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Decision-making Process

WOM Meets Customers Head-On

    Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision-making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision-making process.

    They are:

    1. Give the product a chance and transitions from a “no” to a “maybe”.
    2. Check out the options and investigate the different products available.
    3. Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features, and operations to see if there is a fit with their needs.
    4. Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will be discriminate with their first product as they form their opinion of you.
    5. Purchases again and starts spreading positive word of mouth as an advocate of your products.

    So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.

    From “No” to “Maybe”

    This stage is really important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees, and incentives.

    Investigating Your Products

    At this stage, they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit their life. This is where you need to make sure your hard information is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.

    Trial Period

    Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”

    Make a Purchase

    At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost-effective and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage, a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”

    Advocates for Your Products

    At this last stage of decision making the customer is immensely pleased with your product and often keeps using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day and have already (or will be) back to your establishment for more.

    We talked a minute ago about the different types of purchasers. Now we are going to take a closer look at their characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision-making process.

    The Innovator

    • Wants to stand out from the crowd
    • Know what’s hot and trendy
    • Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
    • Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it animatedly

    Early Adopter

    • Driven by excellence
    • More concerned with possibilities than realities
    • Always looking to be a leader
    • Always looking for a new vision

    Middle Majority

    • Wants to be perceived as competent
    • Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
    • Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
    • Wants products that meet the industry standard

    Late Majority

    • Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
    • Needs to shop around for the best deal
    • Needs a support system
    • Wants what everyone else has

    Laggard

    • Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
    • Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
    • Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
    • Will search for loopholes and problems
    • Wants to use it in the standard industry way

    As you can see, each type of consumer wants something just a little different depending on their personality type.

    The key to successful word of mouth is to target and cater to each type of consumer. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, book your discovery session and talk with one of our amazing coaches.

    Next time we’ll talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and what you can do to help facilitate that.

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      Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:

      • What do people really want to buy from me?
      • What related products are they already buying?

      Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.

      Basic Concept

      The basic concept is this:

      You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.

      Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.
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        Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers.

        These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

        Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality, and branding position.

        Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

        1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
        2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported by their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note for your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
        3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
        4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

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          1. In person: It’s essential you meet with customers/clients in person whenever possible. Most of all, this shows you respect them and take the time to work with your clients to give personal attention to each of them.
          2. Follow up letter: Always take a moment to send a follow-up letter about what you talked about, new agreements or partnerships made and to thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
            Likewise, you should always send thank you letters or small gifts to partners you find success with.
          3. Phone call: Use a telephone call to follow up with them to talk again about the matters you talked about in your meeting and offer any assistance you can to help their business run smoothly and more successfully.

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