Let’s talk about our friend Karen for a few moments. When Karen and Grant got married they bought a two bedroom home near her job and the University Grant attended. It suited them well in size and location. And, after a few years, life did what life does, it changed.
Grant finished his degree and landed a good job, 45 minutes drive away. As their family expanded, the square footage in their once perfect home didn’t, of course. They implemented all sorts of creative space saving measures, but they simply didn’t help enough. Add to that Grant’s long commute, and the way it cut into family time – the discomfort became intolerable. That’s when Karen and Grant finally contacted a real estate agent. It was time for a solution. It was time to upscale their home.
Have you ever wondered exactly why people buy, and in particular, why they buy online? Understanding their motivation is essential to crafting a compelling opt-in box and free offer on your website, and also when you stay in touch with your prospective customers by email.
Let’s clarify what you need to know and understand to help you ‘get inside the heads’ of your prospects in the world of online business.
Consumer psychology helps illuminate the right path for you, because the prospective customers you’re in business to help, have a predictable approach to their problem.
First, watch this video on Why People Buy, then read on:
There's Such A Thing As A Buying Cycle…
Now you've got an appreciation of the buying cycle, let’s analyze it for people who don’t have the lifestyle and time freedom they deserve, and who spend two thirds of their waking hours being controlled in a job by people they don’t care for, who don’t fully appreciate them, and who don’t care if they’re fulfilled or not.
You have to agree, that’s a big-ass problem.
Let’s consider what their buying cycle might pan out like:
When the things in life are working the way we expect them to, we have a sense of comfort and security. As we said above, we humans are predictable creatures, even though we might enjoy a bit of adventure sometimes, we’re happy and settled when all is right with our world. We’re comfortable, and life is humming along nicely, with nothing to grumble about
Life, however, has a way of creating change – which we generally don’t anticipate.
2. Lite Discomfort
Maybe your potential customer didn’t get the promotion they wanted, else they did get it but it transpired it’s not as rewarding financially or personally as hoped. Perhaps it entails commuting to a new location and the drive takes them half an hour longer each way. Maybe they realize their workload has tripled and they’re doing the work of 3 people. Your potential customer may mope, but cope. Begrudgingly. There’s a growing awareness of the problem.
3. Discomfort B (B is for Breaking point)
When enough is more than enough, something’s gotta give. That’s when staying stuck hurts more than daring to move forward for them.
This is where you have the optimum opportunity to show your prospective customer what their true potential is. This is the point where they jump online and start hunting for answers, however they don’t really know what it is they’re looking for.
They likely type into Google: ‘make money online’ which is a very broad search and indicates they don’t yet have any idea of the different online business models available to them. The trouble with this stage is they very easily get overwhelmed with all the information out there and don’t know who to trust.
So, make it easy to opt in on your website and make doubly sure the free information you provide is totally relevant to what they’re searching for.
4. Criteria and Options
Do you have comments from satisfied customers on your site or in your marketing materials? You should, in fact, you must. It’ll benefit both you and your prospective customers in your online marketing.
People want to know how something worked for someone else. When it worked well, they’re going to want it for themselves and they’re happy to take someone else’s word for it that it worked for them. Create the buzz.
On your website, and in your marketing materials, ask questions you know your prospective customers are already asking themselves:
Do you feel stuck in your job?
Do you have the freedom to enjoy your family and your life to the full?
Do you have the sustainable income to support that freedom?
Demonstrate you identify with their hurdles because you’ve faced the same fears, frustrations, and limitations.
Think about what moved you forward to help you get into their heads. You’ll understand what motivates them to buy and why.
Most importantly, show them how you moved from a life of discomfort and discontent to a life of success. Make your enthusiasm contagious. Who doesn’t want to be on a winning team?
As well as sharing our story of success, we also share our vision, mission and values – and you should to. This is where their decision to solve their problem comes into play. And where they’ll see you as part of their solution.
5. Time to Seal the Deal
Make it clear and easy for customers to see what you have to offer. Let them see you have the solution to their problem. Help them understand the time to act is now, else the problem will escalate or they will suffer the opportunity cost of not taking action soon enough.
(If only we’d woken up to the digital world years earlier… sigh!)
6. Take the Next Step
Follow through then follow up.
Give them what you’ve promised, then check in to make sure you delivered on that promise.
Has it solved their problem?
Have they hit roadblocks?
Do they have questions?
What else do you have to offer that might help?
Maybe they have a further problem you can help them out with?
Develop Relationships With Your Customers
It’ll pay you back over and over.
Let’s go back to Karen and Grant again. No real estate agent came knocking on their door a year after they moved in to sell them on selling their home. It wouldn’t have worked. They were comfortable, happy, satisfied. The best sales person in the world couldn’t have budged them.
The real estate person who eventually did help them find their home took the time to discover their needs and wants. She encouraged them to visualize themselves living in the homes they visited. They can’t talk highly enough about her to friends and relatives.
She didn’t sell the home. Because as she got to know Karen and Grant, she learned enough to find homes that would solve their problem perfectly. She found the homes that would sell themselves.
Your relationship with your customers should be the kind that’ll bring about those results and those referrals. Your prospects will become your customers because of your insight into human nature in general, your experience in online business, and your perception of how your words can influence people to choose what you have to offer.
You won’t be seen as a hard-core, pushy sales person, you’ll be seen as someone who makes lives better. You’ll be appreciated as a mentor. You’ll be known for your expertise, your experience and your genuine interest in seeing others succeed.
There you have it…
…The proven cycle of converting prospects into satisfied customers without ever needing to do a hard sell.
Comfort to discomfort. Discomfort to hope and options. Options to Opt in.
When you make it easy for your prospects to transition from one step to another you’re helping them and yourself to enjoy more success.
As you follow up with customers they’ll teach you what works exceedingly well and how you can do better. There’s a natural flow to the process that benefits everyone involved.
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