Understanding The Buyers Process
Understanding Your Buyers Process
It may sound a bit strange someone telling you how to buy something. However understanding the thought process many consumers go through before buying a product or service could make the difference from them being a customer or not.
Below are the 7 steps many people go through in the buying process.
Step 1 – Know Why You Are Buying
There are many reasons why we purchase products or services. It might turn out to be important for you to recognise this before you buy.
Is what you are going to purchase a need or a want?
A need is something that you can’t do without. You may need the services of a plumber because you have a leaking pipe. You may need to buy new school shoes for the kids or require a lawyer because you are buying a house. You get the idea.
A want is something you don’t actually need. It could be a new pair of shoes that you want when you already have 10 pairs in the wardrobe or a relaxing day at the spa as a treat. You could want to buy a new mobile phone when the one you have is perfectly usable.
Step 2 – Draw on Your Own Experience
Often as consumers we have short memories.
Have you ever gone back to a restaurant when the meal you had last time want particularly enjoyable? Or used a lawyer for a second time when last time you felt they were slow with their advice. Have you in the past bought a kettle which didn’t work and you were unhappy with the customer service when you tried to return it? Only to buy something form the same seller.
The second step to buying a product or services is to ask yourself, have I purchased this type of thing before and if so what did I like/dislike about the experience. This will help you decide whether to buy from that company again.
Step 3 – Gather Information
You have endless ways of gathering information about the product or service you are thinking of buying.
It may be a new car that you are interested in buying. There is so much choice when it comes to buying almost anything these days. Which make and model of car do you want. Which colour appeals to you. Is it roomy enough to carry the kids, the dog and everything that goes with them. What about extras? Does it come with air-con? Is sat nave built in? The list seems endless.
Do your homework online and by visiting the showroom or shop. Ask questions of the sales person and do as many searches as you can online until all your questions have been answered
Step 4 – Evaluate the Provider and Product
OK. So you know what you want to buy and you have done some homework on the specific product you would like.
This next step is to make sure that the product you want is exactly what you are looking for. You need to know it will do what you want it to do. You also need to know the reputation of the service provider or seller of the product you have decided on.
You will find that there are very few items in the world that you can only buy from one supplier. This is great news because for the customer as it means you have choice of where to go to make the purchase.
But if you have never bought this type f item before then you might not know which supplier is best. There are a few ways to get recommendations from past purchasers of similar services and products.
Of course one of the first port of calls is to ask family and friends. If you are looking for a new dentist or optician you might ask them if the people thy use is good or not, then go to that supplier depending on your friends feedback.
The other way is to check out online reviews. It has never been easier to check up on businesses and service providers online. You can see comments from previous purchasers and easily see a visual indication by looking at their star rating on review sites like Google, TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot and Bookings.com.
Step 5 – Make Your Choice
Once you have gathered all the information about the product and the provider it is time to make your choice.
This is the fun part. It is time to buy the item and after checking out the reviews and recommendations of the company or service provider you are ready to part with your hard earned cash. You can be as sure as you can be that the product fits in with your needs and/or wants as well as being happy with the good reviews and star ratings of the company you will buy from.
Step 6 – Buy The Product
It’s yours. You have now bought the product or service.
Once you have had the opportunity to use the product or enjoy the benefits of the service provided to you, you can move on to the final step
Step 7 – Evaluation, Review and Recommendation
The buying steps are one big cycle. You sought reviews before buying and now you can evaluate what you bought and post reviews online for others to read. You can tell the rest of the world about the great, or not so great, service you have received. This will help others in their own decision making.
When you are posting reviews there are a few things yo can review
Firstly you can review the pre-sales, sales and after- sales service? Then you can review the product by telling others if the product was and functioned as described? Was the seller of the product or service knowledgeable and helpful? How was the after sales service?
Your reviews and recommendations will help others make the right choice when they buy too.