Why would someone NOT buy from you?

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Chris loves this simple but powerful question. When we are thinking about how we can get more customers for CMA, and helping other companies get better customers to grow their company, this one question helps to create strategic content that fills gaps in, and smooths out the sales process.

One of the reasons that this question is so powerful is because it specifically focuses on the prospects that are already in the sales process. In other words, by answering this question you are helping people that already want to buy from you, to buy faster and have a better and more confident all round buying experience.

In this episode Chris walks you though a short exercise of answering the question ‘Why would someone NOT buy from you?’ and what to do with these new content ideas that you have.

If you are looking for some new content ideas to grow your business and get more customers, press play and get your notepad out.

Additional Resources:


A question that I come back to time and time again that helps me to create new content for CMA and also as a teacher helps me with the people that I work with to help them get clear on what content is required to help their prospects to move through the sales process, right? This what we talk about here on the CMA podcast is about how content marketing is actually a sales conversation. This question allows us to explore that and come up with new ideas for content; things that we haven’t done already or we’ve not been good enough at already.

I use this question in workshops as well and the outcome is typically a short list of priority content that you’ll need to create to help your perspective customers make an educated buying decision to help them move through the sales process.

I’m gonna discuss the question here, what you can do with it, and hopefully you’re in a position to take notes at the moment so you can start to write down your ideas for you company, for your content, as we go through this exercise. But if you’re not in a position to take any notes at the moment that’s okay, just listen through this, see if you can come up with some ideas and then perhaps when you get back to the office you can get your notepad out and you can take some notes and get those ideas down. This is something that you could also do and listen to with your team as well. So, it’s something you could pass around, something that you could share with your team, something you could share with your clients as well.

And the question is why would someone not buy from you? Why would someone not buy from you? The question’s really powerful. It’s a great question. And one of the reasons that it’s really great is because it’s the opposite of what we typically ask ourselves and what we typically discuss. We always talk about why would people buy from us? What is that people want? Features, benefits, typically about us or our products and services. We usually talk about all that stuff. We see it from our perspective instead of trying to see it from the perspective of our potential customers.

The way to think about this question, just to frame it up for you, just so you don’t … It’s not new. This is not a new thing. This happens all the time. So, I want you to think about the conversations that you typically have. A normal sales conversation with a prospect, whether it’s by phone or by email or in person. Whatever it is. Just think about that situation, right? That conversation you’re having. Think about the questions that your prospects are asking and the sales objections that they have when they say things like yes, but … What are the yeah, buts in that conversation? That’s what we’re looking for. It’s those sales objections.

In a typical conversation when you’re back and forth you have that flow, you will have answers to these yeah, but questions that your prospects have. However, when we talk about the zero moment of truth and the on average 70% of the buying decision that someone makes is made online before they contact the business for the first time … When we truly understand this, what we realise is that our perspective customers aren’t having a back and forth conversation with us. They’re looking for information in that zero moment of truth. They’re doing their research and they’re looking for answers to these questions. They’re looking for solutions to these problems. They’re looking for information to to help them navigate through these objections on their own before they speak to someone in person, right?

Just think about that. That dynamic you have, which is great, ’cause a lot of people say this: If I could just get in front of more people I’d be able to sell the thing to them because you answer questions, you ask questions, you’re building trust there in the moment. But when we understand that our prospects are doing a lot of their buying … Making up a lot of their decision using content, then we have to think just a little bit differently but the same principles apply. There are reasons why someone is not buying from you and we have to figure out what they are, right? So, this is a question we have to ask ourselves.

We are going to talk about this. We’re going to create content that deals with the sales objections – blogs, videos, podcasts- whatever it might be. We need to think. We need to see it from the prospect’s perspective. Why are they not buying from us? What is the reasons? What are the objections? And then we need to come up with a list of ideas and then we need to take action on them.

This fits in with they ask, you answer in the big five as well, so if you’ve listened to the podcast for a while you’ll have heard me talking about the they ask, you answer and the big five, Marcus Sheridan’s philosophy and methodology. If you need a refresher on that, though, just jump into show notes. There’s a couple links in there to a couple of episodes on the podcast from a couple of months ago that you can go back and listen to and get a refresher on that.

