Let’s suppose you were tired of being alone and decided it was time for a spouse. With the decision made you go shopping and buy the latest expensive fashion, killer shoes, spend all afternoon in the salon, buy an expensive fragrance, geo-select a bar in a highly affluent zip code, enter the bar, walk up to the first candidate you see sitting alone and ask them to marry you?
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But how often do we follow this same method when trying to complete a sales transaction with a stranger. It just doesn’t work very well. Like in the marriage proposal example, we must build into our marketing strategy the time and content needed for a prospective customer to travel from being a stranger to becoming a customer. This is called the Buyer’s Journey.
Frustration is a great motivator. We don’t start looking for solutions until the level of frustration we feel is stronger than the desire to ignore the problem. This is as true for you as the provider of products and services as it is for the potential buyer.
How often are you frustrated as you try to differentiate your company from the other companies that may provide a similar or even identical product? How often is the potential buyer frustrated with the overwhelming amount of information that is needed to communicate why your company is superior? Just like finding a spouse, it may take a little time for you and your customers to build a positive relationship and understand each other.
The six steps of the Buyers Journey:
1. When a potential buyer starts this journey they are likely under pressure and motivated by a problem that is causing them some level of angst. They may not even have a name for their problem but they Google until they find a label and receive a boost of confidence.
2. Confident, that if they can name it they can find a way to solve it, they keep searching. The number one goal of your digital marketing strategy is to have your website optimized to attract strangers and increase the chances that your company’s solution will be one of the first solutions they find.
3. The right content and design on your website keeps relief flooding through their mind as they start to realize they found what they needed? But wait, they have never heard of your company and a little skepticism starts to creep back in. They are not yet ready to commit to doing business with you. Note, if the only people that are coming to your website already know about you, your web site is broken. You simply have to attract strangers for your business to grow!
4. Potential buyers may go through a skeptical phase where their objections to your solution needs to be resolved. Can they trust your company? Do they believe that you have the right skills or expertise? Will you really deliver the right solution on time and at the right price?
5. The branding of your company, the educational content you provide, testimonials from adoring customers and the level of trustworthiness your digital image presents will be critical for stepping potential buyers from skepticism to confidence leading to a purchase decision.
6. Statistically, this buyer’s journey may take 10 to 15 web visits, page views or touches. If your website analytics show most visitors hit 1 or 2 pages and then leave you may have a huge opportunity for improvement. Creating relevant educational website content in addition to blogging and social media create opportunities for potential buyers to build confidence and maybe even fall in love with your brand. Perhaps, not only becoming a customer but an advocate.
In summary, effectively attracting strangers, building trust through good web site design and educational content, followed by providing exceptional solutions will result in delighted customers that love your brand and will become your advocates. We hope you enjoyed this overview of the buyer’s journey and have received insight that will help you gain additional new business and close more sales.
At Open Path we are passionate about helping you grow your business and would love to meet you and hear your story.