Have you ever made a sale on the first meeting? It may have happened at some point if you have spent enough time in sales. You have likely seen it all if you are a seasoned veteran I am sure. But even long-time sales professionals know that this chance opportunity tends to be a faint outlier.
The reality is that people do not buy on the first meeting. They may make a buying decision after carefully thinking through offerings and going through an education process to get comfortable with a purchase.
If they know specifically what they want, that face-to-face meeting or phone call may happen only after other touch points that are not apparent or visible to you. The customer usually gets to know you from afar as an anonymous buyer before they even reach out. Thus, what may appear as a chance first meeting, is the culmination of a larger buying process.
The vast majority of people that eventually say, “Yes,” go through an intellectual and emotional process of consideration. In the interim, they entertain and welcome content to help inform them and validate their eventual decision. They are looking for validation before they make a decision.
The Story of a Coffee PotTitanium, lightweight, expensive and desirable!
I have an area of life I like to splurge on – outdoor adventure equipment. I love the outdoors and if I have to rough it, I like to have great gear that performs.
Now, my definition of what is necessary can stretch, admittedly. One of the luxury items I like is having good coffee. It makes the mornings both enjoyable and wholesome. There’s lots of ways to make coffee, but I have had my eye on a $60 titanium French press from Snow Peak, a company that makes lots of cool, lightweight designed outdoor gear.
Now, I can always get a much larger size and cheaper coffee maker for $10 and it will do the job. But, I am drawn towards the marquis coffee press. And it’s titanium, for heaven’s sake!
I keep looking, but I have not bought yet. I probably will. In the mean time, here I am looking at all kinds of content that is filling my mind and validating a decision to make a jump for this luxury item. Some of the things I am doing unbeknownst to Snow Peak is reading tons of content from the following:
- Reviews from people who bought from retailers and what their take is.
- Google search and finding out information from third parties and how people are using it.
- Reading the snow peak blog and the backstory of how they make their stuff
- Subscribed to newsletters that help me think through titanium for outdoor gear strategies
- Reviewed social media posts on the French press
- Read forums for people’s opinions and how they are using the product
It’s all great content and it is serving to help me get ready to make a jump. All the while, I have not talked to anyone at Snow Peak. They don’t know that I have spent some time preparing to buy. I am choosing to remain anonymous until I am ready.
I have some of their other products, but this one is not necessary. It’s one of those items that causes me to look at the company and the people who vouch for them before investing further.
The whole time, I have to admit, their brand is growing stronger in my mind. I have moved from casual purchaser of a couple items to now wanting a lot of titanium cookware for my collection.
I am not uncommon. Other people that become frequent repeat buyers are doing the same thing. They are reading, deliberating and deciding.
This is the power of nurturing both with direct and indirect channels. Ultimately, it is all content that is authentic and packaged for various audiences.
When you think about your own business, your customers want validation before they commit. They want to know who they are buying from, not just what they buy. They also want to know who else buys and if that story fits the one they tell themselves.
Content marketing and the strategies involved to provide your audience with a broad and focused net of information and value would only fit too well for someone who has not committed yet, but wants to.
If your competitor does this better, then they win in the mind of the buyer.
Does your content help your buyers validate their decision to do business with you? How would you describe their actions before they make first contact?