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How Buyers Buy

When buyers are researching a new product or looking into your services, they ask themselves one very important question: “Can you help me?” Let’s talk about how to answer that question.

Last week, I shared a post on Facebook to help someone I know find a service provider for a problem they were looking to solve.

The great thing about social media is when you ask for help, you typically get a lot of responses. The bad thing about social media is when you ask for help, you typically get a lot of responses.

This means you have to do your own due diligence to determine which referrals are the best fit for you. In most cases, people go through the very same process, which I’ve written about before, but I thought sharing it with you might be a good reminder.

First, they creep you.

That means they go to your website and social media profiles, read what you have to say, and watch videos if you have any available.

When people look at your website, they judge your brand, evaluate your messaging and positioning, and ask themselves one very important question: “Can you help me?”

If this experience doesn’t lead to a resounding yes, they keep looking.

The second thing they do is ask other people about their experience doing business with you. You often don’t see this, as it typically takes place via text, email, and private messages.

When someone responds and tags their favorite service provider, the potential buyer will often reach out privately and ask if they have worked with that person themselves and what their experience was.

People value first-hand experience, and when you combine that with a stellar brand, on-point messaging, and a clear demonstration of the value you provide, you have a better chance of turning a browser into a buyer.

In the work I do with my clients in developing a strategic marketing roadmap, I see the same areas requiring additional support over and over again: messagingpositioningwebsitethought leadershipand marketing channels.

What do I mean by these things?

1. Messaging

Is your message clear? Is it easy for me to read your homepage and understand what you do, who you help, and whether or not you can help me?

Too many people have convoluted messaging that lacks clarity and specificity, leaving potential buyers questioning if this is the right person or business for them.

This is also true when it comes to your services. If you have a bunch of fancy schmancy names for your services and you talk in circles about what you do, it makes it hard for a buyer to understand what they’re buying.

This past week on my podcast, my guest, Kris Plachy, said something I loved. She said, “If you ask someone if they want to go for a car ride with you, the first thing they ask is where we are going.” (Unless you’re my dog, of course!)

The same thing applies to your services. Where are you taking me? If that isn’t clear, your buyer will likely not go along for the ride.

2. Positioning

Positioning is all about showcasing what differentiates you. One of my favorite quotes by Sally Hogshead is, “Different is better than better.”

How are you different? Have you written books? Were you featured in the media? Have you won awards? Do you showcase all of the things that make you uniquely you and position you differently than everyone else?

Most people don’t do this because they can’t see it by themselves. They need someone to help them focus on what makes them different and show them how to use that positioning.

Others don’t have any key areas of differentiation yet. This means they need to acquire the things that make them stand out.

3. Website

Is your website modern, up-to-date, and easy to navigate? Does it have current photos and videos? Does it speak to your ideal buyer in a way that conveys trust? Is it easy for them to interact with you and learn about your products and services?

Your website is more than a landing page. It’s a storybook. It tells the story about how you can help your buyer, and, like most books, it is being judged by its cover.

A typical website has a shelf life of 3-5 years if it is not being regularly updated. If you want your business to generate 6 or 7 figures in sales, then your storefront (e.g., your website) needs to look like a 6 or 7 figure brand.

Pro tip: Act the way you want to be known when it comes to your website.

4. Thought Leadership

The content you create weekly (yes, you need to add content to your website weekly) is the primary way people find you. This is how they get an idea of you, your perspectives, and how you think about things.  If you’re a service provider, this is how you become and stay relevant.

Most people sit in front of their computer and think, “I don’t know what to say,” because they are thinking about themselves and not about the people they can help.

Figure out what content format works best for you. It could be written, video, or podcast, and commit to creating something of value for your next customer every single week.

A true professional does this. A wantrepreneur does not.  Which are you?

5. Marketing Channels

Once you have a home base that you can be proud of, you want to identify what marketing channels are best for you to show up in to build relationships and share your thought leadership. You can do this in many places, but the best ones are where you know your customers spend time.

Marketing channels are the gateway to your business. Think of them as tiny trails that lead potential buyers to your business. The more trails you have out there, the better chance someone will follow one to you.

Too many people are chasing the current trend and not spending enough time on business fundamentals. These are fundamentals that will help you grow your business. If you only focus on #5, and you don’t have #1-#4 in good order, you won’t be successful.

It’s like trying to put the roof on your house before building the foundation and framing the walls. It just won’t work.

There is no easy button to being a successful business owner. It takes time, effort, and a willingness to do the things that feel uncomfortable to you in order to grow not only your business but yourself as the leader of your company.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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