In two recent articles, we touched on the importance of simplifying the buying process and ensuring that you have emotional messages at every stage of that process. If you haven’t mapped out the steps that a prospect goes through when she or he chooses your firm, now is a great time to do that.
Your buying cycle should include at least these stages:
Attraction/Initiation – Your prospect starts to see your name (on social media, in articles, at an event, etc.) or realizes they have a need and begins to research providers and finds you that way.
Research/Narrowing the Criteria – Your prospect researches you and other firms and/or clarifies what they need as time passes and their need becomes more insistent.
Evaluation – Your prospect has reduced the number of potential firms to only a few or one vs. the status quo.
Negotiation/Closing – Remember that until the sale is closed, you may still be in competition with the status quo. This is also a stage where your prospect may need to drive more buy-in at their company.
Delight/Promotion – Your client becomes a referral source. Make sure you go beyond just delivering service and don’t forget to give them emotional information that validates their decision, makes them look good inside their company and motivates them to share.
For each stage of the cycle, you need to create clear, easy, prospect-focused messages that they can share with others in their decision-making process.
We know it’s a tall order to take highly complex matters of accounting, law or engineering and turn them into simple answers – but today it’s more important than ever. And the great news is that once you’ve invested the time and effort to help your prospective buyers understand in plain terms what you can do for them and why they’ll love working with you – you get an extra dose of gratitude from them for making their lives easier and saving them effort and time.