Continuous change, rapid obsolescence and an uncertain economy each pose a risk in the mind of a buyer. Humans have a powerful need for security, and any buying decision that represents uncertainty or risk threatens a buyer’s sense of security.
There are four main risk factors that contribute to a buyer’s perception of risk.
1. Size of a sale. The first risk factor is the size of a sale. The larger the scale, the more money involved, the greater the perceived risk. If a person is buying a package of Lifesavers, the risk of dissatisfaction is insignificant. But if that person is buying a computer system for his company, this risk factor is greatly magnified. Whenever you are selling a product that has a high price on it, you must be aware that risk enters into the buyer’s calculations immediately.
2. Number of people affected. The second of the four risk factors is the number of people who will be affected by a buying decision. Almost every complex buying decision involves several people. There are the people who must use the product or service. There are the people who must pay for the product or service. There are the people who are dependent on the performance of the product or service. If a buyer is extremely sensitive to the opinions of others, this factor alone can cause her to put off a buying decision.