Marketing Fear Vs. Risk (in 3 Steps)

Marketing Fear Vs. Risk

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When marketing your product or services, your prospective customers are thinking about the risk of using or not using your offerings. If your offering is inexpensive, then the risk isn’t much. But the more your offering costs, the more fear your pricing might invoke. Here’s what to do.

1) Determine your competitive positioning. Are you charging a premium price for a premium offering or a low-ball price to attract attention? Are you offering similar pricing for similar value or high-end service for less?

2) Determine your customer’s risk of not choosing. We often get fixated on comparing our offering to our competition’s. But the truth is that your customer’s need may not be urgent, so not-choosing is a viable option. What’s the true cost for your customer of not buying now?

3) Determine your lifetime value. Are you trying to sell as many widgets to as many people as possible or are you trying to develop a long-term relationship with your customer to both spread the word about your offering and to have them come back when they’re ready for more of what you’re offering?

With these three pieces of information, you have the core to develop your fear/risk message. For example, if you’re pricing is competitive (or less than the competition), then the cost of choosing you is less. Your customer is thinking, “Is this really as good as the others?” Your message should logically present a competitive matrix showing how you stack up.

If you’re offering a premium product at a premium price, then the risk is a lot more. Paying more for basically the same thing seems quite risky/expensive, so your message needs to focus on calming the fear. “Yes our product costs more, and here’s why you’ll be glad you paid extra…” is the message you need to convey both logically and emotionally.

If you have a lot of competition, then psychologically most people will take the default choice – do nothing (studies have shown that the more options, the fewer the sales). So your message needs to convey two things: “Why you will regret not choosing today” and “Why our service is the naturally better choice”. You need to move your prospect to act now (because a confused prospect tends not to return to make a choice) and convince them why they’ll be happy for a long time (so making their decision will be rewarded both short- and long-term).

If your customer is fearful about the future, show them the way to achieve their dreams starting today. If your customer is fearful about the present, focus their attention on their future happiness.


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