HOW CAN A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF “I WANT TO PAY ON DELIVERY. I DO NOT KNOW YOU”?
Today, I want to teach about small business owners who are losing sales because the customer does not trust you enough to pay ahead of delivery.
I recently saw my friend, Ifeoma, make a post about a customer who even asked for her marriage and birth certificate, to ascertain if she was real, before making payment for her products.
Ifeoma declined and asked the customer not to buy since she doesn’t trust her.
She lost that sale.
No, no – she didn’t just lose that sale.
She lost 20 more sales.
Do you know why? Ifeoma sells healthy plant-based swallows (cabbage, eggplant and tigernut swallows). Customers who buy those swallows are on a weight-loss journey. Once they can trust you, they will buy many more times from you.
Then when they lose the weight and people start asking their weight-loss secret, they will make tons of referrals to you.
Now that we are clear that Ifeoma probably lost 20 or more sales by declining to prove she was real, you are probably wondering – What should she have done? Send a total stranger her marriage and birth certificates?
My answer is No. She would have helped the customer to trust her, using many other methods. The customer was simply seeking any possible way to trust her. She offered none.
Now let’s get this crystal clear – In the customer buying journey, a customer only buys from you when you pass the KLT test.
I repeat – “When you pass the KLT TEST”
KLT means Know, Like and Trust.
The customer must Know you, Like you and Trust you, before he buys from you.
Are we clear up to this point?
Oya let’s continue.
All your 1 million Facebook and Instagram posts, only gets the customer to Know and Like you. The trust element is yours to build.
I repeat – The Trust element is yours to build, as the Seller.
If a customer is refusing to pay you because of trust issues, it is not a time to get angry and publish the customer’s chat online, rather, it is a time to sit down quietly and get thinking.
Ask yourself, “How can I get someone in Taraba to buy from me in Lagos, when the person has never met me?”
Go into a deep brainstorming session, think hard and solve your Trust element even before the customers start asking.
Here are some things I would have done, if I was Ifeoma.
- Go to Paystack and create a payment link. Ask the customer to pay using Paystack. Then assure her that Paystack can do a chargeback on me if I do not deliver. I will send her a video I made showing how she can request a payback.
- Encourage her to try buying a smaller quantity as a test. This quantity should be decent enough to make sense for the delivery fee.
- Show her written recommendations from other business owners who have bought from me. I must have earlier had discussions with those business owners to please offer my customer the trust element whenever they are asked. For example- I have bought from Ifeoma and I know she is real. If I use my business Instagram page to offer a recommendation for her, the buyer would be more comfortable to deal with her.
- Tell the customer that we are a legitimate business with proper CAC registration and that she is paying into the corporate account. Assure her that every corporate account is linked to the BVN of the business owner and that she can always track me down. Even invite her to WhatsApp and send a copy of the CAC certificate.
- Find a Nigerian escrow company and sign up for their services (I will publish a list of them soon). An escrow service means that the customer pays to them, they do not pay the seller, until the seller delivers. Yes, they take a small fee, but it is better than losing the sale totally. Escrow services give comfort to the customer.
- Ask the customer to see the age of your business social media pages. If a seller is a fraud, he most likely wouldn’t have a five year old Facebook or Instagram page. He would have been reported and the page pulled down. Most online fraudulent sellers operate with new social media accounts.
- Go emotional and speak reassuring words to the customer – “Dear Madam, I am not a fraud. I am a decent woman who sells healthy swallows. I have done this business for 6 years. I want to walk this healthy living or weight loss journey with you. I am not looking for a one night stand. I beg you, trust me with this 13k and see what will happen. Pay into my company account and I will send you a Receipt immediately”.
- Go to GIG (or any other logistics company that offers an online account system) and sign up a logistics account. Build history and records of your deliveries. They are great evidence that you have been doing honest deliveries.
Can we think of more ways to offer comfort to a customer who is afraid?
Please share your suggestions.
We need to make more sales, not lose some sales.
We must normalize selling online.
The duty to build trust is ours and not the customer’s.
Not building trust can rob you of millions of sales.
Let’s discuss it now and fix it!
I love you!
Chioma Ifeanyi Eze