Understanding The Affirmation Stage
The Affirmation stage is the culmination of the first 4 stages of the Buddy System - the moment where you make your first offer to your listener.
In a dating scenario, you would think of this as the first kiss...
In a friendship, you’d think of it as the first time they do you a favor...
The Affirmation Stage is a test of how well your fan relationship has been developed so far. If a fan takes your offer and becomes a customer, then that means you have ‘succeeded’ at the Affirmation stage with regards to that particular fan relationship.
The threshold between non-customer and customer can be marked by two core barriers:
- You need to have a good tech stack so that you can easily make an offer (and your fan can easily buy that offer)
- You need a creative offer that is too good to resist - a "dream-come-true" offer
The first purchase that fans make in the Affirmation stage is unlike any other purchase - it represents the overcoming of significant friction and resistance to form a permanent bond. This purchase is the sole transaction with your fan where trust is at its lowest (they don't know what will happen), resistance is at its highest (they don't want to take unsure action), and friction can have the most impact.
For this reason, Affirmation stage offers or "entry-level offers" must be incredibly enticing, easy to understand, easy to consume, easy to purchase, and, typically, low-cost.
By crafting such an offer, you can remove as much friction as possible. Once a fan has become a customer, trust is verified by the process of receiving the item safe and sound. Psychological barriers become wind at your back - customers buy on instinct and justify purchases on the back-end. And, most importantly, a fan actually supported you with a purchase and the world didn't collapse - everything turned out OK.
Affirmation is about securing and ensuring this first purchase as a "dream-come-true" experience so that the remainder of your relationship with fans after Affirmation can be easy, effective, and valuable for all parties involved.
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