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What Does Today’s Buying Process Look Like?


In today’s buying process, your prospects have more power than ever before. It’s not just the abundance of options available to them or even the ease with which they can find different businesses in the area — it’s the ability to research their frustrations, educate themselves, and weigh their options in a highly educated and self-directed way.

So how do you stand out, and what can you do to help potential clients decide that you’re the best option for them?

In this post, we’ll show you what a modern buying process looks like and, hopefully, illuminate where and why prospects are falling out of your sales funnel. The buyer’s journey is more complicated than ever before, so it’s important to understand what stage your prospects are at so that you can provide the right information at the right time.

The buyer’s journey is the path your customers take to purchase, otherwise known as a sales funnel or pipeline. You can visualize it like this:
The journey is defined by different stages, and each stage represents how ready your prospect is to make a purchase. Not everyone starts at the top — some people already have an idea of what product or service would solve their problem, and maybe have some specific brands in mind — but it’s important to understand each stage and what they entail.

The funnel above is a great tool for figuring out what kinds of information to give to your prospects since what content and interaction they want to experience from you will differ depending on where they are in the funnel.


While many believe the buying process starts with shopping for products or services, it often begins before the buyer even knows what to shop for. Someone is experiencing a problem, but they aren’t quite sure what’s causing it. The first step, therefore, is all about diagnosing the problem — becoming aware of what is causing the issue.

At this stage, the buyer is looking for answers, resources, education, and insight. They want educational, third-party, vendor-neutral information so they can conduct “symptoms” research to decide if a problem exists and to more clearly define and name the problem.

In this stage, Buyers will be asking “who”, “what”, “where”, why”, and “how to” questions, either to their friends or their favorite search engine (or more than likely, both).

Let’s look at an example.

John has been experiencing some minor shoulder pain lately. Curious as to what is causing this pain, he goes to his desktop computer and searches for “common causes of shoulder pain.” A local physical therapist named Therapeutic Solutions appears in the search results, with a blog post that covers the most common causes of shoulder pain.

John sees some descriptions that match the pain he’s experiencing, eventually concluding he probably has arthritis. For now, the pain isn’t bad, so he doesn’t worry about looking into it further and is satisfied knowing why his shoulder hurts.

Notice that the content provided by Therapeutic Solutions doesn’t talk about themselves at all — it’s simply addressing shoulder pain and providing helpful information on what might be causing it. They know that John isn’t ready to buy at this point, he just wants to educate himself; they’ve curated their content to satisfy that need.

Keep in mind that the cause of a problem is sometimes more obvious and requires less research — for example, people who need to find a primary care doctor often don’t need to figure that out, they just know. That being said, those buyers can still find valuable information on the type of primary care physician that’s right for them.

Some questions John asked at this stage include:

  • What causes shoulder pain?
  • Why does my shoulder hurt?
  • Where can I get my shoulder checked?
  • What kinds of shoulder pain are there?
  • How to cure shoulder pain

researching solutions during the buying process
After identifying the cause of their pain, the modern buyer starts to consider various ways to solve it.

At this stage, the buyer has clearly identified their problem and is conducting research to figure out whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them. They’re focused on solutions and comparisons, exploring all avenues and types of options across industries to determine the best solution.

Let’s look at John again. It’s been a few weeks since he originally looked into his shoulder pain. While riding with a coworker to a meeting his shoulder starts to act up — it’s been getting worse lately — so he pulls out his phone and starts to look at ways to treat the pain. He reads a couple of articles from different sources that identify his options; everything is covered from basic stretches to invasive surgery.

John finishes his research on his tablet at home, coming to the conclusion that physical therapy is the best first step. Now he’s poised to find a business that fits his needs and budget.

