All customers make decisions based on value. Think about your own consumer habits either for personal or for your business. You will weigh the options presented by other products or services (solutions to your real or perceived need). You will potentially look at which solution has the best service, which has the highest quality, the most efficient in terms of either price or the easiest to ‘consume,’ or the most innovative. You may consider brand, references, reviews or testimonials. You might be tied to a product or services by any one of the before mentioned points because you have used it before so there is a loyalty component.
I call the decision criteria that you (and all customers) consider ‘Triggers.’ In other words, what triggers a purchase decision or moves the customer to choosing you and your company?
A purchase decision may be incredibly fast where a customer just ‘gets it’ and is triggered early in the buying cycle. This group makes up about 15% (give or take) of your (and your competitor’s) available market.
The bulk of customers (about 70%) are triggered in the middle of the buying cycle because they take more time to consider options, alternatives and what data is out there for them analyze (including what other customers are saying about you and your product or service).
The last group are the laggards (about 15%). They are triggered late in the cycle. They will be triggered because they may have no options left (such as status quo) and are forced to make a purchase.
We all sit at a different place for different products or services at different times however, when we move to a purchase decision, there is a trigger that initiates the decision.
So, what is the trigger for your product or service?
This is a critical understanding that needs to be well understood. Unfortunately, for most of the leaders and organizations that I work with, they have no idea, or conflicting opinions, as to why customers choose them over all the competitive options.
In fact, inside the walls of your organization, I bet that if talked to 20 people, I would get multiple different reasons as to why customers are triggered. Further, I would bet that your key marketing and salespeople do not know who the most profitable customers are for the business and what triggers this very important group.
How do you build understanding and organizational alignment around your customer’s purchase triggers? Here’s how I approach it:
Triggers are real. It is critical for your growth and profitability and your ability to weather storms like pandemics and the economy.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, connect with Robert on LinkedIn.
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