We all want new clients to buy from us, but before you can do that, you have to figure out how to engage them, and move them through your sales funnel. That means you have to know where your client is in the buying cycle, and how you are going to nurture the lead right through to the purchase.
Of course, ahead of that you first have to know who your ideal client is, so you can be sure you are targeting the people you actually want to work with. Make sure you read our blog Are You Talking to the Right People? It will help you ensure you have your target audience fully worked out, before you move into engaging them and advancing them through your buying cycle.
There are many examples of buying cycles, but we like this one the best because of its simplicity, and it shows exactly what people do before they make a big buying decision.
So let’s talk about each of the stages, and what you can do to engage a prospective client to do business with you.
Obviously, this is when the client figures out they have a problem that needs a solution. If they already know they have a problem that’s great, you can move onto the next step; but sometimes a client just doesn’t know what he or she doesn’t know…and this is your opportunity!
If you’ve done your homework so far, creating awareness will be easy.
Let’s go back to the 25 reasons someone would need a new website. (If you haven’t read that blog, just click here.) #14 is: Their business isn’t easily found by search engines.
That means they have an SEO problem.
All you have to do to create awareness is come up with some great questions to ask to bring out the fact that their website isn’t getting found in organic searches. Or if you’re focusing on online marketing, you might write blogs on the topic, or place ads zeroing in on the symptoms of poor SEO.
Either way, the idea here is to get them thinking and engage their curiosity about SEO, and the fact that theirs is lacking. That will move them to the next stage….
Typically, what happens after the awareness stage is the realization that they really don’t know a heck of a lot about this new problem, so research is necessary.
This is where your prospective client will embark on a Google gathering frenzy for information to help them figure out what they need to know to make an appropriate buying decision. Again this is the perfect opportunity for you to give them what they want.
Your inbound marketing content should clearly focus on the specific problem the client has, and the solutions you provide to solve that problem.
Blogs, articles, infographics, case studies, white papers, and expert guides are all effective ways to give your prospective client the necessary information to make a buying decision, and do business with you. This is how to set yourself up as the expert in your area, and let yourself shine!
Once your prospective client has the information they need, their next step will be to choose the best provider for the solution. Of course, you want that to be you! You’ve already set yourself up as the expert while they were doing their research, now you have to give them a reason to choose you.
You can do that with social proof.
When we, as humans, aren’t sure about a decision we have to make, we often look to other people to help us find the answer. This is exactly why word of mouth marketing is so effective. We trust other people’s opinions and advice when they’ve had an experience we haven’t.
This is also why testimonials and online reviews are compelling. And why they’re vital to the decision making process for your client.
Be sure to show your prospective clients why you’re the right business for the job. Case studies and whitepapers are a great addition to your testimonials and online reviews, when it comes to showing your stuff.
Get that all right and you are off to the final step.
The best part of this whole cycle! It’s an awesome feeling when you get to bring on a new client.
Remember to ask for the sale. You know you’re the best person to provide the solution they need. Sometimes they still need a little help to get there.
You can also encourage them with a free consultation, discounts, limited offers, and so on.
And once someone has done business with you, and has had a great experience, they begin to trust you, which makes it a lot easier to sell to them another time. All you have to do is make them aware they have a need, and that you can provide them with the solution, bringing the through the buying cycle once again.
If you need a little help applying the buying cycle to your business specifically, we’d be happy to give you a hand. Book a complimentary consultation with us, and we can walk you through it. Just click the link below.