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Customers don’t just go out and buy. Buying is a process, and in its simplest form it goes something like this…First your customers must recognize that they have a problem (“I’m thirsty”). Then they search for information about how to solve this problem (“where’s the nearest soda machine?”). They might evaluate alternatives (“maybe I’d rather have coffee”). Finally they’ll make a decision (“forget it – I’ll just head to the drinking fountain and have some water”).

By studying your customers' typical buying process, you can gain valuable information for your sales and marketing programs.



UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS' BUYING PROCESS


If you’ve never thought about how your customers make their buying decisions, now’s a good time to start. Why? Because this information can be key to creating a truly successful sales process – and the effective marketing materials you’ll need to drive it. For example, if you know that potential customers want to see detailed technical specs for each of your products, you can make sure that the links to this information are prominently displayed on every page of your website.

In general, you should try to find out…

Process: What is your customers’ typical buying process? Depending on your business, customers might obtain purchasing pre-approval, do research, get bids, seek referrals, get financing, etc. How many people are involved in the buying decision? At what point in the process do these other people enter the picture?

Information Needs: What information do your customers typically need in order to make a buying decision? Do they understand how your product or service will solve their problems or improve their lives? Are they looking for price information? How about reviews from previous customers? Do you need to provide a thorough explanation of how your service works? Will your money-back guarantee put them at ease?  

Motivation: What motivates people to buy the products or services that you offer instead of doing nothing? What problems can be solved by making this purchase? How pressing are these problems? A person who is looking for the nearest Urgent Care Center to treat a broken leg will be much more motivated to make a purchase than someone who is talking to a door-to-door magazine salesperson. Before you can convince potential customers that your widget is the best one out there, you first need to convince them that buying a widget is a better decision than not buying anything at all.



CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: PRECISION CHIROPRACTIC

Precision Chiropractic specializes in detecting and removing upper cervical subluxation, using the Blair Specific Protocol. Needless to say, a big issue in their patients’ “buying process” is understanding what all of this means, how this differs from other chiropractic methods, and what it can mean for their health. The website that I wrote for them addresses all of this, motivating potential patients to give Precision Chiropractic a call.



What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon