The age old question – how do you get more leads from your website – or better yet – how do you get qualified leads that will convert to sales?
Did you know that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales. Meaning that the buyer does her own research before committing to a product and/or service and most likely has made a decision before she even reaches out to sales. The unfortunate reality is that most businesses don’t know this and as a result they don’t nurture the quality leads during the buyer’s journey to ensure that they do convert into sales.
70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.
So how do you interact with potential leads throughout the buyer journey and increase your chances of converting them to a sale when they are ready to buy? First, it’s important that you know the process that an average buyer will go through before deciding to purchase. This is referred to as a buyer journey and consists of three stages that the potential buyer will take. Knowing how to interact with your potential buyers during each stage of the journey can help turn these potential leads into sales.
The three stages of the buyer journey are:
- The awareness stage
- The consideration stage
- The decision stage
Let me use an analogy when describing the process your potential buyer may take towards a sale. I’ll use a business coach in my example:
The Awareness Stage
The awareness stage is when a buyer acknowledges a sign of a problem. For example, a potential buyer may feel that she isn’t receiving the adequate coaching and mentoring from her superiors, but likes her job and wants to look for potential scenarios to solve her problem. She is unaware that she may have a need for the particular service you provide (business coaching) and may be completely unaware that your company, product and or service exists. At this stage, the potential buyer is in research mode and is looking for vendor neutral information to help identify the problem. At this point, 72% of people will use Google.
The Consideration Stage
During the consideration stage of the process, the buyer has identified that a problem exists (lack of coaching and mentoring) and she is in the process of looking for alternatives to help her solve her problem. This part is critical for you as a business coach, because this is when you want to provide the potential buyer with educational content that will help her make an informed decision.
For example, she may identify that she can benefit from a business coach who will provide her with the coaching and mentoring that she is looking for, so she will research different types of coaching techniques. If she has received an email newsletter from you in the past on the benefits a coach can provide, and remembers the valuable information that you provided, this will trigger her to think of you because of the already established trust. The key is to be seen as a trusted and credible source. This is referred to as a nurtured lead and can help produce an average of 20% more sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads.
The Decision Stage
The decision stage is when the buyer narrows down her search and determines whether or not a coach will fulfill her needs and help her solve her initial problem. The buyer thinks she knows what she needs and is researching to make a decision. A potential buyer may decide that a business coach and mentor will work for her and she is now researching her options of potential coaches. The buyer will be looking at the details of each vendor including services, reputation and cost.
So how do you engage with your customer during the buyer journey so that he will consider you when it’s time to purchase? There are four steps:
- Know your buyers
- Know your buyers’ needs
- Find out what information your buyers will be looking for while in the awareness and decision stages
- Provide your buyers with valuable information during these two stages so that they will consider you when they are in the decision stage
How do you do this?
You will want to provide a potential customer with information that can help them while they are acknowledging and understanding their problem – i.e.: Need for a coach.
- Email newsletters – Write about potential issues that your buyers will be searching for that pertain to your business and industry.
- Social Media posts – Connect your followers to potential topics that may pertain to the problem they are trying to address.
- White papers/Case studies – Write a paper on how you solved a particular problem and become a subject matter expert.
- Website Videos – Talk about something that would be informative to potential customers or conduct a video interview with a subject matter expert.
The bottom line is that you want to nurture potential leads throughout the buyer journey, by providing them with valuable, educational content. By doing so, you will increase your chances of being seen as a knowledgeable subject matter expert, and in turn, establish trust with the potential buyer. This trust will help to increase your chances of being the business they choose when they require your services.