Have you ever put on a buyer’s shoes? Did they fit or were they too big or too small? Or did they pinch and hurt? It is the high time you tried to fit them perfectly!
To understand the pains and problems your buyers experience during their path to purchase, you must understand their journey. It is indisputable that today’s buyer is more informed than ever before, simply because of the immense amount of information that is available in a blink.
As a seller, you ought to understand the pain, frustrations, and problems your buyers go through and also acquaint yourself with the influencing factors that inform their thinking and decision making, throughout the journey. By understanding the buyer’s journey, you will empathize with the buyer better, and learn to place their preferred products and services along that path.
A seller should have the mindset of solving a problem, as opposed to selling. The best way to achieve this is when you are familiar with who the buyer is, and the journey they take on their route to buying from you. It is also good practice to try and understand the upheavals your buyers might have gone through before the sales process so that you can adequately handle them. In addition, ensure that you have a unique selling proposition that provides value to the buyer, and also sets you apart and ahead of competition.
The process of getting to know how your buyers buy is invaluable as you craft or enhance your sales process. You will be in a better position to identify with your prospects, handle objections, and provide the right information at the right time, thereby helping you close more deals and win more business.
What is the buyer journey?
The buyer’s journey defines a buyer’s path to purchase. Buyers just don’t wake up and make that decision to buy on a craze. They normally go through a process of first become aware of a need. They then consider, and finally decide to buy a product or a service.
The buyer’s journey takes these three stages:
1. The awareness stage, where the buyer becomes aware that they have a problem. At the awareness stage, the buyer is undergoing a problem or a pain, and they aim to solve it. At this stage, the buyer looks for information sources so that they can clearly understand and put a name to their problem.
Example: Why can I not learn to cook?
At the awareness stage, buyers are describing the challenge or opportunity they want to pursue. They are also deciding whether or not, the goal or challenge should be a priority.
What you should be asking yourself as a seller at this stage:
– How do my buyers describe their goals or challenges in the context of my business?
– How are my buyers informing themselves about these goals or challenges? How are they educating themselves?
– What will be the consequences of inaction by my buyer?
After asking yourself, consider creating the informational or educational type of content required, and not sales. Sales collateral that informs them along their path to purchase. Provide them with resources to help them define the problem. Help!
2. The consideration stage. Here the buyer describes their problem or pain and contemplates ways to solve and that way, they will have clearly defined and given a name to their problem. They are devoted to looking for all the ways and comprehending all of the available methods and ways of solving the defined pain or opportunity.
Example: “How do I become a professional chef?
At the consideration stage, buyers have clearly defined their goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They are now evaluating different approaches or techniques available, to chase the goal or solve their challenge.
At this stage you should be asking yourself these questions:
– What types of solutions do my buyers investigate?
– How do my buyers learn or inform themselves on the different categories?
– How do my buyers perceive the highs and lows of each type of solution
– How do my buyers decide which type is right for them?
At the consideration stage, you should try to understand exactly how your product or service solves your buyer’s problem, compared to your competitors. Consider how your competitors are showing up in the marketplace and how they influence perception, and consequently provide the buyer with information to help them determine the solution that is ideal and right for them.
3. The decision stage: Here, the buyer makes a decision and selects the right supplier to give a solution to that problem or pain. What is the buyer doing during this stage? The buyer has decided on their solution strategy, technique, or method. Their aim now is to list available solution providers or vendors, and ultimately make a final purchase decision.
Example: “Where can I study to be a professional chef? How much will they charge me?”
At the decision stage, buyers have already made up their minds on a solution category and are now evaluating providers or suppliers. For example, they may have come up with a pros/cons list of the different options available, so that they can decide on the one that best meets their need.
As a seller you should be asking yourself:
– What criteria do buyers use to evaluate the different available solutions?
– When buyers investigate the services of our company:
• What do they like about it compared to others?
• What disquiets or concerns do they have with it?
Be sure to conduct a few interviews with clients, prospects, and other sales people at your company to get a sense of the buying journey. This will enable you to have a deeper understanding of your buyer.
Remember that buyers do not like to be prospected, lured into, or closed when they are not ready. These steps add zero value, from the buyers’ perspective when offered at the wrong time.