4 Reasons Your Prospects Don’t Turn into Clients

By: Shama Hyder

A perceived risk is the number one thing that stops prospects from turning into clients. Here are the top four reasons why people don’t buy:

1) Losing money- People value what they have more than what they don’t. Even if your services are spectacular, their money is more precious to them. This becomes especially true in tough economic times. You can overcome this barrier by fully conveying the value they will receive for their hard-earned cash. This is a bit easier if you are helping them increase their bottom line (marketing for example) than it is for relationship coaching or personal training. If your services don’t directly impact a client’s bottom line, you may have to work harder to convey the value. Testimonials can really help you do this with ease.

2) Scared of being stuck- Unfortunately, a few hucksters in business give the majority a bad name. Your prospects are scared of being stuck with something that doesn’t work for them and not having a way out. Many service businesses ask clients to sign up for a certain time period in order to deliver results and rightly so. However, this scares prospects into thinking they have no way out. Always explain to prospects that if they are unsatisfied due to your service, they are free to go. If you insist on making them stick to the contract, you may end up up with unstoppable negative word-of-mouth. 

3) Making a mistake- Nobody wants to mess up and everybody is afraid of choosing something that isn’t right for them. This is why it’s best to serve in an advisor capacity. Don’t take on clients who can’t fully benefit from your services. Just this week, I turned down three prospects.

4) Not getting what they were promised- Disappointments are scary.  Some (unethical) marketers promise the sun and the moon-only to leave their clients without a thing. Chances are your clients have been burned before too. It’s your job to make sure they get what you promise. One great way to overcome this is to let them speak to past clients.

Comments? Questions? Ask below!

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  • http://www.thewisdomjournal.com Ron@TheWisdomJournal

    Fantastic points Shama!

    I would add that sometimes a client just doesn’t like you. At some point you may have stepped on some toes or made an innocuous comment that offended the client or someone on their staff.

    The client may not be giving you the full information about their operation and they have reservations about sharing just how precarious their situation (marketing, financial, operational) may be.

    The client may already have a strong relationship with your competition and doesn’t want to have to tell that competitor goodbye.

    We can never underestimate the power of likability. The more likable you are, the easier it is for people to trust you. Trustworthiness is earned. Too many business people think that they just open up their doors, get an extra phone line and some business cards and BAM here comes the business! But you and I know that isn’t the case.

    Trust is built over the course of time and when a potential client trusts you enough to gamble a little on you, you have to perform like no time before and then, only then will the business start coming in.

    But likability and trust comes first!


  • Shama

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for adding#5! Trust is key in a relationship.

  • http://www.thewisdomjournal.com Ron@TheWisdomJournal

    I used to have an old boss who said there were three factors in any transaction: price, product quality, and service quality.

    Later I heard a story from a salesman whose manager was after him to secure an account. The account didn’t want to switch and had informed him of that, but the sales manager wouldn’t believe it. “We have the cheapest prices and best quality around,” he said. The sales manager insisted on going to a meeting with the account and the salesman a few weeks later.

    At that meeting the salesman offered to sell everything in the warehouse for 50 cents on the dollar and give 120 day terms. The account turned him down cold, respectfully, but cold.

    The sales manager promised to never question the salesman again about that account. Seems that 50+ years ago, that company had been very difficult to work with when the account had experienced a cash flow problem. The account remembered it and didn’t trust the company to stand behind him.

    Yes, trust is vitally important!

  • Aamer

    When one is a rookie in a field, where and how does one get testimonials, before one has had a chance to get the first client?! Can a clause in the contract that states a client can get off at any stage and get a refund, at least for the unused portion of the money, help?

  • Shama

    Hi Aamer,

    The best way to do that is to offer free sessions in return for honest testimonials.

    In terms of a clause, I always offer a money back guarantee on any marketing mentoring that I do. This is because 1) it makes the client feel safe and 2) because if the service wasn’t valuable to them-why should they have to pay?