The Accidental Buyer


When it comes to selling things online it is vital that we understand how and why people buy.

Many articles have been written about things like super-motivators, fear of loss vs. promise of gain and selling benefits and not features.

I’ve written more than a few of them myself.

But today my focus is on how people buy when they are on your site, or the sites you promote.

While I can’t prove this scientifically, I believe most people buy from us by accident.

Let me explain.

I bought a product yesterday that I had been waiting six months to buy. It is an expensive product ($2000) and so I waited to make sure I would use it and wanted to spend the money.

Also, the product was off the market for six months. 🙂

So the day it opened up again I jumped on it.

I was an intentional buyer.

But I can tell you that visitors to most sites don’t intend to buy when they are there. They go to these sites for different reasons.

If they don’t go to buy, what do they intend to do?

  • Learn more.
  • Check the pricing.
  • See the testimonials.
  • Look for special deals.
  • Think it over.
  • Get answers to their questions.

The thing that causes people to buy (I know I buy this way) is a little thing called impulse.

While people are checking the price and reading the social proof they get an impulse to buy and then take action.

So the question today, for me and you too, is this …

Are our sites creating a buying impulse?

I’ve been thinking about how to change my sites to cause this happy reaction, and believe there are four important steps to take.

Have a clean site design

This may sound like an odd choice for this list. But having a clean and easy to read site is a must in today’s world.

Happily, it is easier than ever to accomplish. Even for those of us who are all thumbs technically.

There are two resources I use for this.

You probably know Optimize Press. It powers many of the Web’s top leading sites, including many of my own.

It’s the easiest WordPress theme I’ve ever used, and the one I use most of the time for sales funnels and sales letters.

Lead Pages is a service that provides fast and beautiful landing pages, opt in pages and more. The great thing about Lead Pages is that you don’t need any technical skills at all.

You just log in to their site, choose a template and create pages. They even host the pages for you! You could literally run your entire sales operation from Lead Pages alone.

No matter how you do it, create a site that is easy to read, easy to scan and easy on the eyes.

Answer objections up front

The word “objection” is often loaded with emotion for people. What could people “object” to about what I’m offering them?

The key here is to remove the emotion and focus on logic.

Make a list of all the reasons why a person would not buy your product right now and then answer each one in your sales letter.

Don’t try to keep this list short. Long copy sells and it always has.

The most common objections have to do with time and money.

Here are two commonly heard in the Internet marketing space.

  • How long will it take to succeed with your product?
  • Will I need to spend more money to succeed with your product?

Whether your niche is thyroid health, weight loss, selling clothing, consulting, or something altogether different, making a list of possible objections and answering them in your sales copy is the easiest way to increase sales today.

Provide a clear path to ownership

One of my favorite verses is Matthew 5:15

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

While this verse is talking about things much more important than order buttons and sales letters, I believe we can draw a lesson here.

I see so many sales letters today that are “hiding their lamp under a bushel” They make is a chore to figure out how to buy.

Neat tricks like timed “Buy now” buttons and split testing are all fine and good. They can be very good.

But how many sales videos have you abandoned before the “buy now” button even appeared?

If you are like most people, it’s a lot.

The key here is to be obvious without being obnoxious.

While you don’t want to put 19 “buy now” buttons on your page, you do want to put a “buy now” button in at least three places in my view.

  1. At the top of the page if you use a sales video.
  2. At the bottom of the page very near your guarantee graphic.
  3. At the emotional peak of your sales copy.

To learn more about the last point (finding emotional peaks in your sales letter) see my article Anatomy of a Profitable Solo Ad about how to write a great solo ad.

Remove all risk for the buyer

It is vitally important that your buyer feel safe in the buying process. This is why so many sites use “trust badges” that “certify” them safe for shopping.

It’s also why you need a big old guarantee graphic on your sales letter.

But a graphic alone is not enough.

You need to communicate in words that they are safe. That if they buy and need a refund you will issue it cheerfully and with no questions asked.

This is super easy to do.

Think about the last time you bought something but had that little check in your spirit as you were doing it.

You moved ahead, but were nervous.

Now, what could that site have said to you to make you feel 100% safe about your purchase?

Write that down and say that to your prospective customers, in big letters, in your sales letter.

It’s the simple things that matter most. Make these three simple changes to your sales letter today and measure the results.

My hope is you will be happy with the results. These changes don’t cost a dime but can bring in more sales than ever.

And more sales, especially without more cost, is a beautiful thing indeed!

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Charlie Page

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