Monday, March 15, 2010

 

Mapping how you sell to how your customers buy

Your customer started buying long before you started selling.  And most of the time, your customer started buying before they even consciously knew they were buying.

Take real estate.  Most real estate agents market their services to active home buyers and sellers.  They’re looking for people that want to buy or sell soon.  But research has shown that buyers & sellers choose a real estate agent towards the end of their buying cycle, and that the cycle can last for two years overall. 

That buying cycle doesn’t start with looking for homes, researching neighborhoods, or talking to agents.  It started with experiences.  Getting tired of the long commute, feeling a little more crowded in the existing house with a couple kids, etc.  That’s the very beginning of what becomes the purchase of a new home.

At the beginning of every buying cycle are experiences.  These experiences eventually become needs, gaps, pain.  Those needs become a search for a solution. 

Most companies create and manage a sales process based on the way they want to sell.  Smart companies create a sales process based on how their customers buy.  But even fewer companies build a sales & marketing strategy that reaches way back to the beginning of when the customer need, gap and pain materialize.  That’s when they start looking around, doing their own homework, and educating themselves on the topic.  And that’s where you can build value.

Mapping how you sell to how your customers buy teaches you everything you need to know (and do) to build awareness, preference and demand to increase close rates and accelerate your own selling cycles.

You may already know a lot about your customers – what they do, what they need, how they work.  But do you understand how they buy?


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