There’s a critical piece of the puzzle that we often miss when promoting courses and programs.
It goes beyond helping our intended customers believe that we have a solution that works.
There’s one more level of trust that you must establish before they will invest time, money, and energy in your course.
It’s a simple matter of self-efficacy. In other words…
Does the prospective customer believe they are capable of achieving their desired outcome? Further, do they believe they are worthy of that outcome?
Let’s look at an example.
I have a client in the self-compassion and mindfulness space. A bit of empathy for the intended customer reveals they likely harbor a good deal of anxiety or shame.
Their journey has been a rollercoaster. They’ve tried other mindfulness practices and paths to increased self-acceptance. However, things haven’t always turned out as they hoped. They’ve probably “failed.” They’ve probably put off finding a solution, further increasing their sense of shame.
They’ve internalized a belief that something might be wrong with them, that they are somehow not able to “make mindfulness work for me.”
We could write the world’s best copy leading them to believe that my client and their course are credible and deliver results.
But if the prospective customer still believes they are not capable of reaching the results (or not worthy of them), they won’t move forward and invest.
I think of my own experience over the years investing in solutions to help with my anxiety. During those periods that I feel empowered, I readily invest in courses, books, products, and services.
When I’m feeling especially stuck, it’s harder for me to invest. I spend much longer thinking about it, often leading to inaction (even though that’s the time I need it most).
This phenomenon of waning self-efficacy occurs in every industry and niche, both B2C and B2B. Sometimes it hides behind the surface excuse that the customer “just doesn’t feel ready yet.
The solution is to include what I call Self-Efficacy Bumps into your customer journey.
Psychologist Albert Bandura tells us that three things increase self-efficacy: experience, modeling, and social persuasion. Here’s how to put these into action through your sales messaging.
Experience: Help them get a small win before asking them to buy.
Modeling: Share stories of others “just like them” who succeeded.
Social Persuasion: As an expert, express that you believe they are capable and deserving of reaching the results.
You can offer these Self-Efficacy Bumps anywhere along the customer journey, during any interaction the intended customer has with your brand (e.g., in an email, during a webinar, on a sales call).
When you use all three techniques, your intended customer will be more inclined to move forward.
Not only is this approach more effective, but it’s also more empowering for and empathetic towards your customer.
Think about how this has occurred both in your experience as a consumer as well as a business.
Think of one way to incorporate each of the three types of Self-Efficacy bumps into your customer journey.