As consumers, we hate to be ‘sold’. As business owners, we know the importance of ‘getting the sale.’ So how do we help facilitate the process so that everyone wins? In this article, we describe six steps to help facilitate the buying process.
Facilitating the Buying Process
Too often, small business owners start a business without a business plan… much less a sales and marketing plan. Unfortunately, this catches up with many of them and then a rare few survive and thrive. So why is this? What makes a small few survive and thrive and what devastates the other small businesses?
One common trend with a successful small business owner is in the owner’s ability to understand their ideal client and effectively facilitate the buying process for them. Below are six common steps in helping facilitate the buying process with your ideal clients.
- Look and Find You: Your ideal clients and future clients have needs that you can fulfill. We know they have needs you can fulfill or they would not be your ideal clients. In most cases, they are also proactively looking. Many local business owners describe their ideal client as someone looking for their specific service. In other words, for them to be “ideal”, they need to be looking for your products or services. When they look, they need to be able to find you. Be where your ideal client can find you when they need your service.
- Learn About and Like You: Many people challenge the “learn about” component of this point, yet we contest that they must learn more about you to at least like you. If the potential client does not like you, you know they are not going to choose you and your service. Be sure to help your clients and future clients by providing information online about you and your business allowing them to learn about you and like you.
- Believe and Trust You: Trust is challenging and even more so when money is involved. Since local businesses operate on money, this makes most client opportunities challenging – especially the first experience with that particular client. Two effective ways of helping your clients believe and trust you are to share testimonials from others who had similar needs with them and show how you helped others with similar needs through photos, videos or articles. Testimonials are powerful and can be as simple as sending a follow up email after you complete a project with a link back to your Google, Yahoo, Yelp or other profile. Photo galleries on your website can also be powerful.
- Choose and Use You: Once your ideal client finds you, learns about you and begins to trust that you can help them, you have to make it easy for them to choose you and use your service. If most of your ideal clients are used to calling to schedule a visit, make sure it is simple for them to see your telephone number everywhere they might find you on the web – your website, throughout Internet directories, in social media channels and any other places. If you do not operate your business 24x7x365, make sure you have other options for them after-hours like online scheduling or at least a request for service form.
- Continue to Choose You: Most businesses offer more than just one specific type of product or service, so make sure you are communicating with your clients the other services you provide so that they will continue to choose you when they have needs. In addition, most products and services have a lifecycle meaning they are not a “once and done” service. Make sure you establish a follow up system that communicates effectively with your clients throughout the client lifecycle and the lifecycle of the product or service you provided them.
- Rave and Refer You: Creating Raving Fans who refer you should always be the end in mind. While it is not easy, it can be very simple with good communication and properly setting expectations. When you gain agreement on what you are going to do to help them and then you do it, clients are usually happy to write a good review and refer their friends, family and neighbors to you. Be sure to thank them with a personal thank you card every time they do.
Implementing these six steps into your business will not only help your clients, it will help you get more loyal, profitable clients less worried about price and more comfortable with the referral source. For help with implementing these steps into your marketing process, give Social180 a call at 469-420-0180.