The information John wants to see at this point is still vendor-neutral — he doesn’t want to know the specifics of any particular company, he just wants to know what his options are. However, this is a good opportunity to promote your solution over the alternatives. For example, even if you don’t promote your physical therapy services, you can still talk about the advantages of doing physical therapy over taking medicine or going through surgery.
Some questions John asked at this stage include:

  • Best ways to treat arthritic pain?
  • Should I treat my arthritis with medication or surgery?
  • What do I need to fix my arthritis?

weighing options during the buying process
Finally, after picking a solution, the modern buyer will start shopping, looking at everyone who provides that solution. They’ll weigh the pros and cons of each and eventually decide on the option most attractive to them.

At this point, the buyer is figuring out exactly what it would look like to become a customer, whether it’s a customer of your company or one of your competitors. That means this is the time to talk about you. Let’s look at our scenario one last time.

John knows he wants to find a local physical therapist, so he starts searching for offices in his area. He may ask his friends for suggestions, but, like 93% of consumers, John looks to online reviews to help make his purchasing decision. So, he scours online review pages and customer comments.

While weighing his options, John sees the name Therapeutic Solutions again and again. This is the same business that helped him diagnose his problem at the beginning of the buying process. John is impressed by their website, which is designed well and portrays them as professional and experienced. They have many Google and Angie’s List reviews from current patients and one negative review that was responded to and handled appropriately.

During this final stage, John is looking to validate his decisions. If you’re trying to decide what kind of content to cover here, think about what information would help convince a potential client to choose you over the competition:

  • Provide price comparisons
  • Outline the pros of your solution over others
  • Highlight customer testimonials and case studies

Whatever you do, focus on what sets you apart and make that front and center.
Some searches John conducted at this stage include:

  • Best physical therapists in my area
  • Free physical therapist consultation
  • Physical therapists near me

Don’t Be Forgotten

If you’ve ever shopped online you understand that the buying process can be a long and sometimes painful process. With so much information at our fingertips it can feel like every purchase requires tons of research. And that’s exactly how people behave: search trends demonstrate that people not only want the best products available, they want products that perfectly fit their needs.

Because the buyer’s journey is a customer-navigated trip, with shoppers joining at various points, it’s important to have content that answers questions at each stage of that trip. You never know where your prospects will start the process, and providing the wrong information at any stage can push people away into the arms of your competition.

While there is no consistent number, most marketing and sales professionals will tell you that you need at least seven touchpoints with a prospect before they buy. And when you have a high-quality website and effective marketing efforts, it’s much easier to provide information to prospects without having your sales team interject in the process.

It also makes John’s buying process easier and will help him eliminate options that use less consistent or professional marketing materials.

Think about it like this: since the beginning of the buying process, Therapeutic Solutions provided helpful information to John and made sure he’d remember their name. As he identified his problems and decided on a proper solution, Therapeutic Solutions was there portraying themselves as highly trained medical professionals.

While this doesn’t guarantee that John will give them his business, he is much more likely to.



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Internet Businesses Tips

What Does it Mean for Your Business?


In an era of the internet where it feels like everyone offers a “plug-and-play” website creation tool, it can be easy to overlook the importance of a web design strategy and the critical impact your website can have on the growth and health of your organization. Where once websites were one-page billboards that advertised a company’s existence, now users and consumers expect a website to be a functional, multi-layered tool that answers their questions and gets them where they need to go. But how, with everything else you’re juggling in your role, do you prioritize website strategy, understanding your user, and analyzing data to make informed suggestions? That’s where a website discovery comes in. 

What is a Website Discovery? 

Let’s get one thing out of the way: a Website Discovery is a “branded” Engenius term. When we use it, we’re referring to the process by which we help companies review their online presence, outline potential opportunities, and suggest web design strategies that help them see success with their users and achieve their business goals. It’s a deep dive, if you will, into your organization’s online health and well-being by a party that has expertise in that area. 

Why is a Website Discovery worth it?

One statement: creating a strategy to maximize your ROI. Your website is a 24/7 sales rep that showcases who you are to the audiences you’re hoping to reach. More than that, it can be an incredibly helpful tool that connects to an online employee portal, or your customer service chat, or a donation or payment processing platform, or any number of other resources. A Website Discovery accomplishes three main goals. 

First, a Website Discovery makes you ask the big questions about your organization’s past, present, and future.

