The experts at Inc. magazine say more-patient sales practices are the way of the future. Some companies are avoiding high-pressure sales tactics and using techniques that shift the burden over to the buyer.

The companies have decided that letting customers control the buying process is the best way to prevent buyer’s remorse and returns.

Instead of feeling pressured, time, tools and information are lavished on the customer. Buyers are relaxed and unhurried when making the buying decision at their own pace.

While the companies used in these examples are Web based, their deliberate style of slow selling includes ideas that could be used in other types of businesses.

* One seller of eyeglasses removes the pressure of choosing frames by using technology, instead of a salesperson standing by. The customer uploads his or her photo to a website, where they can take as much time as they like to see how they look in any of the eyeglass frames.

* The Kaplan Commitment program ensures that students make an informed decision before paying for school. Kaplan lets them enroll in classes for over a month and determine if the courses are the right fit to meet their needs.

The slow selling trend is designed to reduce the costs of post-purchase regret and returns, customer service time, negative feedback and loss of future sales. Getting a customer to buy takes more time, but the technique empowers the customer to contemplate, choose and commit.

According to Inc. advisors, the lifetime value of a customer is defined not by how much he or she buys, but by how strongly he or she attaches to and defends a brand choice.

For the Web savvy shopper, the more perfect alignment of information means the responsibility is now theirs to be satisfied. If customers are treated with patience and the reins of the sales process are handed over to them, they will take care of the rest.

Joe Kern  is Vice President of  Marketing/Customer Service at PagePath Technologies. PagePath was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Plano, Illinois. PagePath’s MyOrderDesk is an eCommerce solution that combines, Web-to-Print, automated proofing, pricing, reordering and more. It seamlessly integrates into a printing organization’s existing website or can be used as a standalone site. MyOrderDesk is known throughout the printing industry as the leader in Web-to-Print software.