We don’t want to look foolish when we buy.

What guarantee can you offer the prospect? We are scared of looking foolish when we buy. We don’t want to look bad in front of our friends and family, even acquaintances We want to know we have an “out” whenever we plunk our money down. We desire iron-clad guarantees that your product is what you say it is and will actually give us the results we desire.

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We need guarantees before buying.

Think about the last time you bought a product and it did exactly what it was marketed to do. How did that make you feel? Relieved? Happy? Exonerated? Did you tell others or did you simply keep this to yourself as a private victory?

Now, think about the last time you bought a product and it did not live up to its marketed expectations. How did that product make you feel? Upset. Frustrated. Pissed off. Like somebody stole something from you, only you knew who did it? In this case, you likely told 10 other people about your bad experience whereas in your positive product experience, you told no one about it because it performed as expected.

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Who lines up to buy from you?

Who do you trust so much that you don’t even need a preview or taste of the product before you buy? Who would you line up to buy from?

While we usually get what we pay for, this doesn’t always have to do with the amount of money we spend on goods and services. Think about the most recent good or service you purchased below $100 that blew your mind. What was it? Chances are that it felt good to buy it, it solved a problem you had, or both. I just bought Tim Ferriss’s new book, Tribe of Mentors. Tim’s books feel good and solve problems. For around $18, it is a Win-Win. I buy from Tim sight unseen — without even reading the preview on Amazon. Who do you buy from automatically? Who do you trust so much that you don’t even need a preview or taste of the product before you buy? Who would you line up to buy from?

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We know, like, and trust pizza. And the bringer of pizza.

“A reputation is something that takes 30 years to build but only 5 minutes to destroy.”

— Warren Buffett

Trust is a vital selling component that is often unspoken. People do not buy from people they don’t trust. The seller must have a high KLT factor — know, like and trust — or else the buyer won’t buy. KLT comprises seller reputation, something vital in the marketplace. If your reputation is in taters, people flee. Conversely, if your reputation is pristine, people flock to you, pay attention to you, and may buy sight unseen from you, often without a preview or product trial. In the example above, I know Tim Ferriss only produces exceptional products because I’ve read his entire body of work since The 4 Hour Work Week. Tim’s a hitmaker, and he gives the reader tons of great material. He also gives away the majority of his content for free. Tim has worked hard to create a pristine reputation in the bookselling marketplace. Now, his fans line up to buy from him without him having to perform heavy marketing campaigns. What can we learn from Tim’s go-to-market strategy in giving the majority of stuff away for free and only offering killer products?

EBay recognized that seller reputation is vital long ago. They now include a seller rating in their product listings on their marketplace. Uber includes both rider ratings and driver ratings in their app. People can rate each other based upon their subjective experience. (Do you know your Uber rider rating?) We go online to read the reviews and experiences of others for just about everything we buy before we buy, even for something as trivial as an $8 purchase. We want to look good when we buy and we don’t want to be taken.

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