Related content:

But the why would someone not buy from you is kinda like … It’s not like an extra question. I think this is the question that allows you to then explore they ask, you answer and the big five with a sales perspective. I’ll give you some examples of this when we’re going through this so that you can see that, actually, a lot of the big five is covered by answering this question.

The short exercise for you just now … Sorry, just to remind you that there are other podcast episodes. If there’s anything I mention today or in any other podcast at all, there’s a really good chance I have covered the topic in more detail. There’s no point in me repeating myself every time we talk about something on the podcast so I make reference to other podcast episodes. So make sure you check out the show notes. And another point to mention, as well, is that I feel … I forget to mention this … Is that every podcast has a full transcript as well so if you wanted to, you could save that. You could print that off if you wanted to. You could do whatever you want with it. It’s all there, free and available to you. So, you can have an audio version and you have a written version as well.

This is where the … We get into an exercise and there’s two main parts to this exercise. Right now, your first part of the exercise is for you to think of, say, five or seven reasons why a prospect might not buy from you. And the first step here is obviously to get specific, right? Get specific about our product. Get specific about a service or perhaps a particular customer persona or industry that you serve, right? ‘Cause I know that you might want to ask this question across multiple different products, multiple different services depending on the type of business that you have.

I use this question all the time when I’m trying to think of new content ideas and to help smooth out the sales process. This is really important. We want to make the sales process smooth and easy and it’s just about improving that and getting better all the time. Pick something specific, between five and seven reasons why someone might not buy that thing from you – product or service – whatever it might be. What kind of objections might your prospect have when they’re thinking about buying the thing that you offer? ‘Cause they could be buying it from other people. So, five to seven reasons why someone might not buy from you.

You might want to hit pause just now and take a moment to do that and then click play when you’re ready to get back into it ’cause I’m gonna give you some examples to get you thinking, okay? Here’s some examples that might crop up. Why’re you more expensive than your competition? Why are we more expensive than your competition? It’s not clear what happens next, right? So, maybe they’re looking at your website, they’re on your content, but they don’t see the process. They don’t understand it. It’s not clear what the process looks like after we do something, fill in a form, download something. I don’t know what it could be. But what is the process? What happens next?

What if I buy it and I don’t like it? The product or the service. What happens then? What’s the difference between this and that? Like a versus, comparison type situation. Maybe your prospects are on your website and they see that you offer two products that are similar or two services that are similar but they can’t really for themselves figure out what the difference is. Or perhaps they’re looking at your … They will definitely be looking at your competition. So, what’s the difference between your product or service and the competition’s product or service? And they’re trying to navigate this space and answer these questions but they’re dealing with incomplete information and everybody’s trying to sell their thing to them, not just try and help them with the questions that they have. So, this could slow them down, right? It slows them down. It could be an objection. And this may be a typical objection that you get even in a sales conversation. It’s like I understand your product or your service sounds amazing, but what about this product that looks the same? It’s cheaper. That sort of thing. That’s what we’re looking for there.

Another couple of ideas might be I’ve bought something similar before and we didn’t like it, we didn’t get the results from it, we felt like we were ripped out, we had a bad experience. I’ve heard bad reviews or stories about this product, service or industry. So, think about those sort of things as well. Try and see it from the prospect’s perspective and think about the stories they’ve been told or heard or things like that. And we want to start owning those conversations. These are the elephant in the room, basically. We need to own and discuss and have information for people otherwise … The alternative is that they go ahead and make a decision based on some of the information instead of all of it. And what we want to be is be able to provide them with that information so they can make a better buying decision.

Another couple of ideas. I don’t really understand how it works and how it solves our problem. So, it’s just not clear. There’s not a clear enough understanding of what problem it solves and how it solves it. They might be saying things like it’s not the right time. So, when is it the right time? Could you help me to explore that? How do we know that it will work? Can I cancel? Can I get my money back? Is there any sort of guarantees. What if it goes wrong? That sort of thing. What kind of objections do your prospects have that are slowing down the sales process, stopping them in their tracks so they can’t make progress and they’re not getting to the point where they would be able to buy from you? That’s what we’re looking for.

