The Slippery Slope

I had this really deep, insightful thought the other day. And I want to share it with you. I think it will help you understand where your customers are coming from, and how you can walk more of them into a sale rather than them going to one of your competitors or trying to do it cheaply on their own. Stay tuned.

If you’re just thinking of starting your own business and working for yourself, a hurdle you’re going to have to learn how to jump over is getting customers and getting sales. It’s a fact of business, isn’t it?

As much as you might be dreaming of hundreds of sales every week and tens and thousands of dollars every in revenue every week, it is very unlikely that is going to happen just because you started and launched your own business.

But I hope it does for you. I’ll be the first one to give you a high five if you find a gold mine like that. In reality though, it’s unlikely.

Last Wednesday, I was cruising back home from a client meeting. It was a quick catch up, and a quiet day all together. So the mind starts to wander off. I was thinking deep about the buying process that we all go through. Not just me, not just you, and not just your customers or clients. I’m talking about the mental process, or the thinking process of making a purchase that we all go through.

This is especially true with higher priced items. I don’t know about you, but the 99% of the time when I buy a drink or a coffee I hand the person at the cash register a $20 note and I don’t even check the change. Do you do that too sometimes? Then you start to think… I wonder how many times I’ve been short changed? 🙂

When we start deciding to buy something for $100 and up, we start to rationalise the purchase a lot more.
And this is what brought me to the thought I had when I was driving back from meeting with a client.
I suggest you to also think about this and how you can weave it into your business and the buying process that your clients or customers go through.

I was thinking about how when your customer goes to buy something, they are thinking about that problem, issue or shameful thing they are trying to overcome.

If they are having people over for a BBQ in two weeks time, and they are out in a shop looking for a new BBQ, they aren’t really looking for a new BBQ. If you dig one level deeper which you should, you’ll find they are trying to avoid their family and friends from seeing their old, rusty and possibly off-putting BBQ.
Nothing says delicious food like a rusty old barbecue does it?

If you were in the BBQ business, your customer would much rather serve their family and friends a nice meal from an equally nice and shiny new BBQ.

And this is likely the stronger driver of why they’re out looking for a new BBQ, even if they realise it or not.
And this leads me to my thought, it’s much easier to buy a new BBQ then to scrub and clean the old one. It’s much easier and a lot more fun to go shopping and buy a new one, over polishing the rusty chrome handles on the old one.

When we’re buying, we’re looking for the easy way out. We’re looking for an enjoyable experience, and often trying to avoid a painful experience.

The exact thought I had when driving along the highway was:

  • No one goes to Google and searches for ‘How to travel overseas and spend the most amount of money possible’.
  • No one searches for that, it’s not a desirable outcome is it? Even if you do have the cash ready to spend on a holiday.
  • But there are millions of google searches in every country for ‘how to get six pack abs the easy way’.

When you think about your own website, or your Facebook page, what is being said to your potential customers? If you don’t have any of these things yet, what are you planning on writing as your headline for your website?

When your potential customers do read your website or the sign on your Van, what perceptions are forced upon them about the next steps they’ll need to take to become your customer?

Let me ask that question again, what perceptions are they being given about HOW to become your customer and what’s going to be involved in becoming your customer?

If they are buying your BBQ, are they left with something big and heavy they need to go and carry or do they already know walking into your store that there is trolleys and strong young staff who are going to help them get it into the car?

And importantly, does your marketing already tell them that without them having to come into your shop to find out?

These would be two very different experiences for two different customers to go through, don’t you think? The thought of and knowing that there is 2 minutes of physical strain that could end up with a pulled a muscle and a week of pain, would be EASILY enough for someone to not pull into your parking lot, circle the car park and then think to themselves:

nargh, I’ll get it next time’.

What you can take away from this is, think about the friction that exists in your sales process. Have a good think through what are the steps your clients need to take to become your customers, if there are any big steps in that process, you’re probably losing some customers.

These big steps are mental steps, psychological obstacles. If they are obvious or not, they are there and they have a big impact. Think about it, if someone is unhealthy and overweight why don’t they just join a gym and go on a meal plan? It’s all there for them. They don’t have to create anything, they just need to turn up.

It’s that easy. But why is obesity a real problem in most countries across the globe? It’s because of the psychological barrier of “gee, that’s going to be a lot of hard work”.

It can be extremely hard to see this for yourself. Unless you really stop and map out the customer journey.
Really really think about it, the customer will wake up and then what will happen?

How are they likely to first come into contact with your business?

If you’re running ads on Facebook, they’ll first come into contact with your business on Facebook.
Now here is the small details you need to include in your mind map you’re creating here.

  • What are they doing and where are they when they see your ad on Facebook?

This will depend on who you’re targeting. If you’re targeting people who work 9-5 in a corporate environment, if they are the people you want to be your customers, then you need to consider where and what they’re doing when they see your ad.

This will help you determine what type of Ad you could run.

It is all about reducing friction on your customers journey. The old school marketers and the kings of marketing would call this ‘the slippery slope’. You will need your customers to be able to keep slipping down from one step to the next, with no friction. No barriers, no sticky bits.

It must be a slippery slope on the path to becoming your customer.

If you’re targeting this 9-5 corporate worker, a Facebook live video during the day for one and a half hours is probably not a good idea. They don’t have the time to watch it all and to get your message, do they?

But maybe scheduling a Facebook live or an Online Video for 8pm – 9pm on a Wednesday night is going to get you better results. There will be less friction to joining that, the slope will be more slippery.

When your target customer is rushing into work, and they see your Ad on Facebook while they’re ordering their take away coffee from the cafe downstairs, all they need to do is say ‘yes i’ll join that class at 8pm tomorrow night’. That is a low friction step, isn’t it?

Do you see what I mean now?

In this day and age, and to be honest, it probably was never different but today more than ever we need to make it as easy as possible every step of the way for people to become our customers.

As you know, even when you’re selling something that’s “awesome”, or providing a service that is fantastic and that you believe in 110%, your potential customers don’t know that.

We can’t expect our customers to know that, and it’s ok. We’ll help them through the process right?

The example I just gave you of getting the busy office worker to first be introduced to you and maybe one day later at step 2 or 3 to become your customer is applying the Slippery Slope method to JUST ONE single step of the process. That step was having them say ‘yes i’ll watch that video tomorrow night’ and not now, because of course I’m busy now. I’m a office worker Mon-Fri 9-5pm.

This level of thought needs to be given to every single step. Every single little move forward you want and need your customer to take.

As you can probably guess, it’s going to be different for different businesses. There’s no real formula that I can give you that’s going to be a sure fit.

If you want my personal help, you can get my personal help by paying me to be a monthly consultant for your business. If you’re interested in that just go to our companies main website which is 

Best wishes until then, and talk soon.

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