Selling a product to a family member or a friend can be an easy or extremely frustrating process. In this article, we’ll teach you how you can increase the chance of a successful sale, even if the customer is someone you know very well.
We often hear complaints about selling to those you’re closest to. For example, some of the common thoughts we hear are the following:
- You feel like you’re obligated to give them some sort of a special discount.
- They expect you to prioritize them with your service.
- You think your product isn’t good enough, and don’t want to be held accountable for selling something that didn’t satisfy them.
How to Sell to Friends or Family Without Trying
Of course, it’s not necessary to sell to your close relatives or friends, but it can be a great boost when you need it. Selling to someone who likes you and trusts you is often a lot easier than trying to get a stranger to purchase your product. With this in mind, let's learn how to sell to personal friends without even trying.
Push vs Pull
Know the difference between pushing and pulling someone to buy your product or service. It’s never a good idea to pressure and actively try to get someone to buy your product, especially if they haven’t shown any interest in it yet.
Instead, promote your product in a positive light and allow your friends or family to reach out to you about it. This will instantly establish that they’re interested, and you can start to tell them more about how they can acquire your product or service.
For example, if you’re a graphics designer, you don’t want to start emailing, texting, calling, or otherwise pressuring your friends to hire you. Instead, share your work on a platform where they can see it — if they like what they see, they’ll reach out right away.
The worst thing you can do is make your family or friends feel pressured to buy your product or service. This will take a toll on your relationship with them, and ruin their trust in you, especially if they aren’t satisfied.
Be consistent with your prices. Just because you’re selling to a friend, doesn’t mean you have to give them any sort of discount! Just like anyone else, they need to earn discounts and benefits they’re seeking. Just some ideas:
- Leave a positive review on websites like TrustPilot for a discount.
- Like and share a post on Facebook for a discount.
- Join a membership or email list for special discounts.
- Follow on social media to get notified about new promotions and coupon codes.
Let your friends know that they’ll receive the highest level of customer service — just like every other customer you have! No need for special benefits. This will encourage them to recommend your product or service to more people, knowing that every one of your customers is treated fairly and equally.
In some cases, a dissatisfied friend hits you harder than a fairly unknown customer’s complaints about your business. If things go sour and your friend isn’t satisfied with what you sold them, here’s what you have to do:
- Apologize. Admit to your mistake and own up to what you did wrong. Thank them for the valuable feedback and input to make them feel less angry about what happened. You’re human and you make mistakes, you’re still growing as a business owner, and your product isn’t perfect yet. They should understand this and look at you less critically.
- Reassure. Make sure your friend knows you’ll correct the mistake and implement changes that satisfy them. If needed, seek a compromise, but never sacrifice your goals to satisfy a single person. If you can’t reach common grounds, offer to withdraw instead.
- Remind. Sometimes it lessens the tension to remind your customer of your relationship with them. If it’s family, thank them for something personal they helped you with. If it’s a friend, remind them how long you’ve known each other for. Assure them that it was never your intention to dissatisfy them, and thank them for trusting you with the product you sold them.
- Withdraw. If things aren’t looking good, offer to withdraw. Tell them you completely understand if they want to stop using your product or service and that you’re willing to help them find an alternative. This will ensure your relationship with the person doesn’t get ruined.
Now you know how to control the “rage” of your upset friends, and potentially win their trust back.
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