There’s some ideas that might spark some thoughts for you. Like I said, this is part one of the exercise. I’m gonna do part two in just a sec. Also, have a think about what problems your customers or your prospects generally complain about with regards to your industry. We have all have industry problems. Maybe they’ve either bought something in your space before and were unhappy or they’ve heard someone else that’s had a frustration with another company before. We should be talking about those things. We should be talking about them. We should be discussing them and how we overcome them.

Is it really clear what it is that you offer and how it works? We want to ask ourself that question. We need to step out of our own little space and see it from a different perspective. And if your customers are looking at your competitors, it might be time to think about how you will review your marketplace, the products and services and providers in your marketplace and provide content that helps your prospects to have access to a complete expert information instead of having to make decision on only seeing some of the information and not really sure if it’s correct or accurate or even can be trusted, right? Think about this. This is the whole question. The question is tiny, right? Why would someone not buy from you? But we’ve already covered maybe 15 different points here that could go into this question.

You should have some ideas by now I’m hoping. But if you are struggling with this, if you’re struggling to get this information, you’re gonna have to step outside your comfort zone here and probe for the information. You have to ask people what is it that you don’t like about us? What is it that you don’t like about doing business in our industry? How have we let you down? Did you ever consider not buying from us even though you might have? What was actually slowing you down? What was stopping you? What do you like about our product? What do you not like about our product or service? We have to try and probe for the information so we can have … So we can get some more ideas about what’s truly stopping our customers from buying from us or at least pushing them away in some way or slowing them down. Why do people leave? Why do they go elsewhere? What slows them down in the process? That’s what you’re looking for.

Is it the process? Is it that they didn’t get looked after properly? It could be a lot of things. It could be buyer’s remorse. It could be a previous story they’ve been told or a friend had a similar experience. It could be anything. Any of these things. So, we’re trying to explore these ideas and this is the next part of the challenge for you. This is the sort of action-based part of the exercise is once you have all of these reasons why someone might not buy from you written down, I want you to be really, really honest with yourself and go through the list. I want you to pop down a tick next to the ones that you feel that you have addressed very well through the content on your website. Can you, hand on heart, say that we don’t need to do any more content on that particular question, problem or topic? You’re gonna tick that off. You go through them.

What we find is if people come up with about five to seven ideas here, they’re usually ticking off one or two and they’re left with about five or six ideas here. What’s left? This is the gap. What’s left? What ideas are left in your notepad? That should be a nice little list of priority content for you that you want to get you and your team working on as a matter of urgency. That’s a nice little list you’ve got there. Explore these ideas. If you’re a company of one or a solopreneur then you might want to think about how you could do this yourself, but I would say maybe you should discuss this maybe with an accountability group or some peers. But if you have a team, then you want to be asking this question of the team as well and get them to explore it so you can really scale this idea.

Don’t forget, though. Once this content is available, make sure that the team are using it as part of the sales process. There’s no point in producing this content, putting it on the website and then no one actually using it to it’s full potential. Do you see why this question is so powerful? Why would someone not buy from you? Why would someone not buy from us? Why are people not buying from me? Ask yourself this question frequently. That’s exactly what I do. Why are people not buying from us? Why are they not buying our product or services? What’s stopping them from making process? There’s always more to do in this question, I think. There’s always more to explore in this question. We should be asking it of ourselves very frequently. And I think it’s a wonderful question for scoping out content ideas that can specifically improve the sales process.

Ultimately, what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to reduce the risk. We’re using content to reduce the risk of the prospect, the risk that they’re having to take. Helping them to feel more confident so at the same time we’re increasing trust, right? Reducing risk and increasing trust at the same time and that is why content marketing is so powerful. They get to do that all on their own terms, never feeling like someone is trying to sell to them. But what we’re trying to do is reduce the risk, help them through the sales process, and increase trust all at the same time.

I’m going to leave you now to get on with this exercise. Ask yourself the question. Get specific about the products or services that you offer. Explore it with your team; with your peers. Do it as a piece of homework. I don’t know. Find a way to make it fun. See what the gap is and then start working on that content. You can get back to me with any questions that you have as well. Any questions, thoughts, ideas. You know that I’d love to hear from you. You can email me Chris@CMAUK.co.uk. Chris@CMAUK.co.uk. Or you can tweet me @ChrisMarr101 and I hope to catch you next time.