Seriously if you aren't taking credit card payments for your coaching products and services, you are leaving money on the table. You just don't know how much.
I just got an email from a coaching business in Australia, I'm signed up to dozens of coaching email lists so I can get an idea of how Training Tilt's target market are doing things. If I see something they should be doing better or a tool they might be able to use then I add it to our feature road map if we don't already support it.
Anyway the email was about a triathlon camp happening in Noosa on the sunshine coast. Man I got pretty excited as Nicky and I were just chatting about how we need to get back over there during our New Zealand winter since we loved our noosa trip so much over the Christmas period.
I hit the button in the email straight away and got directed to the website, read the details and got even more excited as accommodation was all part of the package. Then looked for the price which seemed really fair, totally do-able. I was about to flick the link across to Nicky to take a look.
Payment is via bank transfer. To secure your position please email firstname.lastname@example.org for payment details. Your position will NOT be secured until 50% payment is received.
WTF, payment by bank transfer? I don't even live in Australia so that's going to mean some sort of over complicated international bank transfer protocol. Some BS sort code that I'll have to get. But first I have to email them and then wait for a reply before I can even get started. When I finally get the details I'll have to go into my online banking and fill in a bunch of fields that don't seem to match the actual numbers I've got. God forbid I might even have to go into an actual bank!
Who knows, the camp might fill up regardless and it will probably be awesome, with great coaches and great fun. This is just an example of how easily the sales process can be stopped in it's tracks even if you have great products.
Friction stops sales
In the online marketing world it's called friction and it's a sure fire way to NOT make a sale.
Now I can't say for sure because consumer behaviour is hard to predict even in yourself, but I think I may have gone ahead and moved through the process if I hadn't run into this friction along the way.
But it doesn't really matter as soon as I hit the friction it made me slow right down and talk myself out of it.
- We are selling our house so it's probably not a good time to book something
- We are supposed to be going on a family trip to Fiji soon so might not be able to afford both
Basically my rational brain had the opportunity to take over, excitement gone. Even if I had gone ahead and emailed them to get the bank details by the time they replied the moment would have been lost.
It's 2016 and e-commerce is absolutely booming, people are buying things on line like the internet is going out of business.
You can buy everything on line from cars to groceries.
Do you know the main reason why? because it's so easy. My credit card details are saved in my browser so I don't even need to enter my card details anymore.
Why are businesses still doing this?
You might be saying to yourself, what's the big deal? it's not that hard to do a bank transfer. Well it is a big deal and it will directly affect your bottom line. Your customers are busy, a bank transfer is the last thing they want to organise when a credit card payment is so simple.
So my question is, why the hell isn't your coaching business taking credit card payments online for anything and everything your business offers?
I guess there is only two reasons I can think of. Cost and effort.
Taking credit card payments costs in terms of some sort of setup fee and also a transaction fee. This is a terrible reason not to take credit cards, you will be losing way more money because of lost business than a small fee for a transaction.
And if you are asking your customers to do the extra work, you are basically saying that you don't want to pay the extra fees but you are quite happy for your customers to waste their time getting your bank account details and setting up a transfer to you.
Traditionally to take credit card payments you had to jump through some hoops and set up some sort of merchant account with your bank and then pay a setup fee and and a monthly fee regardless of whether you actually made any sales or not. Merchant accounts are a total croc and can now be relegated for use by old fashioned corporates who don't mind wasting a bit of money.
The best options for small businesses are payment gateways that don't require a merchant account or for that matter any setup fees. In most instances you won't even pay monthly fees. You just pay as you go with a transaction fee.
The best known one is obviously Paypal but the purchase process is a bit clunky but it's still 1000 times better than a bank transfer. But my personal favourite and our preferred gateway we integrate for our Training Tiltcoaching clients is Stripe. The great thing about Stripe is that they love platform developers so they make it super easy for us to integrate with them and offer service second to none.
In our platform you can add products to your online store and set up recurring memberships and connect them to your Stripe account. You don't even need to leave our platform to create a new Stripe account and to get set up. It's free and all you need is a bank account in a country they support.
Good news for our New Zealand clients is they'll be here soon. Great news for almost everyone else is that they are probably already in your country. We are the last to get everything down here in NZ, except the sun that is. We are the first to get that most days.
It's easier than you think to take credit card payments online. I reckon if you are signed up to a Training Tilt account it will take about 7 minutes to create your Stripe account connect it to TT and add your first product (a camp fee for an awesome trip to Noosa).
You aren't saving money like you think you are.
Stop pinching pennies, the transaction fees the payment gateways and software platforms like us charge will pay for themselves.
You might think you are saving some money but actually all you are doing is leaving it on the table.
You are making it too difficult for your clients to pay you so some of them just won't.
If you want your customers to take you seriously as a business and make more sales, then fix up your sales process and get rid of the friction.
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