7 Steps to a Customer
Whether someone is walking past your store or discovers you online, there are seven steps that that a person takes to become a customer. While it is not possible for a business to control all these steps, there is much they can do to smooth the journey.
Before Discovery, a person will not know you exist, let alone what it is you do. They may not even be currently in the market for what you have to sell but still have the potential to be once they know more. So, before any sale, you have to be discovered. This means, a business has to make it easy to be discovered, even if the person is not yet ready to buy. What are you doing to make Discovery easier for potential customers?
Discovery by a potential buyer, doesn’t mean they know what it is you do. They may be vaguely aware you sell widgets, but have no idea what kind. So on Discovery, this is a not to be missed opportunity to raise Awareness of the range of widgets you offer. The person may still not be ready to buy, but they now know if ever they need a widget, that you sell them and they might be suitable. What are you doing to increase Awareness upon Discovery?
3. Top of Mind
Awareness doesn’t last. You are quickly forgotten unless you reach Top of Mind. It can take six contacts to make a sale. Strategies should be developed to maintain Awareness so that the person, who may not yet be ready to buy, when they think of widgets, they think of you. What are you doing to stay Top of Mind?
At some point, perhaps through your Top of Mind Awareness strategies, or just through changes in personal circumstance, people start to see the need for a widget in their life. They heard about them from you, and your competitors, perhaps also through word of mouth, and can start to see the benefits of owning a widget. What are you doing to increase Desire for your products and services to move them into the marketplace for your products and services?
While the person may now be desirous of widget ownership, they may still not be ready to buy because they don’t know enough about them. This is particularly important for complex and high priced services. At this stage, the person may actively undertake research about widget options and how they work. The internet makes this easier than ever. What are you doing to ensure that you are the prime provider of the information they need to educate themselves about these products and services?
For a complex sale, a buyer might have a poor understanding of the value of the purchase. Their starting point therefore will be to focus on price. By this time you will have built a relationship with the buyer who has begun to trust your advice and respect your expertise on widgets. It is an opportunity to explain the points of difference and the value of Your widgets. What are you doing to communicate your value to your buyers?
At this stage, the buyer desires a widget, understands their benefits and is informed about how they work, and has come to you, because they recognise your expertise and the value you provide. All that remains is for you to ask for the sale. Do you ask for the sale?
Review each of the seven steps, and ask yourself what strategies you are employing for each. The time cycle will vary greatly depending on the nature of the sale, with stages in some cases barely separated, but these are the steps any person traverses before they answer the question you pose in the final step.
May Your Business Be – As You Plan It.
Dr Greg Chapman – The Profit Whisperer
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