As a customer, our biggest concerns when it comes to buying a particular product center around a few main concerns - will it work the way you want it to, are we paying too much for it and last but not least, if it breaks will we have thrown our money away. It is all a brief psychological risk assessment process that often happens without us even knowing it is happening.
Our job from a business point of view is to dispel these concerns however we can. If we can do that, we are guaranteed to increase sales. The problem is that we are rarely brave enough to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to making a sale, because we fear that we might put negative thoughts into the customers head. But we if are brave enough to address perceived risks in a positive, helpful and intelligent way, the chances of a sale dramatically increased.
So, how do we do that? Let's look at the first perceived risk that a customer might have, the product not working as it should. Clearly you need to tell the customer that if for any reason they are not satisfied with the way the product works they can bring it back and either exchange it or get a refund (depending on your policy). If there are conditions let them know in advance, don't make it a surprise.
If they are concerned about paying too much, explain your pricing policy and if you are more expensive than other places, explain why you charge more. Perhaps you have better after sales service. Maybe the products are slightly different. Or your business is smaller than the competitors and while you may not have the buying power you make up for it with more personalized service. Give the customer the facts and let them make their own decision. For long-term repeat business, it is much better to be upfront than to let the customer find out for themselves and feel ripped off.
Finally, explain how your guarantee system works. Be specific and make sure the customer is clear on the life of the guarantee and what it covers. If it doesn't have a guarantee, explain why. Some products don't and there is a legitimate reason for this. If you buy a goldfish and it dies you are unlikely to be able to get a refund.
By addressing the above in a few short sentences, the customer's concerns are alleviated and they should be happy to buy the product. When was the last time you had someone explain away your concerns in that manner? Probably not recently but if you do it in your business, you will soon notice the difference in sales.
The example of buying a product is just one that we are all familiar with. Think about your own products and services - how can reduce the risk to the customer and in return make them feel totally confident in buying from you. Sometimes this means addressing the elephant in the room but it's always better to address a buyers concerns rather than just hope they make the decision to buy on their own.