Companies that market products which are not an easy sell such as funeral services and diabetic equipment have to convince potential customers of the need of the product and thus, create a market themselves. Customers hesitate to demand such products for various reasons including self denial and carelessness. Some customers may not want to think about the needs that a particular product satisfies because they want to avoid unpleasant thoughts (Peppers & Rogers). Thus, it’s up to the companies to educate customers and persuade them of the need of the products. Unless the companies can demonstrate that their products add real value to the customers’ life, it will be difficult for them to create market for their products.
Approaching potential customers is not always an easy task because the companies have to gauge the customers’ sensitiveness of the issue. In addition, the companies have to find ways to engage customers in discussion because many customers may feel uncomfortable or uneasy. If the companies come across as too pushy, it will break the communication barrier as well as lead to lost sales. When a customer doesn’t particularly want to buy the product, his commitment will be weak (Sorce, 2002) and this will lower some of the pricing power of the marketer. Thus, the marketer has also to prove the merit of product/service price in addition to the need of the product. Another impact on the exchange when customer doesn’t particularly want a product is that he has low trust of the marketer. The customer may also be less cooperative because he doesn’t really desire the product thus, the marketer has to be extra patient.
The companies can tackle these challenges in various ways. One strategy is to focus on customers that are more likely to purchase the product/service. It may be that the company is focusing on the wrong customer group. The company should study its customers, understand their reservations and concerns, and then devise a strategy to address those concerns. Selling is always difficult when a company doesn’t understand its customers and understanding customers become even more important when they are hesitant. The companies can also point out customers towards issues that could impact them if not addressed. For example, a company that provides funeral services can remind customers that funerals could wreak havoc on the financial condition of their families, thus, funeral insurance is a logical purchase.
Another strategy is to provide value added services to increase value for the customers. Sometimes the customers may not be well informed about the benefits of the product/service, thus, a company can offer risk-free trials or other incentives that could help product/service adoption or address customer hesitation. The companies can also do research into customer’s preferences regarding price and then modify their product or service in such a manner that it can profitably sell the product/service. Thus, understanding customers provide companies with various useful data that can be used to formulate different marketing strategies.
The companies can also partner with other companies who offer complementary products. These partner companies may be willing to refer the products to the customers for a commission on each successful sale. Thus, it pays even more to bring the product to the customers’ attention as well as understand their needs when the customers are hesitant to buy the product.