Subscription Options

June 9, 2009

Removing friction from sales of services

Sales are easiest when friction is reduced. I have no problem buying from or Amazon because I can do so with one-click buying. I tend to buy more than if I have to enter my credit card details every time, or my address.

If I want a newsletter, and I am faced with a form containing numerous mandatory fields, I often navigate away out of sheer annoyance. Note: I don't consciously make a decision if I want to go through this level of pain to get the newsletter... I just move on.

They had their chance to get me, they made it too hard, and I'm outta there...

I was looking around the internet for online storage for file sharing within my team of consultants. I went to first. I entered my details, then I clicked the buttons and had to enter my credit card details.

I don't have my card with me, I couldn't be bothered looking for it, and I moved on. I now have an account with (Who didn't ask for anything beyond name, username and password)

I need this service, and I will probably pay for it at some stage once our requirements get larger. My first option now is going to be They have "got me" and they have a chance to prove to me (or you) that this service is the no complications one that I need.

Thats more than the rest of the plethora of service providers got from me... and as attention gets even more scarce, reducing friction in sales will become a deciding factor.

Are you helping your clients to buy? Or just putting stumbling blocks in their way?

1. Don't pitch over their budget. If they cannot authorize the level you need then you are dealing with the wrong person!

2. Use subscription services where ever possible. Take away many decisions to buy and replace them with only one.

3. Don't allow "No" to be one of the options that you present. Words, your use of them, and how you frame your arguments are keys to driving the negotiation towards the ends that you require.

4. Always provide options and progressions. Set up the next steps while the first step is still being started.

5. Reduce the steps for them to speak with you, and for them to get what they want. Answer emails promptly, return calls promptly, no web forms,and no gatekeepers. We get so focused on getting our details out there, yet we often don't act promptly when they are used.

If they don't ask for it, then don't offer to send them your encyclopedic volume of information on whatever it is you do. Explain, impress the value upon them, and close.

6. Be sure that your reputation precedes you. B2B referrals, strong track records and a long line of people waiting to refer you always make it far easier for a client to buy. It takes the risk out of things.

Any further advice for helping other consultants to remove friction from the sales process?

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