If you want to make a sale you have to make it easy for customers to do business with you. The more barriers and hoops you put in the way for your customers the less likely they are to buy from you. After all most of us want an easy life – so why do some companies just make it so hard to do business with?
A case in point this week. I was trying to book a hotel meeting room for one of my forthcoming workshops. I checked their web site – it looked good – it listed all the facilities, in fact it did a good sales pitch.
I was ready to buy but I needed to know if they had availability and how much would it cost. If I was booking a bedroom I could do that online but I had to call for this one – first barrier.
Now to find the phone number – typical a 0845 – tricky from a mobile and expensive too at 10p a minute (at least they told me that bit) and I knew that would start when the automated system answered the phone – barrier number 2.
Email was the next option, but when I clicked through there was a data form to complete – nothing about my booking but everything about me – basically a detailed data gathering exercise. I didn’t want to go onto their mailing list – I just wanted to check availability and cost! Barrier number 3 and onto my next action, which I took was to walk away and find another venue.
A lost sale for that hotel and just because they wanted to impose their selling process on me rather than understand how their customers (me) like to buy. They put too many obstacles in the way of the sale.
Have I shot myself in the foot, possibly but am I comfortable walking away? Yes, because the other problem they gave me was wasting my time. Anyway workshop venue is now booked with someone that was prepared to understand my buying process.
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