Why people aren’t buying your product

Written by Nick Noble in 2017

Say you’ve recently put up a sales page up for your product… but it’s not performing as well as you’d hoped. A quick google search probably gave you a bunch of one size fits all’ advice:

You didn’t grab their attention!
Blog more!!
Add some press logos!!!
Make your call-to-action buttons BIGGER!!!!

Unfortunately, these won’t necessarily do much for you, because they don’t fix the root cause.

The fact is, if they weren’t interested they wouldn’t be on your website! You already have their attention, if only for a second.

Most people, including you, don’t leave a website empty handed because they’re bored. In fact, some of the people coming to your site – and leaving – might actually be your ideal customer! Literally the exact people you strive to help.

So why do they really leave?

When considering almost any purchase, everyone has a little voice in their head thinking of every possible reason not to buy. Even if the product is perfect for them and they know it, they’ll be thinking of any reason to just walk away.

You do it too.

It’s something humans have picked up through evolution: risks are risky.

Only now instead of talking ourselves out of trading some mammoth meat for the secret to fire, we are talking ourselves out of purchasing an outdoor grill (even though something we’ve wanted for a while, it’s well within our budget, and it’s even on sale)!

Luckily the most common reasons people don’t buy are the same across most industries, because these objections have nothing to do with what’s being bought (and everything to do with risk aversion).

I’m about to outline some fixes for each of these common barriers-to-purchase that you can build directly into any initial offer. That way, when your ideal customer does come along, they won’t psych themselves out.

Let’s get down to it.

It costs too much”

Money represents freedom of choice, so spending it feels like a loss of freedom. By purchasing anything, we feel like we are giving something up rather than gaining or trading – so it naturally makes people hesitate.

Assuming there’s a good fit, this objection means that you haven’t framed your offer well enough.

In my case, I make websites and run tests that often end up making my clients thousands of additional dollars every year. If I help a company make an additional $50,000 per year and I charged them a flat 8k… my services were effectively free.

Showing the value of what you do in a way that justifies the price will solve this one. If you can’t do that, you need to either rethink your pricing or add more value to what you’re offering.

It seems too good to be true”

No one, myself included, completely trusts a salesperson (or page). The better a product seems to solve my problem, the more skeptical I am. It’s the uncanny valley” of shopping.

Assuming your product actually does work as well as you say, what your potential buyer wants is a third party opinion, aka social proof. That way the consumer doesn’t have to take your word for it, and they feel much better about it.

Testimonials, user reviews, and customer / press logos all serve this function. They prove that other people have had great outcomes when they went with your offer.

It won’t work for *me*”

Even after seeing other customers’ success, some people won’t be convinced that it will work in their unique situation (even if it’s the exact problem your product was made to solve).

So how to help these special snowflakes? Make sure your social proof illustrates a wide variety of specific use cases, rather than general superlatives.

Here’s a quick example:


This service is amazing! The app is super slick and I really love the sharing feature.
– Jane


The set up process was seamless, and I was up in running in minutes. After three months, this service has been amazing and I can’t imagine working without it.
– Jane Smith


If you’re a small to mid-size business with a small team, you need AcmeApp! In less than three months, it’s improved every aspect of how we collaborate.
– Jane Smith, Founder at Start​up​.co

See how they all kinda say the same thing, but the third one feels so much more personal?

If you happened to run a small company and were struggling to keep track of your growing team, that third quote would really resonate. You’d think wow, this product was made for me!”

Conversely, if you were the CEO of a large multinational corporation, you’d realize this probably wasn’t the best solution for you – and that’s a good thing because, in that case, it’s not a good fit.

That first quote wasn’t clear enough to convey that… it could have been about almost any app.

Choosing your praise wisely can make all the difference.

I can do this later”

Ah, the procrastinator. Their first issue is that they won’t actually do it later, because they’ll forget or keep setting it aside for later. The second is that they don’t actually believe that they have a problem.

Part of your job when selling is to educate the buyer so that they can make the best possible decision.

In my case, many of my new clients don’t realize just how much revenue or engagement they missed out on because of a few small details. It’s one of the reasons I started writing these emails: if more people know what it takes to be successful online, they’ll understand why a template can’t compare to a tailor made site.

By helping potential customers understand their pain points, they’ll realize how much they need your help.

This sounds complicated”

Every now and then someone comes along and says this seems like a lot of effort”. That might be true or false, but the news is good: if this is the only reason they can come up with to avoid sealing the deal, they agree that the solution works.

As opposed to the procrastinator, who needs to be made aware of their problem, this potential buyer simply needs to understand what happens next.

Since they understand the outcome the product provides, and that it would work for them, showing them the steps is all you need to close the deal.

A lot of software companies make tutorials and guides publicly available so a customer can visualize the workflow. I sit down with new clients to roadmap whatever we’re creating, so they see how the project will play out. Movies have trailers, so viewers can get a feeling for the tone.

Whatever your offering is, showing potential customers what to expect can be all you need to tip the scales.

As you can see, these knee-jerk reactions can often be irrelevant or misguided. By helping someone overcome these barriers, you’re helping them solve their problems faster – so it’s a win/​win.

That’s it for this one, don’t hesitate to tell me what you think. If you try any of these out, I’d love to hear how it goes.

Shoot me a reply if you’d like me to write more about one of these concepts in the future (or you want a little clarification on something)!