The buyer’s journey is the research process any buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. Every industry is different, and every company we work with is different, but all buyers go through the same basic process before they make a decision to buy something.
It’s often hard to think of going through a process on everything you buy, but you do. Whether you buy a toothbrush or a airplane. The more complicated the purchase or the more it costs relative to the value you perceive, the longer the process will take.
Your company goals and your buyer personas should affect how you help prospective clients go through this journey. There are four main categories to the Buyer’s Journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Delight. What’s more important is that they flow from one to another and if, in the delight phase, you do your job right, they will become aware of other needs and other offerings from you and roll through the process again and again.
This is when the buyer first starts to realize they have an issue but have not quite defined it yet. They might even gain a tiny bit of awareness of who you are and what you do.
Tip for helping your client through the awareness stage.
They are not ready to be sold to or be offered your specific products and solutions yet. Content and communication during this stage should focus on helping them understand their problem and the importance of fixing it. What is at stake if they don’t fix it? What can they gain if they start looking for a solution?
This is when the buyer clearly defines the issue and is ready to research possible solutions.
Tip for helping your client through the consideration stage.
Now is an okay time to start talking about specific solutions you provide. But this should still be a soft sell. Meet each of their pains and gains with your product or services solutions and be helpful in comparing your solutions to all other potential solutions on the market and position your unique selling points or value proposition.
This is when the buyer decides on a solution and is ready to buy. By the end of this stage, your client will have made their decision and signed the contract or given you their money.
Tip for helping your client through the decision stage.
This is often the first time a buyer will talk to an actual sales representative or reached out to talk to anyone, for that matter. Make sure the sales messages are in line with the marketing messages they’ve been receiving through the other phases of the journey (no bait and switch!). Be ready to be helpful, answer questions and really begin to forge a relationship with the prospect. Remember, people don’t buy from companies, they buy from people.
This is where really have an opportunity to shine. If you can’t keep your customer happy then nothing else will matter.
Tip for helping your client through the delight stage.
Focus on what’s best for your client. Own your mistakes and do everything in your power to never see those mistakes again. Take care of your customer and they will not only repeat their business with you but invite others to join them.
In short: leading a customer through their buyer’s journey is how we help a website visitor become a prospect, a prospect become a lead, and a lead become a customer. Then it’s time to delight your customer and help them buy more from you more often and even refer additional business to you.