Discover, Explore, Validate

In an age of ever-increasing products, services, and competition it is not only important to stand out, but to properly convert buyers into customers. Whether in-person, on the web, or on the phone, there exists a basic structure by which a buyer will learn about your product or service and become a customer.

Buyers need to discover your product or service and the relevant features. This generally comes in 1-3 sentences explaining what this is and how it impacts me. This is your elevator pitch for each product or service. The hook is in the water and this easy-to-understand string of words is the bait. Carving your product/service down to three sentences can be very difficult, but first and foremost buyers need convincing that they should want more information and they need it quickly. In as few words as possible, get across to the buyer three things – what is it, how does it work, how does it affect them.

Once the buyer has successfully gone through discovering the product/service/feature they are  interested, it’s time to set the hook. You have a captive audience – how do you keep them moving forward on their journey to being a customer? Give them more information – a full web page, infographic, white paper, on-demand video, podcast – something with substance. The user will explore your product not only within the world you create for them, but they will read reviews online, talk with other customers and research how your product stacks up to others.

Once the buyer has explored the product/service/feature they are ready to validate. Based on the product/service/features this could mean a variety of things – a demo, a free trial, or a small initial purchase. In a service, it could mean the buyer becomes a customer and it’s your opportunity to ensure he/she will stay one. The important thing is to help them feel comfortable with their decision. They are not just buying your product/service/feature, they are buying into you.

Not only is content a critical component of the sales process, but where that content is disclosed is just as important. If all goes well, the buyer will successfully move through each of these stages of the sales cycle and you will have a customer that is comfortable with their decision to buy from you. Happy customers tell others about their experience and the cycle will repeat.

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