Why New Customers Are Not Buying

When you want to attract new customers it doesn’t always go to plan. new customers buying

Sometimes they will not buy. And there are usually a number of reasons why not.

One common one these days has to do with what you offer.

Instead of guessing why they do not buy you can use a simple approach that may benefit your business.

Customer Needs

I believe it is a myth customers do not know what they want to do and what their needs are.

They know what tasks they want to do and what they want to achieve. They also know which needs are most important to them to get done. When you think about it customers leave clues for you to pick and follow.

Just like you do.

They only seek out solutions such as products or services to help them achieve outcomes.

These outcomes are their own measurements of success. There can be a number of them for each task and often they are not want you may think is important.

Where your business can run into problems is because the products or services are focused on needs that are satisfied. This means the outcomes that customers use to measure success are well catered for.

Or they are focused on satisfying needs that are not important to customers. For example, many articles are written about the importance to having a blog for small businesses. However, for many small businesses this need to produce content is not important to them.


This is about discovering their unmet needs that are currently not being satisfied and it needs to be from a customers’ perspective.

With so many products or services available, customers seek simplicity. For this reason if your product or service can replace others and lessen customer stress you can increase sales.

By looking at unmet needs means, you get away from offering the same products or services as other businesses and set your products and services to be the solutions they seek.


The way to see how to turn this problem of trying to get new customers into a growth opportunity is to do some analysis.

Look at the tasks your customers are trying to get done, how important they are and whether there are needs that are not satisfied. And look at what ways they measure success.

Ideally you need to look at your competitors as well as they are potential solutions customers look at.

Once you do the analysis, you can diagnose whether this is a reason why new customers are not buying. If it is then you have the opportunity to make changes and get new customers.

An example of a task is when you need to book an appointment to get your haircut. One outcome you are looking for is to minimise the time it takes to get the appointment. There are many hairdressing places around but most take bookings only by phone. This can mean you can’t book after hours or you may get voicemail if they are busy.

A business I know now offers online booking and others around the area do not. Problem solved so the outcome of reducing time is now satisfied. This is an example how using simplicity can grow your business.

Over to you: Have you ever done this type of analysis? Do you know which outcomes are currently not satisfied.

Do you want to get new customers? If you do, I can help. Click Here to see how.

 photo credit: Jill via photopin cc

19 Responses to Why New Customers Are Not Buying

  1. Why is customer service orientation important?How many times have you been disappointed in the way you have been treated by an organisation? Maybe you had to wait to be served for a long time, or the person serving you didn’t smile at all. Perhaps you received an unapologetic response to something which went wrong. You were probably so disappointed that you have not used their services since. Unless you have no choice in the matter it is unlikely that you would want to use their services again. But in the majority of cases now we do have a wider choice, and with business becoming more globalised, as well as communications being a lot easier, we can have better access to products and services. Even if the customer is not wholly satisfied with a product or service, if excellent, efficient customer service is offered, they will be more likely to return to you, which is good for business. Remember no customers means no business.If you understand your customers, you can better determine which of your products or services are more suitable for them and you can even develop and deliver a more tailored product or service.

  2. Providing great customer service is not that difficult, is it? IBM founder Thomas Watson is attributed with saying, “if you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work. Words to live by! Customers want to work with those businesses who demonstrate a sincere desire to help them with anything they need, and they are willing to pay for it. Yes, they want products to work and services that meet their needs. More importantly though, they want someone to care when something goes wrong.

  3. I have an online promotional products business. I could see people on the backend but couldn’t understand why more of them were not buying. Finally someone was nice enough to call to let us know that the check out process of the site wasn’t working. This was a big lesson. We were trying to come up with all kinds of ideas what was wrong. Sometimes the situation is right under you nose, but we tend to look at things and think it has to be a big problem. You wrote:
    Look at the tasks your customers are trying to get done, how important they are and whether there are needs that are not satisfied. Well in my case they couldn’t get what they wanted done. I did enjoy your article.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story Rudee and it was great that someone called you so you could fix the problem. Your comment about thinking it has to be a big problem is so true and your story is a good reminder to check the basics occasionally to make sure everything is working.

  4. There is some great advice in this post. As always you need to do your research and get to the root of the problem.
    I think we know what we want in general. Businesses just need to know how to tap into that.

