Truthfully, the way people choose to buy things is a deeply personal issue.
No one would be wise to suggest they KNOW the secret to all success in how people buy.“
That said, there are some things YOU CAN know and some things YOU CAN do to influence the process in your favor. Let’s walk through them, shall we?
First is, to realize that people often buy in response to something else that happens in their life. For example, if the tires on your car are worn, you’ll soon be researching the market and pricing tires. Or if the weekly supply of provisions is getting a bit thin and you open cabinets, the refrigerator or freezer and not many choices exist for making dinner tonight, it’s off to the grocery store we go.
It’s my guess that 1 business in a thousand is crystal clear on the chain of events that lead customers to the marketplace generally – and even less so on why they get picked.
When it comes to being chosen as the company to do business with, several things come into play. Here’s 5 that come to mind immediately:
For me to choose to do business with your company, I need to know you exist. It’s a fact that over 80% of purchases start with a search on Google or some other search engine. Now if I go online and don’t see you among the top sites listed for the keywords I’m using, I’m probably not aware that you exist. Game over, you lose.
It’s also a fact that it takes time and a particular set of skills to get your business found in the coveted top 3 spots on Google organic search. It’s one of the reasons why “The Marketing Geek” is such a popular guy these days. I have those skills and have demonstrated it over and over again for my clients.
Next is positioning. We can all think of clients we’d consider to be “ideal”, and some that, all things being equal, we’d choose not to do business with again, right?
What most don’t consider is that your positioning is what attracts the clients you get. Even the bad ones. Something either present or missing from your marketing communications attracted those bad clients to you.
Then you have proximity. How close are you to the person who’s looking for a solution provider? It’s not as important if you come to me, but if I have to come to your place of business, it’s a big deal. It’s also reflected in the way people search, too.
Using the tires example again, if someone is looking for Michelin Tires they are most likely only doing research about the brand and perhaps the different types of tires offered. But if the search is for Michelin Tires in Clearwater FL – well that person is looking for a tire dealer that’s close to where they either live or work.
You cannot overlook reputation either. Google reviews, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List and countless others like them all generate massive revenues helping consumers to track the reputation of companies today. Surely you have customers or clients who loved the job you did for them, right? Make certain you have a process for getting a testimonial from happy clients and that those reviews are posted on the big review sites.
And if your positioning is later validated by your reputation, you win!“
When what you say in your marketing is confirmed by those who’ve paid you for your services, it’s very hard for your competitors to match that.
Finally, we get to value. And I was being precise to refer to it as value, NOT as price. Only a small percentage of business is done solely on the basis of low price. Only a small percentage of business is LOST on the basis of high price. And guess what? If someone asks you to negotiate your prices, it’s because you invited them to.
I traded messages just yesterday with a guy who writes content for business owners. Even though he spammed me with an unsolicited request for information about his services, I looked at his site anyway and found a link to his prices.
I then schooled him on the idea that by putting that info on his site, he’s made his services a commodity and has invited anyone who’s considering doing business with him to negotiate those prices and compare him to others who offer similar services for less money.
We started with truth so let me end with some more. If I believe I’m getting more (value) than you are charging me in dollars, I’ll gladly make the trade. If I believe that the amount you’re asking is more than the value you’re giving, you’ll have to use selling techniques to “close me”.
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, ask yourself this: How well do I communicate that I understand how people buy? By writing everyday, you’re very much aware of me and what I do. I believe that my positioning and reputation are communicated constantly in what I share with you.
Proximity doesn’t matter much, because I have clients from coast-to-coast, and those who ultimately hire me find the value I provide to be far in excess of what they pay me for it. But that’s their opinion, which means little to you.
I’d be interested in hearing whether you agree or not, though so hit the comment button and tell me. Or contact me here to know more about what I said. Then push away from my email, grade your business and send me a note to tell me how you did.