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Small Business Growth Strategies: Documenting Your Buyer's Journey

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The way groceries and department stores position the racks where they display products is not random. Nor is it in accordance with the pleasure and comfort of the shopper. The way entrance and exit doors open to certain products, or the way elevators and escalators are positioned on opposing ends of the store did not happen by chance. It is also not for aesthetics and definitely not for the convenience of the customers who often abhor how far they’d have to walk just to get to the escalator that will take them down to the main exit when they had to take the one on the far end of the store on the way up. Seriously, why couldn’t both escalators be on the same end of the store, right?

The floor plans, the positions of the racks, and the sort of products displayed on each and every rack are planned and curated carefully.

You’d probably laugh as soon as we tell you that there really is no elegant reason for that other than stores want you to see more products so they could get you to buy more of what they sell, apart from the stuff you need and came out of the house for.

In a similar way that groceries and department stores take you into a visual and emotional journey as soon as you step into their brightly lit halls. Almost every platform you visit nowadays usually sells you something, but they do so in such a subtle manner that you don’t even realize it until after you have purchased their product.

Businesses are aware of the process you go through before finally deciding to make a purchase. They know that no matter how good their products or services are, they can only really make a sale to customers who are ready to make a purchase. Business owners and marketers know this. In fact, they have a name for this process– the Buyer’s Journey.

What is this buyer’s journey and how does documenting your buyer’s journey help you with sales? Let’s discuss that in the next paragraphs!

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

Before you can have customers who are ready to make a purchase, you normally have to deal with hundreds of leads and prospects who are still on the fence about your product or service offered. Worse case scenario is, they are simply clueless about their problems and the different solutions they can find to resolve these problems. They don’t realize at all that they need what you offer.

Turning these unready, undecided, and hesitant people from random page visitors to leads, to qualified prospects, and ultimately to buyers/customers/clients is a process.

Marketers have taken to referring to this process as the “buyer’s journey” and it is essentially the process that customers go through before finally purchasing your product. They begin their buyer’s journey as mere strangers or page visitors, and emerge as customers who are ready to make a purchase.

After getting a good understanding of what the buyer’s journey is, you’re probably wondering by now about its purpose.

What can it help you with?

Knowing about the journey customers must make before arriving at a decision is important. It helps when you take note of it, document it. How does documenting your buyer’s journey help you with sales and your business as a whole?

Find out in the next section!

How Does Documenting Your Buyer’s Journey Help You with Sales?

We’ll answer that through an analogy.

You’re knocking on a door hoping to be let in. You’ve been pounding your fist on hard wood for a few minutes now and yet no one’s answering. That’s because the homeowner is fast asleep in his sound-proof bedroom. He is totally unaware you’re even out there, he’s totally unready to answer your call.

So you go to the next house, determined to have somebody tell you exactly where you are because you need directions to get somewhere.

You knock for two seconds and the door opens, and emerging out of it is an elderly gentleman who greets you warmly. Apparently, he has just finished loading the dishwasher and was enjoying the first sips from his hot cup of tea when he heard your knocking.

Do you see the difference?

This is how and why documenting your buyer’s journey helps with your sales, because knowing where they are enables you to meet them there and cater to whatever they may need at that point of the journey they’re in.

Had you known that the owner of the house you first knocked on was asleep in a soundproof bedroom, would you have knocked? No. You wouldn’t want to waste your time and energy knocking on a door for a few minutes knowing for sure that you cannot be heard.

When you know for sure that what your buyer needs is more information to help him/her assess his/her circumstance, do you think it’s wise to email him a contract inviting them to commit to a year’s worth of supplies from your company? Absolutely not.

Not only would you be wasting your time, you might also spook a prospect and lead him to file you under the mental folder labeled “JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING SALES PITCH”.

As a business owner, you want to spend your time and resources where they can bring in more revenue. Therefore, it is vital for you to understand what your customers need and where they’re at in their buyer’s journey.

Final Take: Why Documenting Your Buyer’s Journey Helps with Your Sales

Why documenting your buyer’s journey helps with your sales is easy to see from our discussion so far.

Knowing where prospects are at each time your sales people interact with them will give you an insight on how to engage with them and what sort of help or guidance to offer them.

You are basically selling without them knowing, but knowing when they’re ready to make a purchase puts you in a more advantageous position because you can make that subtle sales pitch exactly when you know they’re ready to close the deal.