Hundreds of business leaders have tackled this topic. But I wanted to cover it from my own unique perspective and break it down into simple terms. Buyers can be sorted into two simple categories:
- Buyers: Potential buyers who know they need a product or service and are actively seeking to buy.
- Shoppers: Potential buyers who realize they need a product or service, but are not actively looking to buy. However, should a tempting offer appear, they will likely buy.
Buyers want to buy: This category of people knows what product or service they want, and they are actively shopping for a provider. Their search may lead them to a store or a mall, or they may seek to buy online. Your job is to identify buyers and stay in front of them. In a matter of seconds, you will need to convince them that you are the correct company to buy from.
Think back to a time when you searched through your contacts or a stack of business cards to see who offered a particular service or product. Most people want to buy right now; they don't have an abundance of time or a desire to search heavily for a provider unless they are in need of a sensitive service or product. Therefore, it's whoever stays in front of the audience that wins their confidence and gains the selling opportunity.
Buyers are ready to buy: If you have a high dollar or highly dependable product or service, buyers will take time to do research regarding available options. What would you do in this situation? You would likely discuss the topic with your friends or reliable contacts to discover their experiences and leverage their feedback. You would also do some research.
The best place to conduct research is undeniably online. It's quite common to hear and say, "Have you Googled it?" If you're aiming to generate buyers, you must provide information about your product and service. This information needs to provide value, which translates to being useful to your audience of potential buyers. Consider discussing how and why they need to select your product over others, what kind of provider they need select (and how you fit the bill), what criteria they need to consider, and so forth. You get the point.
"55% of consumers using mobile to research want to purchase within the hour." —Google Think Insights, November, 2013
Action you need to take:
- Find out where your ideal clients shop.
- Create a strategy for staying in front of them as they shop and decide which product to buy.
- You'll need a budget to promote your brand and stay in front of them.
- It's also vital to prepare for convincing even the most scrupulous buyer to choose your product.
Shoppers know that they need a service or product, but they don't have time to research and buy right now. They often have a problem and are looking for a solution. When preparing for shoppers, consider the following:
- When you shop, how often do you end up purchasing a product or service you didn't plan on buying?
- How often do you see business cards or vouchers laid out at the front desk of your favorite pizza shop?
- How many post cards offering a product or service do you receive at your doorstep every day?
All of these activities target shoppers, the unsuspecting buyers who are always on the lookout for a deal but never fully dedicated to researching and purchasing.
"Online consumers are becoming precision shoppers. For every $1 spent online, $5.77 is influenced in store." –Macy's CEO, December, 2009
So, if you know where your ideal clients are shopping you can aim to sell where they go, such as the pizza shop, shopping mall, parking areas and the digital world. You need to equip yourself with a marketing plan aimed at attracting them and then land their business. Keep in mind that they don't NEED your product or service right now. Therefore, you have to make it worth their while to buy and buy now.
Action you need to take:
- When it comes to shoppers, education is vital. You must teach them WHY they need to buy now, why to choose you, and what will happen if they don't.
- You must equip them with statistics, product information, and a breakdown of the problem your product or service solves.
- Most of the time, you will need to sell your solution versus your actual product or service.
Targeting Buyers Is Important
Fortune companies are spending billions of dollars on marketing strategies targeting buyers and shoppers. Companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets every year because buyers hangout online. In fact, more than 60 billion dollars were spent on digital media last year alone.
Successful companies are learning exactly how to target buyers, engage them, educate them, and ultimately convince them of the "once in a lifetime" offer that they need to buy right now. Your next step to success is to do the same. Be sure to stay tuned for more insights regarding effective marketing and sales.