There are four distinct phases to the buying cycle that you need to be aware of. Learn to recognize these phases when talking to your prospective clients and save yourself time and heartburn down the road.
- Phase I: Need – your prospect is aware that some sort of change is required either in themselves or in the company they work for; they may feel uneasy or possibly under pressure to quickly find a solution to the problem.
- Phase 2: Learn – knowing there is a need; your prospect sets out to research products or services that may potentially fix their problem. They are asking themselves who offers the best solution, so they will compare the offerings of several different companies during this phase.
- Phase 3: Buy – fear about choosing the right solution is weighing heavily on your prospect’s mind at this point. They’re thinking: “What if I make a mistake? What if the sales person oversold the capability of their product or service? What if I commit to this approach and it doesn’t solve the problem like I think it will? Will my career be in jeopardy if I make a mistake with this decision? Will we be able to agree to terms?”
- Phase 4: Value – in the value phase, your prospect is considering whether or not they will see the results that they’ve been promised. They might be wondering if they’ll really end up satisfied with the solution. They are weighing the value of the solution against the problem they need to solve and evaluating the risks involved with potentially making the wrong decision.
Make sure you understand what phase of the buying process your customer is currently in. This will help you be more aware of the issues at stake and make you better prepared for selling your solution.