Why People Aren't Buying Your Product

Say you've recently put up a sales page up for your product...but it's not performing as well as you'd hoped. A quick Google search probably gave you a bunch of 'one size fits all' advice:

  • "You didn't grab their attention!"
  • "Blog more!!"
  • "Add some press logos!!!"
  • "Make your call-to-action buttons BIGGER!!!!"

The fact is, if they weren't interested they wouldn't be on your website! You already have their attention, if only for a second. Most people don't leave a website because they're bored. In fact, some of the people coming to your site – and leaving – might actually be your ideal customer! Literally, the exact people you strive to help.

So Why Do They Really Leave?

When considering almost any purchase, everyone has a little voice in their head thinking of every reason not to buy. Even if the product is perfect for them and they know it, they'll be thinking of any reason to just walk away.

You do it too.

It's something humans have picked up through evolution: risks are risky. Only now instead of talking ourselves out of trading some mammoth meat for the secret to fire, we are talking ourselves out of purchasing an outdoor grill!

Luckily, the most common reasons people don't buy are the same across most industries: It has  nothing to do with what's being bought but with everything to do with risk aversion.

Here are some solutions for each of these common barriers-to-purchase that you can build directly into any initial offer:

1.) It Costs Too Much

Money represents freedom of choice. By purchasing anything, we feel like we are giving something up rather than gaining or trading – so it naturally makes people hesitate.

Assuming there's a good fit, this objection means that you haven't framed your offer well enough.

In my case, I make websites and run tests that often end up making my clients thousands of additional dollars every year. If I help a company make an additional $50,000 per year and I charged them a flat $8,000... my services were effectively free.

Showing the value of what you do in a way that justifies the price will solve this one. If you can't do that, you need to either rethink your pricing or add more value to what you're offering.

2.) It Seems Too Good To Be True

No one, myself included, completely trusts a salesperson. The better a product seems to solve my problem, the more skeptical I am.

Assuming your product actually does work as well as you say, what your potential buyer wants is a third party opinion, aka social proof. That way the consumer doesn't have to take your word for it, and they feel much better about it.

Testimonials, user reviews, and public relations all serve this function. They prove that other people have had great outcomes when they went with your offer.

3.) It Won't Work For Me

Even after seeing other customers' success, some people won't be convinced that it will work in their unique situation.

So, how to help these particular customers? Make sure your social proof illustrates a wide variety of specific use cases, rather than general superlatives.

Here's a quick example:


"This service is amazing! The app is super slick and I really love the sharing feature!"

– Jane


"The set up process was seamless, and I was up in running in minutes. After three months, this service has been amazing and I can't imagine working without it!"

– Jane Smith


"If you're a small to mid-size business with a small team, you need AcmeApp! In less than three months, it's improved every aspect of how we collaborate."

– Jane Smith, Founder at Startup.co

See how they all kinda say the same thing, but the third one feels so much more personal?

If you happened to run a small company and were struggling to keep track of your growing team, that third quote would really resonate. You'd think "wow, this product was made for me!"

Conversely, if you were the CEO of a large corporation, you'd realize this probably wasn't the best solution for you – and that's a good thing because it's not a good fit.

That first quote wasn't clear enough to convey that...it could have been about almost any app.

Choosing your praise wisely can make all the difference.

4.) I Can Do This Later

Their first issue is that they won't actually do it later, because they'll forget or keep setting it aside. The second is that they don't actually believe that they have a problem.

Part of your job when selling is to educate the buyer so that they can make the best possible decision.

In my case, many of my new clients don't realize just how much revenue or engagement they missed out on because of a few small details. If more people know what it takes to be successful online, they'll understand why a template can't compare to a tailor made site.

By helping potential customers understand their pain points, they'll realize how much they need your help.

5.) This Sounds Complicated

Every now and then someone comes along and says "this seems like a lot of effort". That might be true or false, but the news is good: if this is the only reason they can come up with to avoid sealing the deal, they agree that the solution works.

As opposed to the procrastinator, who needs to be made aware of their problem, this potential buyer simply needs to understand what happens next.

Since they understand the outcome the product provides, and that it would work for them, showing them the steps is all you need to close the deal.

In Conclusion...

A lot of software companies make tutorials and guides publicly available so a customer can visualize the workflow. I sit down with new clients to roadmap whatever we're creating, so they see how the project will play out. Movies have trailers, so viewers can get a feeling for the tone.

Whatever your offering is, showing potential customers what to expect can be all you need to tip the scales.


As you can see, these knee-jerk reactions can often be irrelevant or misguided. By helping someone overcome these barriers, you're helping them solve their problems faster – so it's a win/win.

That's it for this one, don't hesitate to tell me what you think. If you try any of these out, I'd love to hear how it goes.


Nick Noble is a New York based freelance product designer with over seven years of experience in digital design, development and strategy. Nick has helped some of the biggest and the smallest companies in the world build brands, websites, products and audiences.