Why Your Clients Buy – The decision buying process explained


Disclaimer: Work Wife Wine Time promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Gemma 0:23
Hello, and welcome to this Friday afternoon’s podcast. And happy bevvy o’clock. It’s that time again, I hope you’ve all had an amazing week. So sit down, grab your bevvy of choice, put your feet up, and enjoy.

Now, it’s that time again, where you get to listen to my amazing voice for the next little while. And I’m going to give you some hot tips and info all about the consumer decision making process of buying things.

Now there’s five stages to this process. And understanding this comes into play in many, many areas of your business. It helps overall with your marketing, with all sorts of strategy planning, from start to finish, basically. And, well, it never finishes, it’s always ongoing, right?

It helps plant your social media strategy and ideas. So you can plan your social posts. Whether you’re looking at a month strategy, a six month strategy, understanding the buying process of consumers will help you plan your posts out. And of course, it actually also helps with SEO, and the SEO process overall. And especially even the selection of keywords per website page.

So let’s dig in and begin with the consumer decision buying process. What is it? What is the consumer decision buying process. So this describes the journey your customer goes through before they want to buy your product or your service. And we all do it, believe it or not. So understanding your customer’s buying process is not only important for your product or service, but it will also help you align your sales strategy accordingly for all businesses. And like I said earlier, whether you’re looking at a one month plan, a six month plan, if you’re planning a launch, or if you’re releasing something new, understanding this process is quite critical. And it also helps you with what content to write and plan and everything. So it’s very important.

Now, it’s similar to a funnel. So let’s look at that upside down triangle. So it starts of course wider at the top. And this is where your target audience, prospects, consumers, people, whatever you wish to call them, are becoming aware of your brand, it makes the top of the path a lot wider, and then it flows down and ends narrowly at the bottom of your triangle, where people become your paying customers.

So let’s dig in what is the first number one the largest part of the funnel? Now this is the problem and need recognition. Okay, so the first and most important step in the customer decision buying process is this. Because they can’t make a purchase without recognising that they have a need. Now the need might have been triggered by something internal, and as simple as they’re hungry, or they’re thirsty, or something that trying to do. And they’ve realise there’s a need there like, ‘Oh, I need something in order to do this’ right? Or it can be external factors.

Now this is where advertising comes into play, think of sitting on a bus, looking out the window, seeing a billboard and thinking, ‘Oh, I need that,’ right. We’ve all done it. Or word of mouth. So they may have heard about you, through a friend, through a colleague, through family and they realise ‘Oh, I need that too’ need is a strong desire, as we all know.

Then we have the second part, which is a problem recognition, whether you may need something, you can also have a problem. Now you’ve realised something is missing. Okay, so you need something in order to get you to a solution. So perhaps you’re rewriting your website and you don’t know how to do it, okay, there’s a problem you’ve hit. Or maybe you’ve planned a camping weekend, and you’ve realised you don’t have a tent. So you’ve hit a problem. So that’s the initial first stage is actually identifying a need or a problem.

Now, the second stage is the information search, you’ve recognised your problem or need. So the next step that we all take is an information search. Okay, so this is where people begin to search and research in order to find out what they feel is the best solution for them. So this is the buyer’s effort where they search internal and external business environments, they’re beginning to slowly evaluate information, okay, they’re looking at sources related to a central buying decision.

Now, here your customers, your clients, your target audience, they may rely on print, they may be looking online, of course, or they’re even looking at word of mouth for obtaining that information. So here they could be calling their friends, family, colleagues, to start to gather information about their problem or their need.

Then next, once they’ve gathered the information, they slowly move down the funnel. So we’re narrowing again, and they’re going into evaluation, okay, so as you’d expect, as people, we begin to evaluate, okay, so we evaluate different products, we evaluate different brands, we evaluate different people, services, whatever it may be. And then we start to look at all the alternatives that are available. And what people are looking for here is the solution that gives them the most ability to deliver what they’re looking for. So they’re looking here at the best benefits to solve their need or their problem.

Okay, so this, of course, is where your target audience comes into play. So understanding them intimately at this point, is extremely critical.

Now, there’s a couple of factors here that can influence the evaluation stage, one that influences quite heavily is actually customer or clients or a person’s attitude that they’re thinking and they’re feeling, what’s their attitude towards your brand, what’s their attitude towards your business? What’s their attitude towards the alternatives to your business, who you are and what you’re going to deliver for them.

So you can see why understanding your target audience and your ideal peoples is really, really important here, because this is strongly where attitude towards a brand and a person comes into play.

Now, involvement is another factor that heavily influences this evaluation process. So for example, if the customer’s attitude is positive, and their involvement is high, during this evaluation process, they are going to evaluate a number of brands, businesses and options. So understanding your customer is really critical at this point in order to grab them and lure them in over your competitor, which is a great place to be if involvement is a high factor because they are extremely involved in finding the solution or finding this need, this answer to their problems.

So once they’ve done this, we’re going right down to the bottom of the triangle now to the purchase decision. So of course, this is where the purchase takes place. So they’ve made their decision about which product, service, brand, or solution is best for them, and they’re ready to buy. So you’d actually find what’s very critical here is recommendations. So most people here, right at the purchase decision. Are they checking with their friends or family to see if someone’s used this product or service? Are they looking at good testimonials on websites, they’re looking at ratings, things like that? So that really comes into play here in the purchase decision, right when they’re going to buy and we actually have five, so five stages, as I said earlier, in the buying process.

