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understanding the buying cycle

Conversion: Helping customers through the buying cycle

Business is all about converting prospects into customers.  In Christianity, we understand that there is a process that people go through to come to know Jesus; it is called conversion.  They must become aware of their need for salvation.  They must understand what Christ did for them.  They must submit to the fact that He is the only way to Heaven.  That is a simple process of conversion.

Customers go through a similar process when deciding to do business with a new company.  When you understand the process, you can help your prospects become great customers.  Just think of it this way, conversion is helping a customers move through the buying cycle so they can become better customers.  Every customers goes through this process at some level.

Here is a quick understanding of the customer buying cycle:

  • Potential customer becomes aware of a problem, product or a need for a service.
  • Potential customer researches solutions.
  • Potential customer compares solutions and businesses.
  • Potential customer purchases product.
  • Customer must be engaged for retention.

Understanding that potential customers come to your business at different points in the buying cycle helps you determine what needs to happen to help a customer become a customer for life.  As part of your sales system within your business, you want to understand how to better serve customer in all of these levels.  You want them to know, like and trust you.

What is buyer conversion?

Conversion is simply getting a potential customer to take the next step in the buying cycle.  At each point in the cycle, your potential customer is making a decision to come closer to being your customer or deciding not to do business with you.  You want to make every effort possible to not only get them ‘in the door,’ but also, get them to buy something.

There are many factors that we cannot control.  A potential customer just may not like the color of your logo, or your face may remind them of someone they used to know.  We are not worried about those kinds of things.  We want to focus on the things we can control.

Converting starts with education.

Today’s modern consumers quickly go online to research solutions and new businesses.  They do their work before ever coming to your business.  Depending on the industry upwards of 89% of customer will go online to check out a company before doing business with them.  That means not having a strong online presence including reviews, social media, a blog and a solid web page is crucial.

It may seem like a lot to do to keep up with the modern consumer, but it does not have to be hard.  I highly suggest having a blog.  It helps customers who become aware, do research and are comparing.  It covers the educational process a customer goes through and can help your business no matter what you do. (Read more articles about blogging here)

Start the conversion process simply.

Let’s keep it simple.  Start by writing one blog a week for your webpage, once you have evaluated the effectiveness of your webpage.  Make sure you post to social media about your new post, which can be automated with the right tools like JetPack for WordPress and IFTTT.com.

The reason you write a blog is to make customers aware of the fact that you know what you are talking about.  You want to share relevant articles, news stories and stories from inside your company, like case studies.  It is not about selling, it is about educating.  As you can see by reviewing the buying cycle above, more than half of the process involves education.

Conclusion

Consumers are doing their research so you want to give them all you can to help them in their process.  All of the ads in the world will not help customers buy from you unless you can stand out from the crowd and help your customer make an informed decision.  If you become that trusted friend, they will buy from you and tell their friends how great you are.

You must use education to bring customers along the buying cycle so that no matter where they are in the process, you can meet their need.  Customers come to your business at different points in the buying cycle, education brings them one step closer to becoming a raving fan of your business.

Make sure you have someone outside of your company do an evaluation of your sales and conversion process.  You can even ask someone who does not know about your business to give you their honest opinion.  Make sure it is someone who fits your ideal customer.

Help your prospects through the buying cycle and you will have a customer for life. Click To Tweet
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