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3 Keys to Understanding a Buyer's Journey

I know this may come as a shock, but your customers don’t want to be closed. They don’t want the fancy demos, free mugs with your face on them, or even huge discounts. Your buyers want to know why your products will work for them. They crave information!

While not everybody you meet will be immediately ready to buy, customers all come to you for a reason. Understanding where they are at gives you the ability to know what to say and when to say it. This can be the difference between a happy customer or a furious enemy.

What exactly is a buyer’s journey?

Every customer who buys a product or service goes through three separate phases in order to make a final choice: awareness, consideration, and decision. Here is a real life example.

Awareness: Your customer realizes that they have an issue. Maybe even an issue with tissues.

Consideration: Should I buy Kleenex, or should I go cheap and buy the knockoff brand? What’s the big difference? Will my wife be able to tell if I go cheap and shove them inside an old Kleenex box?

Decision: I don’t want to spend a ton of money on tissues. I would rather save up for a new ATV (hopefully my wife won’t notice the difference).

While an issue with tissue may not seem like a very big deal, customers will go through this process (sometimes many times) before making a final decision. Let’s dive deeper into each phase for a clear understanding of what the customer is thinking along the way inspiration.

Phase 1: Awareness

Pardot, a powerful marketing automation team, has this to say about the awareness phase:

“At the beginning of the buyer’s journey, your buyer is most likely unaware of two things: your company, and the fact that they have a need.”
During the awareness phase your buyer is still trying to define their problem. They are subconsciously thinking about what’s wrong with their current situation, and if there is a solution to their problem. This is not the time to try to sell something. This is the perfect opportunity for you to inform. But how can you teach someone who doesn’t really know exactly what they need? Start by asking the right questions.
  • How does a buyer describe their pain or conflict?
  • Where do buyers turn to for information?
  • Are there common fantasies or fallacies that buyers have for overcoming problems?
  • How does your buyer decide which problems to focus on first?

Phase 2: Consideration

During this phase your buyer is weighing the options between their many choices. What makes your product different from any other on the shelf?

Again, you are going to want to lay off trying to make a sale. Your buyer now knows that they have a problem. They understand some of their options. Now they are diving into the nitty-gritty of each potential product or service. Here are a few of the common questions that pop up during this phase.
  • What separates a good product from a great product?
  • Is this product/service really worth the extra money?
  • How does this product relate to similar products?
  • Do I have any reason to trust this product over any other product?
  • Will this service meet all my needs?
  • How do I know if I’m buying the right product?
These are just a few of the questions that will pop up for your buyers. Again, resist the urge to sell. Instead, provide even more information. Better information leads to better sales. Why? Because your buyer will only buy from you if they can trust you. And they learn to trust you from what you say about how your service will meet their specific needs.

Offer free EBooks, webinars, classes, brochures, and templates to teach and inform your customer about your solution to their problems. Dive deeper into customer research and give your buyer a clear reason to choose you through information.

Phase 3: Decision

Your buyer has now collected a crap ton of data about products or services that could potentially meet their needs. How is the final decision made? Is it by chance, luck, or complete randomness that a buyer picks your product over another? Let’s hope not!

Marketer Tom DiScipio explains that “as we come to the end of a buyer’s journey, he’ll have built up enough trust and confidence in a particular vendor to make his ultimate buying decision.”

The buyer’s decision really comes down to one thing--TRUST!

What makes a person trust your products over your competition? It’s just as much about your product as it is about how you conduct yourself outside the office. Here are a couple of questions going through your buyer’s mind when they make their decision:
  • Do you have experience or a proven track record in this field?
  • Has this product worked for other buyer’s in the past?
  • Do you understand clearly my problems and conflicts?
  • Do you have examples, or success stories of your products in the real world?
  • Is the price right?

Conclusion

A buyer really makes his final decision based on one thing--trust!

Your job as an entrepreneur is to build that trust with solid information.

The right information at the right time can persuade your buyer to continue reading more about your company until you make the final cut. Gradually increase the amount of information and vary the type of information depending upon your buyer’s journey:

Phase 1: Awareness
Blogs
Videos
Infographics

Phase 2: Consideration
EBooks
Webinars
Articles

Phase 3: Decision
White papers
Case studies
Reports
Testimonials
Sales pages

SOURCES
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pardot.com/buyer-journey/

DiScipio, T. (n.d.). What is the Buyer's Journey? Retrieved from https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/what-is-the-buyers-journey

Hintz, L. (n.d.). What Is the Buyer's Journey? Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/what-is-the-buyers-journey

Lang, P. (2017, August 25). Buyer's Journey Stages: Types of Content to Create for Each. Retrieved from https://uhurunetwork.com/buyers-journey-stages/

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