Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision-making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially five stages in the decision-making process.
- Give the product/service a chance and transition from a “no” to a “maybe.”
- Check out the options and investigate the different products/services available.
- Observe the product/service to check for potential benefits, features, and operations to see if they fit their needs.
- Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will be discriminate with their first product as they form their opinion of you.
- Purchase again and starts spreading positive word of mouth as an advocate of your products.
So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
From “No” to “Maybe”
This stage is crucial because if your potential client doesn’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. It is paramount that you have invested time in the education of your potential client. This is your chance to provide value before they give up their hard-earned cash.
You want your customer to say how much they enjoyed your presentation, or they say have you seen this new commercial. Better yet they say have you heard of (insert your product/service) I hear it is truly the best at solving their problem.
A couple of quick tips:
- Have great guarantees like trying it before you buy it or we 100% guarantee your satisfaction or will give you 110% back.
- Give value before you get value. You can do something as simple as sending a personalized card with a gift card or a copy of your favorite book.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage, they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit their life. This is where you need to make sure your information is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.
Think about creating a comparison between you and your chief competitor or industry leader. It is your chance to explain why your process or product is distinctively better.
- Comparison charts
- Third-party evaluation
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. An excellent way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations, or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”
It is your chance to share how your relationship will develop. All of a sudden it becomes more about you and them instead of your product/service and their problem. This creates long-term value.
- Demo, walkthroughs, 14-day trials
- Have a communication plan in place during this period
Make a Purchase
At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost-effective, and satisfying your product/service is. At this stage, a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, and you should get it!”
This is your chance to get them to become one of your champions. This can be done in a few ways.
- You can upsell them on a more premium service or product, giving them more accessible to you.
- You can engage to write a testimonial or better yet film one
- Ask them to refer a friend
It is pivotal to have a plan on how to engage them after they purchase.
Advocates for Your Products
At this last stage of decision-making, the customer is immensely pleased with your product and often keeps using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day and have already (or will be) back to your establishment for more.
Types of Purchasers
We talked a minute ago about the different types of purchasers. Now we will take a closer look at their characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision-making process.
- Wants to stand out from the crowd
- Know what’s hot and trendy
- Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
- Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it animatedly
- Driven by excellence
- More concerned with possibilities than realities
- Always looking to be a leader
- Always looking for a new vision
- Wants to be perceived as competent
- Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
- Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
- Wants products that meet the industry standard
- Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
- Needs to shop around for the best deal
- Needs a support system
- Wants what everyone else has
- Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
- Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
- Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
- Will search for loopholes and problems
- Wants to use it in the standard industry way
As you can see, each type of consumer wants something just a little different depending on their personality type. Therefore, the key to successful word of mouth is to target and cater to every kind of consumer. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping, and how to attract the types you are lacking, book a free consultation and I’ll provide you with one year of access to our online marketing academy $1200 value (offer good until January 1st, 2021).
Next time we’ll talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and what you can do to help facilitate that.