How to Make People Pay and Not Feel Guilty

  • Making people give their money to you is basically one of the most important reasons and aspects of a business. You work to produce something, which people will buy from you.
  • However, spending any money, no matter how people pay exactly, makes them feel pained or stressed because the money they had is now gone.
  • Then, how to reduce the pain? How to make people pay for your services? Let's find out with these tips. 

how to make people pay

In business, we often picture what our best customers look like. Some keywords include high "frequency of purchase," "large average spend," "long tenure," "price-inelastic," etc. A top keyword is "happy." We know happy customers are most likely to spread word of mouth for us. They become voluntary brand agents who endorse our products in the market.

In contrast to happiness is pain. Making people give their money in exchange for your product is fundamentally a painful experience to most people in the world who see money as a perishable resource. They are losing money - no matter how fabulous your product is and how much they like it, the moment they hand their money to you, there is pain.

The pain is felt to a various extent. Some pain is sharper than others. Some lasts longer and some reoccurs during the post-purchase evaluation phase. Do businesses have to deal with this type of customer pain? Absolutely! This is because we know people fear pain. It can prevent them from achieving a buying decision, or make them hesitate to visit your store again. So how to make people pay without stressing them? 

We look for painkillers. Every one of us in business has a trick or two that works as a painkiller to help making people give their money to you easier. My goal in this article is to discuss the ones I have collected over time that have been proven as useful either by research or by experience on how to make people pay.

Make the purchasing process short and sweet 

One of the first steps in how to make people pay is not to let customers stand there waiting to pay you. Waiting to have their money taken is dreadful. Simplify your checkout path, online and/or offline, so that they can get over with the purchasing process fast. Effortless buying can be appreciated by savvy consumers who are conscious of the cost of time and energy.

I once made a bet with my colleague prior to launching a new product. I speculated that the average order value of online customers would be much higher than those who travelled long distance to view the physical product personally and buy it there. She thought the opposite as she believed the product's "wow" factor would make them buy a larger quantity. I won the bet and she bought me coffee for a month. How to make people pay 101 ... with coffee.

Reduce money visibility 

"Brainfluence" - a book on neuromarketing written by Roger Dooley, advised marketers to go easy with using the money cues. He referenced a study that tested several common price display techniques by restaurants, for example, $12.00, 12 (no dollar sign) and twelve dollars (spelt out). The findings showed that the group exposed to the no dollar sign display format spent much more than the other two groups. This is how people pay.

Roger also pointed out that cash can cause a bigger pain to the customers as they are vivid money cues that remind the buyer of their self-interest. Businesses that choose cash as the only payment to avoid credit card or EFTPOS fees should think again about their approach.

Offer easy-to-understand prices 

Many car rental companies do poorly with this. You are given an intense-looking A4 sheet with multiple figures appearing in different places after jargons you don't understand. "Here is the total charge of $xxx.xx," they say, often not bothering to at least give you a walk-through. The worst pain you could cause to your customers is to make them feel stupid while making people give their money to you.

Avoid giving the impression that you are all about money 

A Thai food place I've been to turned me away after a couple of visits - thanks to their awful pricing structure - differentiated prices for the same meal between lunch and dinner; $1 additional if dining in; $2 additional if ordering rice to go with curry; 5% on top of bill if paying by EFTPOS.

Let sense of achievement replace pain of loss 

Supermarkets and chemists print the amount of savings you received from buying products that are on sale on the receipts - a simple tactic to make you feel good. Loyalty cards that collect stamps for each purchase give you a sense of progress towards obtaining a reward.

Some beauty therapists and cosmetic retailers are also experts at this. 'Well done!' 'Good girl!' - they often say, as if you've done a good deed for yourself. A bag full of your purchases is handed to you with 'You're one-step closer to finding the perfect you,' printed on it. This is how to make people pay for your products over and over again.

Last but not least, an amazing product experience (whether already consumed or displayed at the time of paying) is the most sustainable way to diminish the pain of buying or the pain while making people give their money . Customers often complain, I've spent too much money on xxx," but they rarely think "I've overpaid for a good time/experience."

Just like relationships, to find your perfect customers you want to give them love and be loved in return. Pain happens. You can utilise the tips above to create a relaxing environment for them, assist them to get over the pain quickly and help them feel good about themselves and their purchase. Making people give their money should not make them feel stressed.

What are your tips and techniques on how to make people pay and feel less stressed about that?


Lindsey Sun

Lindsey Sun

Managing Director at Meow Media 妙傳媒

2014 Australian Institute of Management "30 under 30" award winner. AIM30 is made up of 30 outstanding managers under 30 years of age who have excelled in their career and already left their unique mark on the management profession. As the Founder and Managing Director of Meow Media, a digital marketing agency focusing on helping SMEs and nonprofits in Australia, Lindsey has a passion for all things digital and corporate philanthropy through CSR initiatives.


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Rose Merry

Rose Merry , SR at URO ACB

In this regards the first thing which keeps in our mind is online purchasing or online payment type, many services agencies are working just like to sale and Buy Real Active Instagram Followers, or other services like this also want to pay before the service and not too guilty.