Make buying easy.

For most of us in racing, time is a limited resource.

We don’t lack ability, smarts or awareness. It’s time that stops us from doing anything more than getting our day-to-day tasks done. It’s time that stops us from being proactive about marketing, interacting on social media, and pitching new partnerships.

That’s why much of what I write focuses on two things: doing things better and making them easier. (Here’s a popular post on making it easy for others to help you sell yourself and tell your story.)

As a person who owns a home, runs a business and is elbows-deep in a race team, I make a lot of buying decisions. And I have a few criteria that I weigh when I decide where to buy what I need: connection, convenience and cost.

Last week, when I needed contacts I had to decide whether to order from a) my eye doctor or b) an online retailer. Here’s how I weighed my buying decision:

Connection: I love my eye doctor, and I’d like to support her. I have no connection with an online retailer.

Cost: My contacts cost between 40 and 50% less when I buy them online.

Convenience: When I order from my eye doctor, I have to pick up the phone during their limited hours and explain to them what I want to order. They usually don’t know how long they’ll take. I wait for a phone call to say they’ve arrived. When I get the phone call, I have to find a time within their limited office hours to pick them up. They call every single day after they’ve arrived to ‘remind’ me to drive to their office. It’s a huge hassle when I’m juggling a packed schedule. My other option? Take 5 minutes to place my order online and know exactly when they’ll arrive at my door. Boom, it’s that easy.

The clinching point, and my money, goes to the online retailer in this case because, at this time of the year, convenience is hands-down the most important thing to me. Convenience is my easy button.

Your customer will have a similar set of criteria when deciding where to spend their money with you or your competition.

I really, really prefer to buy from businesses that I connect with. And so do your customers. And I’m willing to spend more to do that. I’m guessing some of your customers do that, too. But do you make it easy for them to buy from you? Do you even know what they find easy?

For some, a decision becomes easy because it’s affordable. (Example? It might be cheaper to take their family to your track’s fireworks show than one downtown, where they pay a premium for parking, food, etc.)

For others, it’s easy because they have a connection with you or your product. (Example? Sponsors aren’t necessarily interested in winning drivers. They’re interested in drivers who connect with their brand and fan base.)

For others, it’s has to be an easy, convenient process. (Example? Your track or team takes away the obstacles to buy. That might include taking credit cards, offering a clear marketing menu to choose from, providing appealing food options, etc.)

If you know who your customer is, you should know what will make their decision to spend money with you easy.

And I’ll give you a hint: the customers who tend to spend the most money or generate the most business for you – your marketing partners and VIP’s – are mostly focused on what’s convenient. They don’t want to come up with a plan and have you execute it. They’ll invest if you do the work up front and make it convenient for them to choose you.

How can you make that decision or process easy for them?


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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.