What many people don’t realise starting out in business, is that the average person on the street wants to spend their money. We get a good feeling when we buy new items thanks to the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain and we then get to enjoy the feeling of status that we get from that purchase as well as the opportunity to use that new purchase.
The problem then is the logical part of our brain – the ‘super ego’ if you’re a fan of Freud – that tells us all the reasons that we shouldn’t buy something – such as our lack of money or the expenses we have coming up. As a businessman or woman, your job is to overcome that sense of ‘reason’ and to let people go with their gut instinct to buy. Here are some clever business models that do just that; even though they might initially seem like they cost businesses more money than they save they are in fact genius loss leaders and great investments.
Many people will rent their furniture and once upon a time even their TV sets. The idea here of course is that they don’t have to part with huge amounts of cash to decorate their home well or to benefit from electronics devices which is a tempting offer for people who don’t have the money to spend to hand.
However this is actually much more beneficial for the company providing the loan than it is for the customers. Why? Well because paying $30 a month for a sofa over the course of 10 years will cost a fortune and provide that company with a brilliant, steady income.
A slightly smarter option from the customer’s perspective is to buy on finance. This way they still don’t have to hand over all their cash up-front but will also at least get to own the item at the end of the day (even though they’ll pay a little more for it thanks to the interest). It’s good for a customer’s credit rating too which is a bonus…
Buy Now, Pay Later
If you don’t want to offer finance options on your products or services then another option is ‘buy now, pay later’. Here you sell an item and ask for no payment for the first year – only billing them at the end of that year. You don’t even need to charge interest to benefit from this as you’ll still get the same amount of cash – it just means that you’ll sell more items (though bear in mind that it will impact on your cash flow).
Loyalty schemes are a fantastic way to get people to choose your company over another as they’ll get to build points and get money off. Not only do people love the feeling of building points when they buy but the cash they get off will encourage them to shop with you rather than someone else.
There are many different kinds of points rewards schemes, so look into how you can make this beneficial to you and the customer.