Entrepreneur Lifestyle & Business Management

Is It Possible to Convert an Unwilling Buyer?

I know who you are. You are the hungry entrepreneur who wants to convince people to BUY YOUR PRODUCT. What you’ve got is the bees knees, and if people only knew about it, they would buy it.

Well, that may very well be true and it’s certainly true for a lot of people. However there have been a lot of businesses that have failed at selling truly spectacular products.

What makes you think you are any different? How do you avoid becoming one of them? How do you avoid failure?

Analyze Your Shopping Habits

This isn’t the most scientific of reasoning, however the most intuitive thing you can do when considering the buying practices of others is to think about your own shopping habits. Be brutally honest with yourself. What attracts you? What turns you off? Are there times you want to buy something although you know for certain you don’t need it?

Let’s consider our own purchasing practices under the following scenarios:

  1. If you love the product
  2. If you think the product is acceptable
  3. If you dislike the product or cannot relate to it

We Love the Product

All businesses want to be in this position, yes? It’s the equivalent of the holy grail. As business owners, we want everyone to love our product or service. To get people to that point, they must be educated enough about our product or service to understand if they need it; that is, they must understand what it can do for them and see how it meets their need(s).

This first category is an important, feel-good category, as it indicates a “love match.” However let’s move past these. The others are more challenging.

We Think the Product Is Acceptable

This section has a hidden subtitle or extension—“We Think the Product Is Acceptable—But We Don’t Love It.”

Yes, it’s hard to imagine, however what if someone looks at your product and finds it acceptable—and that’s all? They don’t love it. It’s just meh. Can you convince them to buy?


Education is key. It could be that the customer simply does not understand what the product can do for them. Perhaps their knowledge of your product is surface level at best. Sometimes this can be overcome with teaching the customer about the benefits your product offers. In fact, sometimes, finding the right product and understanding what it can offer can sometimes reveal a need the buyer didn’t even know they had!

Women’s products play upon this emotion all the time—the feeling of inadequacy. Now that is put very bluntly, however let’s simply consider the tactic because this is an advertising formula used often. Maybe my hair isn’t so shiny? Maybe my fingernails could be healthier. For some people, this might truly be the case and they simply had not been paying attention. It is a possibility that the advertising revealed an actual area of need.

So is it possible to turn ambivalent buyers into passionate buyers? Yes. It happens all the time. The key is education and a positive reputation.

We Dislike the Product

What about customers in the last category—the ones who are not at all interested in your product? In fact, they may dislike it, or even actively “hate” it! Some people will simply never be in the market for your product. Regardless of how amazing it is, unless you are peddling oxygen when it is in short supply, you are in full market competition, and your consumer has limited life needs based on their own personality, environment, and socio-economic expectations.

Yikes. This can feel like a scary place to be. Especially to those of us new to business, the thought that people might not love our product is one thing, however to dislike it? Even hate it? It might draw protective feelings from you towards your business, however reality is something that every business owner needs to give a sharp eye to. So here it is…

Reality check: There are people who will dislike your product/service.

Take in a deep breath. Now that we’re over that hurdle, let’s consider if it’s possible to convert one of those customers.

When Companies Take Action

Let’s try to consider the customer’s perspective here. For the sake of an example, let’s say you dislike Peanut Butter Brand A. You think it is too sweet, that it has too many peanut chunks in it, and it’s too sticky. Now let’s say you vocalized your complaints to the company on their Facebook page.

In response, the company does the following:
1. The company contacts you to clarify their sugar content in their product is 30% lower than any other brand.
2. They suggest that perhaps their non-chunky version would be more appealing to you.
3. They explain to you that the ingredients used result in a stickier product; however, they strongly feel that the blend is healthier for the consumer which was a priority in their decision making.

Would you consider trying Peanut Butter Brand A again after the company’s response?

Some will, and some won’t. For some people, the personal response and helpful information will be enough to convince the consumer to try their product again. For others, it won’t be enough.

Now consider: what if the company did nothing. Would it have changed your mind about the product? Unlikely. You would have continued disliking Peanut Butter Brand A. Nothing would have happened to trigger a change. There would have been no reason to think differently about Peanut Butter Brand A.

The Only Way to Convert Sales…

Therefore, the difference in all scenarios is: education and relationship. You will not be able to convert all consumers—and indeed not all consumers are intended for your product or service. However your only chance of converting any consumers to buying what your selling is educating them on the benefits of your product and establishing a relationship of credibility and trust.

Without your education, they might not even realise they need your product, and without trust, whether they need it or not, they won’t buy from you.

What do you think—is it possible to get a customer with a negative image of your product or service and move them into the buy zone? Post a comment and share your experiences!

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