Big Mistakes When Selling Big Ticket Items

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‘Big ticket items’ are products that come with a high price tag (typically anything over £1000). They include products like cars, houses, brand new furniture and diamond jewellery.

Most customers don’t buy these items on impulse. In fact, customers are often willing to put in a lot of research before they commit to a sale. As a result, selling these products requires very different tactics to selling regular products.

A lot of people selling big ticket items for the first time end up making mistakes that can be very costly. This post delves into a few of the common mistakes and what to do instead to help your big ticket item sell.

Using broad marketing strategies

Because not everyone can afford a big ticket item, there is no point in trying to market to everyone. You’ll waste a lot of money by advertising anywhere and everywhere – which is why you need to think more specific. 

This is particularly the case with luxury items and specialist items that are often higher priced and sought after by very specific consumers. You may get more leads by targeting the unique places where these people hang out and focusing on more unique keywords. For example, a high end BMX is going to attract a very different type of buyer to a regular road bike.

Skimping on product information

Customers of big ticket items tend to be more cautious about what they’re going to buy. They want to make sure that a product meets all the right specs – and to do this they need plenty of product information.

Make sure that you are providing this information so that customers aren’t tempted to look elsewhere. When selling a big ticket item on a website, this could include providing plenty of text on the specs and  multiple photographs (and perhaps even videos). When selling big ticket items in person, it could be beneficial for you to do your homework so that you can answer any questions thrown at you. 

Not using charm pricing on non-luxury goods

Pricing a sofa at £2000 instead of £1999 may not seem like a big deal. After all, it’s just a £1 difference. And yet studies have found that charm pricing has a dramatic impact on sales. Because it’s not a whole number, we feel as if we’re getting a discount.

By contrast, writing £2000.00 can make something seem more expensive and luxurious. Unless you’re trying to solely target affluent customers, you probably shouldn’t use this pricing when selling a big ticket item.

Expecting everyday consumers to pay everything upfront

Some big ticket items are targeted at everyday customers. And yet few people have £1500 set aside to buy a mattress. So how do you sell to these types of customers? Offering a way to pay in instalments is often the solution. This reduces the upfront costs and allows customers to spread out the costs over several months. 

There are different ways to allow customers to do this. The easiest is to accept credit card payments, however you may find that there are still many customers who don’t want to pay on a credit card or don’t have a credit card. Another option is to partner up with lenders to offer finance deals. Alternatively, you could offer your own interest-free payment plan. Payment plans typically have to be managed by you, although there are some companies that can provide payment plan services for you. This post offers more advice on how to offer payment plans to customers

Overlooking the importance of reviews

Because customers buying big ticket items are more likely to do their research, having good reviews matters more than ever. Positive customer reviews are a sign of trust and many customers may be converted by them when debating between two companies to use. It’s therefore important that you take steps to encourage positive reviews.

What are some great ways to do this? Simply asking every happy customer to leave an online review – either in person or via email – is one effective way to build reviews. Some companies even send out automated review prompts to past customers. Just be wary that if you send an automated prompt to an unhappy customer, you could be encouraging a negative review that could have the opposite effect on sales.

Trying to secure a sale too early

When selling items face-to-face, building up a rapport with customers is very important. If you start hard selling straight away, you could put off many customers. 

The sales process will vary greatly depending on what you are selling and who you are selling to, but generally it’s a good idea to start by just asking questions to better understand what they are looking for and what their budget is. This helps you to not only gain their trust, but allows you to angle a personalised pitch towards exactly what they are looking for rather than a generic sales pitch. By gauging exactly how interested a person is in making a sale, you can also determine exactly how much information to give them so that you don’t pressure them too much. 

Not doing your competitor research

Customers are much more likely to check out competitors when looking to buy an expensive product. It’s therefore important to be equally aware of what your competitors are doing so that you can make sure that you’re matching their prices and deals, as well as tapping into similar marketing tactics that may be working for them.

Competitor research can easily be done by keeping tabs on your competitors’ websites. If things like pricing aren’t provided on their website, you may still be able to run consumer surveys. As for selling big ticket items in person, it’s always a good idea to ask customers what they’ve seen on the market so that you can provide a price match there and then. 

Discounting too hard too soon

Being able to knock some money off the price will help convert some customers. However, you need to be careful of offering discounts too early and going too low, as you could end up cheating yourself out of extra earnings. 

When it comes to selling to customers in person, you need to make sure that a customer is seriously interested before suggesting discounts. If you can tell that they are eager, but the price is putting them off, this is a good time to then offer discounts. Ask them about their budget and what other prices they’ve seen to work out how low to go. 

As for offering non-personalised discounts, you should trial a product for a while first before slashing prices to first determine the demand. If a product is getting interest in those first few weeks on sale, there is no reason to offer a mass discount on the product. If demand is waning, then you should consider discounting it. 

Not knowing your discount limit

You can only discount a product so far before it becomes unprofitable. It’s important that you understand this price limit so that you are not selling products at a loss. 

The only time to ignore this discount limit is when trying to clear stock quickly at any means necessary. For example, if there is an expiry date that your product is nearing, selling the product at any price is likely to be better than not selling it at all.

Assuming wealthy customers won’t do their research

A final big mistake to avoid is assuming that wealthy customers are more willing to buy big ticket items on impulse. Cost may not be an issue to these people, but quality could be. In fact, wealthy customers may have much higher standards and therefore much more questions when it comes to making sure a product meets these standards.

As a result, you need to still be willing to provide plenty of information to wealthy customers – just try to put the emphasis on the quality instead of the price. 

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