The Steel man and Feel–felt–found techniques to persuade eCommerce buyers

If you are selling high ticket eCommerce products and your visitors are hesitant to pay, or even worse, they are objecting it publically, you need to present a counter objection in a manner you would not only convert these visitors but would make them your brand ambassadors. To do that we will use a steel man technique.

Steel manning technique

The essence of the technique lies in reinforcing your opponent’s basic argument rather than offering a lousy proposition.

The philosopher Daniel Dennett outlines the following process:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Feel–felt–found technique

Another technique which overlaps with steel manning is the “feel–felt–found” technique that is often regarded as the greatest sales closing technique amongst the best salespeople in the US. This is how it works:

  1. Say ‘I understand how you feel’. This will show to your potential customer that you understood them and can relate to their argument. 
  2. Tell them about you or somebody else who ‘felt’ the same way. This show that they’re not alone and things can be different.
  3. Inform them how others changed their mind and ‘found’ that after they purchased your product, they achieved the results they wanted.

How to apply the above approaches to conversion rate optimization in eCommerce

These two techniques show that instead of confronting or ignoring your potential customers, you need to relate to them. 

You can do that by addressing users concern in the website’s copy, advertisement, or any other medium of communication. If you know your potential customers are concerned about the price or any other element of your offer, acknowledge it and address the elephant in the room.

An example would be: 

We understand that you feel that the price is high, to be honest lots of customers felt this way initially, but after using XXX product what they found is 47% savings because XXX product lasts long and feels good. 

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