Consider Your Buyer's Journey When Educating Prospects Online
by Nadine Nocero-Tye on Tue, Nov 01, 2016 @ 07:27
Today’s landscape of buying and selling has shifted—no longer are consumers looking for salespeople to assist or educate them through the buyer’s journey. Today, prospects are armed and ready with information—typically gathered over hours of research before contact is made with a salesperson. Considering this information, you need to position your website and print collateral to do the selling for you, without being obvious or annoying.
If you understand that through educating your prospects with content you’ll assist them in choosing your product or service as the solution, you’re already reaching a sales goal without going for the hard sale. Being present for your prospects online and educating them about why your option is the best choice is, in essence, the methodology of inbound marketing. Since we know prospects are far along in the buying process before they contact a salesperson, you want to ensure your company holds the top spot when their decision is made. Consider the following three phases of the buyer’s journey and take time to apply your expertise to each of these for your target prospect to ensure you come out ahead:
Step 1: Research
This first phase in the buyer’s journey is that of understanding an issue has arisen or there is a need that must be met. Typically, this is a fact-gathering phase where a prospect wants to get the lay of the land. They’re typically using search engines or social media to determine all options available to them. Understanding they are just getting their feet wet, you’ll want to write content that helps them clearly identify solutions to their most common problems. This phase shouldn’t so much be about you or your company, but an objective view of the situation. Simply provide your industry expertise, and allow them to absorb.
Step 2: Consideration
This second phase in the buyer’s journey comes after a prospect has educated themselves on the options available for solving their problem or fulfilling their need. At this point in the journey, they understand what the options are, and now they are looking for qualified solution providers. During this stage, you should provide content that speaks to what you do. The goal here should be to share information on how your company solved a problem for a company like the targeted prospect. Content in this phase not only continues to educate, but helps build your prospect’s trust, allowing them to envision you fulfilling their need. Developing and promoting a case study is a great option for this phase’s content.
Step 3: Decision
Now that your prospect has all of the information about options for solutions, and an idea of who may be able to do the work, the time has come for you to push the “sell” in the most direct way yet. At this point, your content should contain proposal-ready action steps like “schedule a consultation” or “request or quote.” Ideally, your prospect has all of the information needed to make a right decision, and because they used your content to make that decision, you should end up at the top of the pile.
Having trouble determining a clearer focus for your prospect’s buyer’s journey? Let us know. We’re happy to help.