further into the sales process. Just a few days before the cart closed for this course, I started to see bonuses appear. There was ‘this’ bonus and ‘that’ bonus.
And then, one bonus caught my eye – if I bought the course before the cart closed, I would be able to attend live, weekly calls with this guru where he would answer questions from those attendees. Wow! Still being relatively young in my digital marketing journey, this was like meeting a famous movie star. I couldn’t believe the level of access I would have.
I jumped up and ran to get my credit card. I typed those numbers in so quickly as I didn’t want to wait any longer to buy the course, lest something happen and I no longer had the chance.
I received my access to the course and jumped right in.
And then I got my first email about the live call. I booked it in my calendar and anxiously waited for the day and time to arrive.
I logged into the call early. There as a certified coach moderating the call. I was excited as she told us a bit about the nature of the calls. Now, I waited for the guru to arrive. But he never did. Given that it was summer, I just attributed it to him being on holiday. I sent an email to customer service the next day inquiring as to when he would be on the live call.
I was hit with a tidal wave in their response. The evergreen launch I had been caught in, didn’t have live, weekly calls with this guru. They were monthly calls with one of his certified coaches.
The live, weekly calls with this guru didn’t apply to those in the evergreen sales funnel. Even though the bonus video I viewed clearly offered this, I was told that it didn’t apply to those who purchased out of the main product launch period which would be offered in the fall. There was simply nothing that could be done.
I was so upset.
I was angry and disappointed. I felt conned. And I felt disrespected. It took me days to process my feelings.
It was during this time, I started to reflect on using bonuses in webinars and in offers. I came to the conclusion that they are destructive to the relationship between businesses and potential customers and clients. (You can read more about why I believe this in this blog, “Why using bonuses are destructive in your webinar or offer”.)
I also asked myself a hard question – “What is the most important aspect of my business?”. Was it sales? The relationship between my customers and clients and my business? Being seen as a thought leader in my niche? What was it?
The answer surprised me.
That was the most important aspect of my business -- respect.
I knew right then if respect was the most important aspect of my business, then using tactics, like bonuses and false scarcity and false urgency that we see used everywhere in digital marketing, are not necessary. I simply respect where my potential customers or clients are in their buying process and help facilitate that process, if necessary.
You might be wondering why and what this new approach looks like.
Tactics like bonus stacking (where bonuses are offered one after the other), false urgency (where people have a very limited time to take the offer because of an arbitrary deadline), and false scarcity (where supply is arbitrarily limited) are disrespectful of the potential customer or client’s position. Their entire purpose is to push the potential buyer into making a purchase that they may not be ready to make.
These tactics are in the interest of the seller.
It’s why they’re used – to force sales.
Now, think of a business in which the buyer’s position is respected. This business would simply lay out the all the details of the offer and leave it to the buyer to decide when to buy. If the buyer is ready, then the sale would be made. If the buyer is not ready, then instead of employing manipulative tactics, the buyer is instead engaged in a discussion where the seller is genuinely seeking to help the buyer in decision – regardless of outcome.
By talking further with the buyer in this particular manner, the seller can learn and help them overcome the objections they may have -- perhaps the timing isn’t right or maybe there’s another product or service that’s better suited for them.
What this discussion allows is the opportunity to really engage the buyer, to get to know them as an individual.
As a seller, you will not only learn of common objections which you can address in your marketing, but you can also develop a deeper relationship—based on mutual respect—with the individual once they become an actual customer.
Going this extra step of genuinely seeking to help the buyer in their decision benefits both parties. If the potential buyer chooses not to purchase, they will have a positive impression of your business. They may even suggest to others who are in need of your product or service to contact you. If the potential buyer becomes a customer, then the relationship starts off from a much better place than ones that begin based on the seller manipulating the buyer.
For my business, the relationship between my customers and clients and my business is the most important. I base my entire business operations on developing these relationships to be the best they can be. This means respect for both my potential customers and clients and my actual ones is the foundation of my business.
And, this respect, guides everything I do from products and services to marketing and advertising. And it shows in the loyalty and long-term relationships I have with my clients and customers.