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what Is The Buyer's Journey And Why Is It Important?

by Michelle Ledford

Today's buyers are more savvy than ever. They are more informed, more prepared and more determined. If you have products or services to sell, then these traits describe the types of buyers you are looking for. But how will you win them over? By understanding their Buyer's Journey.

What is the Buyer's Journey?

The Buyer's Journey is the path a customer takes to plan their purchase. The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem, then they consider and evaluate their many options before finally deciding from which provider they will make their purchase. In other words, someone will not wake up and make a purchase on a whim. They will become informed about their options before deciding who they will buy from.

Why is it important?

When you understand your buyer's behaviors and journey to a purchase decision, you can build touchpoints and content channels to help them every step of the way. Their actions can inform an effective and targeted marketing campaign to ultimately gain them as a customer. When done well, you can nurture a relationship with a potential buyer that will have them saying, "Everywhere I look, this company is being helpful." And a relationship built upon trust and expert guidance will not only win you a new customer, but also a loyal one.

Let's explore the 3 stages of the Buyer's Journey and the questions you should consider about your prospective customers:

Stage 1: AWARENESS
During this stage, the buyer has become aware they have a problem. They are experiencing an inconvenience that they want to fix and are further defining exactly what their issue could be. They are open to learning more about possible solutions.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does a buyer decide whether the problem they have should be addressed?
  • How is a buyer educating themselves about their need or want?
  • What are the misconceptions that the buyer has about how to address their problem or need?

Stage 2: CONSIDERATION
The buyer has clearly defined their dilemma or need and has made a commitment to solve their problem. They begin their research process to learn about all the options available that match their requirements.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What categories of solutions will the buyer begin to research?
  • How will the buyer educate themselves on these different categories?
  • How does the buyer decide which category is the best fit for them?

Stage 3: DECISION
After the buyer has considered all of their research, they compile a list of potential providers and have narrowed their possibilities to just one or two. Buyers seek answers to their last questions and then decide which one best meets their needs.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What criteria will the buyer use to evaluate their available options?
  • What will the buyer like about our company's offering?
  • Who will the buyer involve in their decision process?

By understanding your Buyer's Journey to a purchase decision, you will be better able to empathize with your prospects and provide the most helpful information at the right time. This effort will result in a more aligned marketing and sales effort and, ultimately, more new customers. Who doesn't want that?!

Ready to map out your Buyer's Journey? We've created a Buyer's Journey Worksheet to help you get started.

 

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