Get More Business By Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

By Bryan Mason

The Buyer’s Journey is the process or “journey” a customer goes through to buy something. Sometime this is called the Buying Cycle. This journey can be very short such as finding and going to a restaurant. Selecting a restaurant can occur a few minutes to a few weeks before the purchase. Other journeys can take as much as six months such as selecting a new car or contracting for a kitchen remodel. Finally, some cycles can be a year or longer such as with buying a new house. It is important to understand the Buyer’s Journey so that you can provide the right information at the right time and are able to identify which prospective customers need your attention at any given moment.

 

There are four phases to the Buyer’s Journey:

Awareness – The awareness phase of the Buyer’s Journey is sometimes called the inspiration. In this phase, the prospective customer recognizes that they have a need or desire. You need to position your brand as a possible solution or a way to fulfill a need.

Consideration/Justification – In this phase, the prospective customer begins to gather more information. Many buyers start looking for this information by typing in some keywords using Google. So in this phase, you want to make available educational material, customer reviews, testimonials, and be mentioned by influencers relevant to your industry. Social media is key for consumer products. Towards the end of this phase, customers begin to prioritize their purchase considerations.

Decision/Purchase – This is the phase in which you need to have the most interaction with the customer. This is where you brag about your product and demonstrate that your prospective customer is going to have a positive customer experience. In retail, the customer experience will make or break the sale. This is where your customer decides. You are going for the joy of purchase!

Evangelizing – If you have done everything right up to now and been lucky enough to get the sale, the customer leaves happy that they have found just what they were looking for. But don’t forget this step. This is where you get your customer to tell all his/her friends and colleagues using social media. You want positive reviews on Google and Yelp. Your aim is to get each satisfied customer to help you get more customers by evangelizing about your product or service. The goal is to provide the right information just when the prospective customer wants it. If you have a business selling big ticket items, you will want to get some information about the prospect such as an email and/or phone so that you can keep the prospect informed about specials, product developments and the like. This way you can reach out by providing information and determine by any response whether a prospect is getting ready to make a decision.

Using a customer relationship management system will greatly simplify this process and allow you to track when emails are opened, etc. If you have a short cycle, you want to provide layers of information on-line or in person to allow the person to drill down depending on where they are in their journey.

By mastering these phases you can greatly increase your closing effectiveness because you will be able to nurture your leads and be there to close the sale at the right moment. In addition, by paying attention to the responsiveness of a lead, you will be able to prioritize the prospects that you are more likely to close.

 

 

Bryan B Mason Principal The Apollo Consulting Group LLC Mr. Mason founded the Apollo Consulting Group in 2008 to help small and mid-sized companies in solving their challenges. Mr. Mason brings over thirty years of corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries. He possesses skills in general business management, analysis, strategy development, marketing, finance/budgeting, operations, pricing optimization, workflow optimization, process reengineering, project management, and information technology. Mr. Mason has two degrees in Economics and was a Volunteer Mentor for the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE). He writes a weekly blog on his company website at www.apollogr.com/blog.

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