In a thorough discovery, you’ll want to consider:

  • What is important to your business now? Growth? Maintaining current revenue? Adding a product or service? 
  • Do you want to appeal to new clients or grow the current spend and referral potential of current clients? 
  • Do you want to hire more staff or do you simply want to retain your existing personnel?
  • What matters most to your audience?
  • What’s your competitive advantage?

All of these questions, and more, inform the strategy behind your website. Your answers feed into the overarching question your agency or freelance partner should be asking: how your website can support and further your organizational goals. 

The second goal of a Website Discovery is to connect you with an outside person or group trained to help you see the big picture more clearly.

Let’s look at an example. If you’re planning an expensive trip to Europe, Asia, or some other exotic destination, you can do it yourself OR you can go work with a travel agency. While DIY has merit, a travel agent relies on connections, experience, and in-depth knowledge of where you’re going to formulate a plan that fits your unique goals. You might have a lovely trip to Italy that you planned…but are you sure you’ll know about the cutest bed & breakfast, best tour group, or local-legend restaurant? Probably not, but an expert might be able to point you in the right direction and tailor a trip specifically for your interests. Whether working with a travel agent or working with a web design freelancer or agency, having an outside group take a fresh look at your situation is a win. 

Third, a Website Discovery provides you with data-backed insights into your current website and your desired users.

The internet is FULL of data, but too much data can be overwhelming. A formal Website Discovery allows trained experts to do the hard work for you. Instead of sifting through mountains of numbers, insights, and projections to come up with a potentially murky conclusion, a discovery process lets trained experts pull the stats relevant to their field and present them back to you in a helpful, digestible way. Numbers tell a story, but not everyone has the time to write or read the book. Letting someone else do the digging may be one of the most rewarding things you could do for your information. 

What should I bring to the table for the Website Discovery process? 

You! Your organization is unique. Your goals and dreams, clients, and ideal users are unique. You should enter the Website Discovery process with a general idea of your goals and what’s important to you personally and your organization professionally. A good Website Discovery partner, like a good consultant, should ask the right questions to help you unpack your business and get to the heart of what’s important.  

What should I look for with a Website Discovery partner?

Honesty, good communication, and the desire to help your organization succeed. The point of a Website Discovery is to help you understand the potential of your website to be an irreplaceable tool for your business. In order to achieve that, however, you may need the support of a web design partner that has your best interests at heart. Read through reviews and case studies of anyone you’re considering, but beyond that, ask them a few hard questions and see how they respond. A good partner should be able to tell you when they are a good fit…and when they aren’t. 

Pro-tip: ask them the last time they turned away a lead that wasn’t a good fit. How they handled that situation might give you a good idea as to what they value in a client relationship!

A Website Discovery is a fantastic way to gain a deeper understanding of the web design world, your business objectives online, and the best, most strategic way to achieve those objectives. It’s also a great opportunity to gain industry insight from people who know their stuff and want to help your organization succeed. In the end, we all want a better internet experience, and good websites and smart digital marketing are a part of that bigger picture. 



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Internet Businesses Tips

14 Virtual Jobs You Can Do from Home in the Hospitality Field


For job seekers with a background in the hospitality industry, finding an opportunity online may be a hard task to undertake. The hospitality field is more than working the front desk of a hotel chain. So when deciding a career in this field you will have to think outside the box. 

The EASIEST Ways To Earn Extra Cash Online…

Various assignments within hospitality may include online reservations, vacation planning, event planning, personal concierge services and more.

Here are 12 Virtual Jobs in the Hospitality Field that you can do.

Want more job leads?  Don’t forget to “Like Us” on Facebook

Online Reservations and Sales

As an Online Reservation or Sales Specialist, your leading role is to provide top-quality customer service and inform customers about current specials and opportunities while addressing queries and concerns about hotel and trip reservations. 

It has now become commonplace for larger and well-known hotel chains to hire home-based reservation specialists and here are a few you can apply to.

