Today we’ll cover shortening your customers’ decision-making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision-making process.
- Give the product a chance and transition from a “no” to a “maybe”.
- Check out the options and investigate the different products available.
- Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features and operations to see if it fits their needs.
- Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will discriminate against 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 important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well-thought-out pricing, guarantees and incentives.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage, they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is anything that could benefit their life. This is where you need to ensure your hard information is right out there for the customers to see and compare.
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when a trial is in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good 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.”
Make a Purchase
They have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services at this stage. They are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost-effective and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage, a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”
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.
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 a little different depending on their personality type. The key to successful word of mouth is targeting and catering to each consumer type. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, try our FREE test drive for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.
Next time we’ll talk about how word-of-mouth messages are delivered and what you can do to help facilitate that.