The Good, The Bad And The Ugly of Attracting Impulsive Buyers

by | Oct 18, 2021

When we’re sitting in the middle of a store full of clothes, we’re often overcome with a sense of excitement and the impulse to buy every single thing we see. The problem is that we can’t. We need to find a balance between that sense of urgency and the impulse to purchase, and the reality of the financial situation we’re in. 

When it comes to social media, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements or exposed to content by those influential experts we follow, who naturally make offers and invitations to sign up. We may be following them for whatever reason (often, it is just digging their personal vibe. Over time it starts feeling like we desperately need what they offer, or at least, it would not hurt to grab it while it lasts. 

This scenario is so much more pressurising than the one I described above. At the store, you can choose to just walk away, and the temptation dissipates as soon as you exit the premises. Online it often feels like there is no escape, so the temptation continues and escalates. And often triggers the impulsive decision to buy.

There are quite a few reasons someone might make an impulsive purchase, especially with an online course or joining a membership community. Often it’s because we need to fill an emotional need, such as to celebrate, belong to a group of like-minded people or simply feel like we got a bargain. 

There’s also the fear of missing out—sometimes we need to buy now, or it’ll be gone. And there are some people who just really, really want it. EVEN if they want something that is not quite right for them after all. 

The bottom line is that there is always a high at the moment of making that impulsive purchase.

Why Impulsive Buying Feels Good

The idea of impulse buying may seem like a frivolous purchase. Still, it also can have a positive impact on your life. 

It’s been shown that spontaneity has been shown to have a significant decrease in stress levels. In one study, participants were asked to come up with a list of their general worries. Half the participants were asked to come up with a plan on how to handle their worries immediately, and the other half were told to come up with a plan later. The study found that the participants who were told to come up with a plan later had a stress level that was about 20% higher. 

When you impulse buy, it gives you a sense of satisfaction! Something rare in our highly stressed lives these days.

What does it mean for your expert or coaching business?

Most coaches who sell online programs know that only a tiny percentage of their students create transformational results from taking the offered training. The vast majority enrol in the courses or coaching programs but either disappear soon after, never pass by the second module or randomly pop in and out of action (for example, it is pretty standard in a membership or group program environment).

While making a sale of your digital product may feel great, having no results to show for it will eventually make you doubt your offer’s integrity or even value. 

It also means that you may be missing out on many returning clients for other programs you offer because an impulse purchase can often feel great, yet the need to block off time and implement what you are teaching requires an entirely different level of commitment to the idea. 

I am an impulse buyer who has dozens of program access emails still waiting to be opened for the first time. It is only when the program includes a lot of nudges after the sale that I have any chance or motivation to stick to it long term. Otherwise, it feels overwhelming as it just adds to the pile of things on my to-do and wishlists.

How to retain impulsive buyers on your low ticket offers or memberships

The majority of impulsive purchases happen with lower-priced programs – precisely because they add to that fantastic feeling of getting a bargain.

And for a seller, perhaps this is an advantage. 

However, at the end of the day, the idea is not only to sell lots of cheap products but to help the buyer ascend into our high ticket programs. Both take a lot of effort (no matter how affordable your low ticket program may be). It will require an incredible effort to make enough sales to hit even your worst revenue goals. 

Therefore we need to move the buyers into our higher ticket programs. 

Not just for our own revenue objectives but to help create actual shifts and transformations, which as coaches, we are here to facilitate in the first place. 

That transformation is almost impossible with a set of printable pdfs or a 2-hour video course. No matter how value-packed they are.

As a content creator and a coach, my takeaway was introducing more interactive systems that create consistent action-taking.

For example, adding a bi-monthly zoom get together for all people who purchased my low ticket programs. For members inside my visibility mentorship program, we have systems that help us create meaningful content consistently. Content audits are offered to keep my mentees in action. They feel supported with fast feedback and suggestions available to get them unstuck at any point. 

I found that adding these support systems helps even impulsive buyers get some mini wins, a-ha moments, and move them in the right direction. Even if this direction means realising that they need to explore something else, elsewhere. That is also a win in itself.

There is one thing that I had to overcome, a significant mindset block that was holding me back for years. It was especially acute when offering these low ticket programs that often attract people who do not take action at all. The same block kept me stuck in dissatisfaction with some of my high-end clients, and I feel it is essential to share it with you.

My most important breakthrough was learning to let go of responsibility for my clients’ action-taking levels and their results following my strategies and advice. 

At the end of the day, we can be given all the right strategies and tactics, but there will be zero results unless we implement them or find the way to tweak them to get us where we want to be. 

No one else can take action FOR us, and no one else is responsible for our results- ONLY US. 

Why impulse buyers often make nightmare high ticket clients

Often impulsive buyers feel fearful and overwhelmed after the money is spent, especially if they do not fully understand what they just invested in or their financial situation wasn’t suitable for the level of investment. 

Straight after the high of making the purchase, the fear kicks in and, in many cases, causes natural anxiety and panic. These are not the right feelings to start any journey of growth and transformation. 

There is always a little excitement at the start, and it may even feel like fear. Still, when we have made a well-suited decision to enrol into a program (provided the creator made sure we are a good fit for it in the first place), this little flutter in our chest disappears as soon as we fully emerge into taking action and following through with the tasks we are given.

When the client has made an impulsive decision and has doubts after the transaction, I found it best to offer a 14-day cool off policy. (I do retain the right to keep the payment processor’s fees in such cases.) 

I have an unpopular opinion amongst marketing and sales professionals that letting go of poorly fitting clients is better than trying to “overcome objections”. I do not feel like coercing the client into staying in the program just for the sake of making a sale. 

This can (and in my experience did) end in worse situations when the client’s frustration builds up and results in some sort of confrontation since they did not fully understand what they got themselves into or there were no healthy expectations set up at the start.

It is then, in my experience, when the person gets to truly feel if the emotions they were experiencing when they signed up were excitement and a little nervousness before we began, or it is actually the regret and complete rejection of the idea of trying make it work. 

How to ensure impulsive buyers know what they are getting

The most critical stage to minimise impulsive decisions comes much earlier than a discovery call or a Messenger chat. 

The true magic is to create content that speaks clearly and in detail about what you do, who it is for, and of course, who it is not for, so our readers can self-identify right there. This way, our content does the majority of “heavy lifting” in our sales process.

Mastering client attraction with content is not hard. 

It requires clarity on what types of posts to create and the bank of simple and relatable prompts by the people you are targeting (and only them). 

One of the very effective ways to make sure most of the people who request a call or wants a chat about one of my programs are the right ones is to create stand-alone offer posts. Such posts describe your program based on outcomes in detail and list the criteria the ideal candidate needs to meet to get the best results working with you. A vague indication or even stating the amount of the investment required also eliminates those impulsive buyers whose financial situation would not support the emotional decision to enrol. 

You could create a post like that once and post it at regular intervals to allow those in your nurturing cycle to have a good idea of what working with you looks like. This suits best if you sign up clients on an ongoing basis or during launches, as these posts act as a mini sale page. 

This helps people in your audience who are considering signing up or purchase one of your programs get clear on the details even if they make that purchase impulsively!

In the end, no matter how high or low the cost, your programs will attract a much better quality of clients overall, resulting in more success stories, more satisfaction on both ends, and much fewer refunds. 

Juliette Stapleton

Splenic Projector 1/3
VISIBILITY MENTOR

Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.

Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.

She lives in Tallinn, Estonia with her husband and her pup Baz.

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