  5. Hi Susan,
    You say it’s a myth that customers don’t know what they want. I’d suggest what they really don’t know is exactly how to get it. That’s what people need. A solution for achieving their needs and desires.

    • Hi Heather,

      In some cases I agree with you Heather and often because there are no ready solutions. I perhaps should included in that sentence the words “to do”. Can you share an example.

  6. I guess I’m certainly the type of customer who isn’t likely to buy if I can’t order something online. Most of my doctors and my hair stylist now use text reminders, and the place where I board my dog allows customers to make reservations online. There’s a great restaurant I recently discovered, but since they only take reservations by phone and not with the Open Table app, I know it’s unlikely I will become a repeat customer.

    • Hi Jeri, more people are wanting to simplify the booking process and these days it is pretty simple to do. It is interesting your example of the new restaurant and did you tell them about the Open Table App?

  7. Yes I have, The challenge is how to best go about it. On a blog there are very few things that haven’t been done or aren’t being done at the moment, what that means is to set myself apart form the others in my niche, do it better, prettier or do something engages my audience. My big push right now is to podcast my stories, streaming my illustrations. We shall see if that is something that others will desire. I have been told it was so. We shall see. 🙂

    We really do know what we want. It takes creativity and a good understanding of the ever shifting desire of the general population. 🙂

    • Hi Susan, it is great that people have told you they want a podcast and am sure it will be one worth listening to. And you are right about how to do it but as you mentioned it involves creativity.

  8. Susan — I spent many years on both the client and agency side. When an agency claims “they will get to know the company better than the company does” it’s a ridiculous statement. The minute the agency rep steps out the client’s door something can happen to to change the business, so the agency is never up to date unless the client tells them. Listen to the client and what s/he wants. Too many ad/PR agency people also bad mouth clients who they think are too stupid to have any creative ideas. I was on the receiving end of that (attitude shows) and also saw it my agencies. I didn’t allow it when I managed accounts. There has to be mutual respect between client and agency and you get to know what the client wants and needs by always asking and getting feedback on your performance.

    • Hi Jeannette,

      I agree with you. I spent most of my time as a client and the ad agencies who we had great relationships with they never new all about our business. They couldn’t and even if I told them as they didn’t have the knowledge or experience to contribute on many fronts including business and overall marketing strategy. That said the ones I valued most were excellent at looking at our communication needs. In all product launches and brand communication they were always involved with the market researcher when we were trying to get consumer insights.

      Funny how you brought up about bad mouthing clients. I joined a company as GM Marketing and went to a meeting with my Marketing Manager and Product Managers. The Creative Director tried to put down my Marketing Manager (which I had been told he had done many times), basically saying any ideas he had or any contributions were stupid. In the meeting I let them know the reality and if they wanted to keep our business they will show respect and they do not know everything. Needless to say he never did it again.

      I bet your clients appreciated your approach as I would have if I had been your client.

      Thanks Jeannette for sharing your experience and approach. Much appreciated.

    • How true!!

      When I was in a buying type role, I was so cheesed off at salesmen and consultants either speak to me like I was an idiot, try and sell me something I didn’t need because they didn’t listen to my needs, or try and sell me something when it was obvious I had far more knowledge about the product/service than they did!

      In this fantastic age of information, our customers are so much more switched on about what is available in the marketplace than just a couple of years ago.

      • Hi Mark,

        The age of information certainly has changed many things and thanks for sharing your experience with salesmen and consultant which many others no doubt can relate to.

  9. Susan, I agree with you generally speaking that, I quote you: “it is a myth customers do not know what they want or what their needs are”.

    But there are exceptions, such as the iphone when it was introduced. How could they know they wanted something that didn’t exist.

    And when it comes to small companies expanding globally they can be on the wrong track because of not knowing the markets they believe would be good for their products.

    • Hi Catartina,

      Customers did know what they wanted to do and they weren’t thinking of solutions. For example the tasks they wanted to do was get emails, surf the net, listen to music etc. Until the IPhone they could do those tasks but not always on the go and had to use different devices. Until IPhone their needs were sort of satisfied but not in a simple way. What Apple did was help customers achieve all of those tasks with one solution, the IPhone.

      I agree with you about global expansion and it does take research to make sure you have the full understanding.