Whether your business is new or old and regardless of the size – micro, small, medium or large, you need sales and profit to thrive. Sales and profits from the sales are the force that helps your business to push on and scale up. Sales and profit is the number one reason your products and services exist! And you must sell, and sell more and more because that is what you want.
But why are many businesses struggling to make (enough) sales?
Perhaps, you will understand what your own business needs to fix as we consider “the customer buying cycle”.
The Customer Buying Cycle
Apart from your close family and friends, before anyone else will buy what you sell, they usually go through three (3) stages. These are the awareness stage, consideration stage and purchase stage. How much time anyone spends in these three stages vary but it is a constant experience they must all go through.
When you take marketing steps like sending out emails, text messages, online and offline adverts placements in other to let people know what you sell, you are only taking care of the awareness stage of the cycle. It should not end there.
Those who see, read or hear your adverts are now aware that you have a solution. They are called lead or prospects. Usually those who have immediate need for what you advertise will take note of you but it doesn’t yet guarantee that they will buy from you. They will write down your phone number, save your email, write down your office address or any other information they can use to find you later if they decide to patronize you. Those who don’t have immediate need for your products or services will just forget about your advert that they see, unless they see it over and over again.
Those who took note of you will now begin to check out if there are other brands that offer what you just advertised in better ways than yours. They want to consider all their options. And in this era of internet, Google will lay bare all the options before them at the click of a button.
Those who you call your prospects are now busy weighing their options. Some who prefer to pay higher price to get best quality will be looking for more expensive alternative to yours while others will be looking for alternatives that have competitive advantage over you. Those who think better service providers should be located in certain geographical locations will use your data to check for brands in those locations to compare with yours. Yet others will be looking for brands closer to them than yours.
So those people you have advertised to and which you are busy calling your prospects are currently, seriously comparing you with your competitors based on price, quality, location and brand reputation. But all the while, you will not know because they don’t tell you.
They are busy using social media and search engines in their research, watching how to videos, reading emails, blog posts and newsletters/journals, reading eBooks, articles, brochures and white papers as well as asking their acquaintances if anyone has provided them with such products and services before.
When they have done a seemingly thorough job, they then make their decision on which vendor to buy from.
If that prospect eventually chose your competitors, then you will never see them knock your door except they get a bad experience there. But if you are lucky and they choose your brand, please handle them with care because they went through a lot to choose you over others.
Where many Businesses miss it
Many businesses fail to generate sales because they only take care of the awareness stage (and even they don’t take care of it well enough). More often than not, they totally abandon working on the consideration stage and as a result lose their prospects to the competition. To generate more sales, you must not just create awareness about your products and services and expect that those who see it will automatically come to buy from you. You must create strategies to capture leads who are interested in your offer and nurture them through the consideration stage so that they can eventually choose to purchase from you.
Everyday people purchase what they want and need. If they are not buying from you, they are buying from your competition.
You need an efficient lead capture system
Your business must put in place mechanisms to capture prospects’ details so that you can nurture them to choose you over competition. This is usually achieved with a clear “call to action” in all your marketing and advertisements.
Do you run radio programmes? Tell the audience to text their names and maybe email to your business telephone line. Or maybe they should send you an email, or call a number to claim some discount… The same for TV, banner adverts, bill boards, etc. Find a way to get interested leads to willingly hand over their details to you. That way, you have the tool to nurture them through the consideration stage of their buying cycle.
Digital marketing (also called online marketing or internet marketing) present excellent ways to capture prospects’ name, phone numbers, emails and other needed details. And this is why many businesses now prefer to use digital marketing to drive sales. Traditional methods of marketing like TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines, etc will work best if harmonized with your digital marketing strategy.
Priority should be given to any channel and strategy that enables you to capture contact information of leads so that you can nurture them through the consideration stage and win them over to your side. This is why you need a digital marketing agency like YEMIPIDAN & CO. We know how these things work and we are ready to work with you.
Factors which leads consider before making a decision include pricing, location, product/service quality, brand reputation, continuity and customer service to mention a few. If you are close to them through their consideration stage, you will be able to answer all their questions, allay their fears and get them to believe that you are able to satisfy their need and even surpass their expectation.
This is how to grow your sales.