So number five is actually quite critical. And many people may overlook this. So this is actually the post purchase evaluation. It’s the last step, the buying is complete, the customer’s made their purchase. But that doesn’t mean in any way that the customer journey is complete. Now is the time where the customer reflects on whether they made the right decision. Okay, so think about that you’ve just purchased a product, you’ve purchased a service, are you thinking about if this is right for me? So the customer or the client actually starts to consider if the solution has fully met their needs. So will they be a return customer? Will they recommend you?

So this stage is really critical for marketers and business owners here, okay, because they’ve become a client, they’ve become a customer, they’ve bought, and it’s really important to still treat them well at this stage, right? So they’re the five stages we have.

Okay, so let’s just recap them shortly at the top of the funnel, right in the wide part, number one, we start with the problem and need recognition, then they go into an information search, then they go into an evaluation, then they make their purchase, they go into the purchase decision, and then they pop into a post purchase evaluation.

So why am I telling you this, everyone? Let’s have a think about that. Now we understand the buying process and the decision making process. So how do we market and nurture at each stage of this buying process? So let’s revisit each five stages, shall we?

Number one, when we have the need or problem recognition phase. So of course, this is the initial phase of understanding your target audience. Okay, so this is where you really need to understand the problem that your ideal target audience is having. Okay, so you must work to get your content in front of their eyes and call out their problem. Okay, so remember, they’re not looking for solutions at this point. So here, you need to call out their problem. So for example, writing content on your website, so your ideal audience visits, help and give them an introduction, not so much to you at this point, but you’re introducing the problem, okay, and then you’re really pushing at the problem. So you’re introducing that problem or need they have, and what will happen to them if they don’t solve this problem if they don’t satisfy this need. Okay, so this is really, really important for that introductory advertising, marketing, copywriting content that you’re putting in front of your clients right at this early need recognition phase.

Now, let’s look at the next one, which is the information search now to attract customers here and bring them into your business. So they’ve realised they have a problem and a need, perhaps they’ve seen you and perhaps have seen that you’ve sort of nagged at their problem. So now you need to bring them into your business and your marketing funnel, and provide them with the information they’re searching for. So they’ve realised the problem and the need now they need the information right? Now, the content here is really, really critical. This is what helps solve their problem, or answers their question. This type of content and marketing is where you bring out your blog posts, any infographics, videos, guides, checklists, ebooks, interactive content, and even keyword research is quite critical in this point, what are they searching for? What questions are they asking?

Okay, so this is where all of that marketing collateral comes into place. And it’s really important, especially blogs, checklists, guides, anything that’s going to help them really, really gather that information.

So then we move into number three, which, of course, is our evaluation phase. So they’ve gathered all of this information. And now the customers have an idea about the solution they need from their information search. But the problem here is they don’t know which specific solution is the best. So here they’re researching and evaluating their options to see which one they should choose. Right. The most important part here of marketing is actually optimization of your website. So this is when that becomes really really critical.

So the customers who are now evaluating options can find you when they’re searching for what they’re looking for. So it’s the best way to catch customers in this stage. So what’s the best things to have on your website? Really, really optimised buyer’s guides, perhaps, landing pages are incredibly useful at this point, incredibly compelling, FAQ pages, case studies so they can evaluate, get questions, answer their own questions. And all of them which are, of course, are optimised. So when these people are looking for that additional evaluating information about you, and your business, and what they need, they can find you easily.

So after all of this, of course, we move into the purchase decision, right. So your ideal customer or client is ready to buy. So what do you do here? So you need to catch them at this point. And remember, you must make it as easy as possible for them to buy really, really critical here as is going into easy to find and compelling call to action buttons on your website. Okay, there’s many, many things I can tell you here, of course, make them all the same colour, make sure they’re bright colour, make sure they’re easy to find, and use really compelling words so they’ll want to click on this, so they can make their purchase. And they don’t want that purchase to be difficult. Okay, no one has time for that, right. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So here, it’s best to use really compelling transactional words. And of course, it depends on your business, on your industry, of which words you’re choosing, but really compelling ones of course is buy, order, download, deal, demo, coupon, for example. So they’re really, really important to use those compelling transactional words. So it’s completely foolproof for a person in stage four of the purchase decision to make it really, really simple for them.

Number five, post purchase evaluation, you’ve got this customer, you’ve got this client, right, they’ve made a purchase. So now the relationship, as I said earlier, has not ended. If anything, this is just the beginning, right? Of course. So here needs to create more content related to your industry, to your service to your product, and put it in a place where the customer or your client, of course is likely to see it. So people love being educated, they love to know new things, more things. They’re already your customer or client, so they value you, you’ve already created that relationship. So here is where things like emails, newsletters, or retargeting ads, if you’re doing ads, really, really come into play, and you’re presenting new content to your past or present customers.

So remember, keep the relationship going. Now, even a monthly newsletter to your new client, or customer may have them buying again in six months down the track, you never know. But this way, if you’re visiting their inbox, if you’re visiting them here and there with an ad, they’re not going to forget you right. So there we have it, you awesome, amazing entrepreneurs out there, the consumer buying decision process, and how to capture your clients or your customers through each stage of this buying process, and which marketing methods are the best way to capture them in the various stages of the process.

And that’s a wrap. And as always, of course you amazing kick ass women and fellow work wives. Remember you’re not alone, because collaboration is power. And most importantly, we all get it.