Need more clients? Heather Townsend, author of the best-selling and award-winning The FT Guide To Business Networking, and The Go-To Expert, explores what you need to know about your clients to effortless attract them.
The top rainmakers tend to be talking to prospects before they are ready to buy. The reason for this is because the earlier you can get to a client, the more likely you will be the one they turn to later when they need help with a problem.
To be able to do this successfully, however, you need to understand the five stages of thinking and interest as they go through their buyer’s journey.
In this article, we talk through those stages.
Stage 1: Everything is fine
At the beginning, your future buyer has no need of your services. This may be because they are lucky enough to have no problems, or it may be because they are coping with any problems themselves or with the current support they employ.
Stage 2: OK, so there are one or two issues
Your buyer acknowledges that things are not perfect and there are some issues. These might be minor niggles that they can live with or full blown crises that must be solved pronto. This is the point where you need to find out which problems might motivate them to look for an external solution. When you know the problems they are facing, or will be facing shortly. you can publish content that helps them find answers, or points them in the direction of an expert (you) who really understands and who can provide a solution.
Stage 3: This is the outcome that I want
Now that the buyer has researched the problem, they know what solution they want. They might not know how to get to that solution, but they know what it will look like when the problem is fixed. They may have very rational questions, such as:
- Who can help me fix this?
- How much will it cost?
- What are the risks of choosing one course of action over another?
- What are the steps in the process?
You can provide the answers to these.
Stage 4: I need to find the right people to help with this
At this point, the buyer starts actively looking for someone to help provide the outcome they desire. They may research a number of potential suppliers and in doing so, refine their ideal solution. You are one step ahead of the rest if the buyer has already been engaging with your content online.
Stage 5: Let’s buy this
The buyer decides which solution they want to their problem, and which supplier will help them achieve it. This is often called the ‘closing the deal’ stage.
These five steps are the process a person goes through to becoming a buyer. If you understand the process, and can reach prospects earlier than your competitors, then you’ll become the first choice for anyone looking for your type of services.
- 8 ways to help prospective clients sign up quicker – Part 1
- 8 ways to help prospective clients sign up quicker – Part 2
- 5 ways your online footprint helps you sign up the right clients quicker – Part 1
- 5 ways your online footprint helps you sign up the right clients quicker – Part 2
- 5 ways your online footprint helps you sign up the right clients quicker – Part 3
This post originally appeared in a different form on the How To Make Partner website.
Heather Townsend helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. She is the author of the award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, and ‘The Go-To Expert’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices.