The only way under high heaven

How to get people to buy from you

Unless we have an external accountability, if there’s something we should do but don’t want to do, chances are we won’t do it. At least not for long.

That’s why New Year’s resolutions fail. That’s why we put off the tasks in our business or marketing that are important but not urgent. We typically don’t do things unless something external (like a looming deadline or the threat of future problems) forces us to take action.

We can acknowledge this about ourselves, perhaps, but we frequently ask our potential customers to do things they don’t want to do.

We want them to buy from us even if they don’t need what we’re selling.

We want them to choose us over a new alternative because we were the first.

We want them to buy local even though Amazon is easier.

We want them to jump through hoops during the purchase process because it’s better for our CRM.

Or we want them to call us or drive to our location because it’s easier than accepting payment online.

But the fact is, most people don’t do what they don’t like doing, and they’re perfectly happy to find an easier alternative.

As Dale Carnegie famously wrote:

“There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Remember, there is no other way.”

So how do you make people want to buy from you? You don’t. You find people who already want what you’re best suited to provide to them.

As Bob Moesta would say, you find the “struggling moment” your current customers experienced that made them realize they had a problem your business could solve. And then you find more people likely to have the same struggling moment.

Once you’ve found those people, you reinforce your market position, over and over again, so that you’re the business they go to when they reach that struggling moment in their own life.

In many ways, that’s the easy part, getting people to want to buy from you. The hard part is letting them buy without doing anything they don’t want to do.

They don’t want to go through a painful payment process.

They don’t want to print something.

They may not want to drive anywhere.

They probably don’t want to create an account.

They definitely don’t want to fill in all the fields in your sign-up form.

Each of these are excuses to pop over to Amazon. To abandon their cart. To do some more Googling. To put off the purchase entirely.

You can have an amazing product or service. You can create brilliant advertisements. You can spend endless dollars building a brand or generating content. But if, at the end of the day, you’re asking people to do something they don’t want to do, the odds are against you.

Every decision is a marketing decision. And so your marketing efforts must be directed toward both finding people who want to buy from you and letting them buy without doing anything they don’t want to do.

Focus on what you’re best at. Find customers that already want what you have to sell.

And make it easy, easy, easy for them to buy from you.

Because, as Carnegie said, there is no other way.


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Further Reading:
Even if you lose, you win.
There’s no such thing as a riskless strategy.

Not sure where to spend your marketing budget or effort? I’d love to chat it out: joelkelly@hey.com