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How Information Products Can Convert More Visitors to Paying Customers

My friend, Dan owns a small software company that sells subscription services to realtors. For a very reasonable monthly fee Dan will create a website that allows the realtor to upload guided tours of their listed properties. Prospective buyers can browse the listed properties and contact the realtor for more information on properties they're interested in.

It's a pretty cool service and once realtors start using it, they are very enthusiastic about the results.

The problem was that although Dan was getting a lot of visitors to his website, very few visitors were taking the next step: a guided tour of how the service worked.

Problem: Asking for Too Much Too Soon

Taking a look at their website, I could see what was happening: to take the guided tour the visitor had to provide their name and e mail address. Once the tour was over, prospect was told to call a 1-800 number to schedule a free consultation to discuss how the service would help them show more properties.

Here's the problem. In this age in which every other message seems to be to buy something, people have become wary of tactics like free consultations.

The term "free consultation" is a red flag like "trust me." What the prospect really thinks is "they'll just try to talk me into buying something."

And let's face it, this is quite often the case.

Solution: Use Information Products as "Stepping Stones"

Picture a stream. A fairly wide, deep stream. You're on one side and your prospect is on the other. When the only offer you make is "Call me for a free consultation" with the intention to sell them something pricey, you are basically asking prospective customers to leap across the stream.

Will some prospects do that? Sure, every once in a while someone will be motivated and confident enough to make that big jump.

Most, however, won't.

You need to provide them with 2-3 good, sturdy stepping stones they can use to cross the stream.

The stepping stones are information products that provide increasing levels of support along with higher price points.

Example: Using Stepping Stone Products

I suggested to Dan that he add two intermediate offers that would allow prospects who weren't quite ready to buy the full service:

Product #1 A free, monthly ezine with articles on how customers were using their products and getting results. When prospects read about someone like themselves succeeding, they would begin to feel more confident that they, too, could get good results.

Product #2. A $79 Assessment. Through an online form, the prospect answers several questions and submits it for analysis.

They get a 5-page report back on exactly how the service would help them. If the service won't help them the fee is waived. If they decide to go ahead and subscribe the $79 is applied against the cost of their subscription.

Keys to Creating Stepping Stones for Your Customers

1.) Make sure you're offering one free product that allows prospects to experience what you do.

I prefer ezines or blog subscriptions because they provide multiple opportunities to be in touch over a period of time.

2.) Add one to two intermediate information products.

The products should:

* Provide increasing levels of support * Priced to reflect the increased level of support

3.) Test the products to make sure they appeal to your ideal customer.

I'm a big proponent of testing with ideal customers. Let a few of your customers try out your new product. If they are using it and getting good results, you have a winner. If they never touch it, you have some refinements to make.

Bottom Line

If you're getting a lot of interest in your product or service but very few are actually buying, you may need to use some information products as stepping stones.

I recommend offering 1-2 free products and at least 1 product you sell at a price lower than what you're selling as "top of the line." This allows prospective clients to keep in touch with you and to benefit from your products and services even if they're not ready to buy your top of the line offering.

Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost, effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals, guerrilla marketing activities, and five-star strategic alliances. To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt? Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers Crazy!" go to www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or [email protected]

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