I joined a ‘paid-for’ community last week – somewhat on a whim – as many of us purchase things every day either online or in a retail outlet.
We are bombarded everyday with offers of good, products and services, and far too often the offers we are inundated with make the purchase easy and frictionless but come with terms or purchase agreements, such as minimum subscription times, unfriendly return conditions or hoops to jump through, that make changing one’s mind harder than necessary and with much greater friction than the sales process.
The ability to try or test a product, with the knowledge that one can return easily and without question, is a selling point that many companies sometimes overlook. There are online shopping sites that I will personally favor who are not the cheapest, but the ease of return is worth sometimes worth a slight premium over a less flexible shopping experience. The same goes in business.
Proof of Concepts (PoC) or Proof of Value (PoV) are commonplace in my industry, but too often I have seen companies push PoV’s that attempt to tie a companies into a service, or automatically turn into a recuring and paid for service, without proper due-diligence or due-care from the sales executive to confirm the value to the purchasing company.
The service that I refer to in the first paragraph is a community called Purple Space that was created by Seth Godin. Time will tell if this is a community that I will find valuable, but what really struck me today and prompted these thoughts, was the following email:
If only more companies were as transparent, maybe more consumers would be willing to take a chance on something or someone new.
Let’s start making the ability for someone to change their mind as easy as it is to sign up the norm!