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A Helping HandCustomer Understanding

How to reduce perceived risk for your prospects

By March 24, 2023April 3rd, 2023No Comments

and make more sales

Reducing perceived risk in the mind of your prospects increases sales and grows your business. There are several ways your marketing, and everyone in your business, can help you reduce perceived risk. This process starts from their very first engagement with you…

1. Make sure your website is helping

Your website is the first touch point for many people. As your shop window, your website is there to do two things: invite them in and make it easy to start the buying process.

  • Clear headlines and content that show how you can help them.
  • Contact details on every page, above the fold.
  • Proof that you have the knowledge and experience they need.

Make sure it looks up to date too. If it looks old, it will suggest either you don’t care, or you cannot afford to get an updated version.

2. Telephone manners

Ensure everyone in the business answers the phone in a professional manner. “Good morning/afternoon. company name, first name speaking. How can I help?” is a good starting place. Make sure they know how to then transfer the call to the right person too, especially now that many of your team are working remotely.

3. Respond quickly

When someone wants to talk to you about your products or services, they usually complete a form on your website. The sooner you contact them, the more likely they are to buy from you. The average response time, from Harvard Business Review research is 42 hours.

Getting in touch within an hour of the enquiry makes you at least 7 times more likely to qualify the lead. More qualified leads lead to more sales.

4. Tell them a story

You have always loved stories. When your parents put you bed and started: once upon a time, you loved it. As you grew up Roald Dahl took over and then maybe JK Rowling. Maybe Helen Fielding, maybe Arthur C Clarke and maybe Tom Clancy. Whoever wrote them, you have always read stories and enjoyed it as they take you through a process.

  • What stories do you have within your business that can help your prospects visualise what you do and how it can help them?
  • What have you done with other clients that demonstrates you understand the issues your prospect faces and will show what a successful resolution looks like?

Put some of these stories where they will be found early in their movement through your pipeline (your website) but keep one or two for when you’re sitting in front of them. The impact there will be even higher.

5. Stop talking about you

75%+ of the marketing material I see (both online and off) talks about the company. It talks about how good the company is at [insert topic] and that they’re the leading proponent of that topic (whether they are or not). NOBODY CARES
Change your messaging so that it talks about the target audience and how you help them. Change the wording so that you’re talking to an individual…

  • We help our clients by
  • You can benefit in this way from working with us

Changing your point of view and language helps prospects to understand, and believe, what you can deliver for them.

6. Provide proof

If you look for something on Amazon, they make sure that you see review ratings, and can filter by those ratings, before you get to filter by price. They know that peer reviews will make you spend more as they are evidence that the product you are considering is worth a little extra cash.

If you can put a series of reviews (also called testimonials) in front of a prospect, they will start to see the value you provide, and the level of perceived risk is reduced. If these reviews are from people similar to them, the level of risk drops even further.

Case studies work even more effectively as they put more meat on the bones. The 5 key parts of a case study each do a specific job in reducing perceived risk and there’s more detail on this in another of our blogs. You can read that here.

If you’re not sure your case studies are effective, we offer a free review. Sign up for the review here.


For a prospect to continue moving through your pipeline, and then sign on the dotted line, you need to reduce the level of risk they perceive. After all, nobody likes change. It’s a risk; what if things go wrong? Who is going to get blamed?

These tips will reduce the perceived risk your prospects have in their minds. They will never make it go away, but they only need to get it down to an acceptable level. One where the prospect says “yeah. Let’s go”.

Your marketing plays a critical role in reducing the perceived risk for buyers. By establishing trust, managing perceptions of risk, and providing education and support, a company can help alleviate buyer concerns and make the purchasing decision more comfortable. While there is no single approach that will work for every buyer or every transaction, companies that invest in their marketing efforts are more likely to see success in the competitive world of B2B sales.

Of course, if you need a hand working out exactly how to reduce perceived risk for your small, call us on 020 8634 5911 or get in touch here.


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