Hilton Worldwide

Hilton hires Reservation Specialists to work from home booking preferred hotel reservations, while offering products and services that are targeted to each individual or family needs.

American Express

This well-known company hires Travel Counselors to handle incoming calls from American Express travel members who need assistance regarding their travel needs.

Wyndham

Wyndham occasionally hires for Remote Customer Service Reps. You will need to regularly check back with them for future opportunities.

CWT – Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Carlson Wagonlit Travel frequently hires Travel Experience Counselors to answer phone calls during the evenings and weekend hours. Your main goal is to deliver the best trip and offer great recommendations to the traveler.

I also recommend 65+ Remote Work From Home Companies Hiring NOW

Active Network

Active Network frequently hires seasonal online Reservation Agents. Your main role is to assist customers with campsite reservations, park reservations, and possibly assist with purchases of hunting and fishing licenses.

Expedia Group

This well-known online travel company has a number of travel services under their umbrella such as Hotels.com, HomeAway, Trivago, Travelocity, and others. 

Opportunities for remote customer service representatives, online reservation specialists and many other remote jobs are open in various locations around the world.

Work from Home Transportation Services

From making car rental arrangements to scheduling driver services, this is a job in the hospitality industry that will always have openings. 

While working as a transportation specialist, your main responsibility is to connect customers with their ideal transportation – this can be in the form of car, boat, yacht rentals or personal drivers.

Enterprise

This is a well-known car rental company, headquartered in St Louis, Missouri. 

Enterprise has more than 80,000 employees, providing quality service rental brands including Enterprise Rent a Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental. 

They have a reputation for being a great place to work and are now ranked 15th on the Forbes Private Companies list.

Uber

Uber is a popular and fast-growing transportation company that hires not just drivers but also customer service reps, account managers and IT engineers who can work remotely from home. 

You could end up working virtually for their everyday Uber ride service, Uber Eats delivery service or even their luxury car service called Lux.

Hertz

Hertz is another  popular rental car company. You can become a Customer Service Associate, or an Account Manager. You can choose to work from different locations or a hybrid mix of working or completely remote.

Vacation Planning and Travel Services

Sometimes it can become very stressful when planning a vacation. This is where a travel counselor or vacation planner come into play for those who want to work remotely and provide a much-needed service.

American Express 

American Express frequently hires Travel Counselors to handle incoming calls from travel members to book them the best trip they can imagine. 

Your main focus will be domestic and international destination travel, car and hotel travel arrangements and taking ownership of the journey from beginning to end.

Cruise.com

Cruise.com hires Cruise Sales and Customer Service Specialists. This job involves more than sales and customer service. Your main role is to sell cruise packages, insurance, and other products to current and future customers. 

Work is done through inbound and outbound calls, online chat and email support.

If you already have great customer service experience within the cruise industry then this will be the ideal work from home job for you to get paid to use the skills you have.

Concierge Services

If you are looking for more than an inbound Customer Service job and want more of a challenge, consider working in virtual concierge services. 

This is an awesome area of employment that offers satisfaction to clients seeking your well-organized and professional service. From personal gift requests to specialized travel needs, your personal attitude will be rewarded in the thanks you receive.

MyTime

This company connects customers with local businesses through booking appointments. Customers can schedule appointments, such as a hair cut or home cleaning, and a MyTime Concierge Contractor makes the connection for the client.

VIP Desk Connect 

Once you join up to work with VIP Desk you will handle their inbound customer requests by phone, e-mail, and online chat.  Your title will be “brand ambassadors” or “concierges.” 

Brand ambassadors are mostly customer service reps and support the needs of the company’s corporate clients. Check regularly for remote job openings.

You May Also Like: 8 Remote Customer Service Work from Home Jobs That Pay Up to $15 Per Hour

Inspirato

If luxury hospitality is your thing and you know where the best and most luxurious vacation spots are around the world or locally you can arrange exceptional vacation experiences for clients. You can do this by working remotely for Inpirato.

They have a number of remote openings that cater to high-end travelers who pay for membership to this exclusive travel club. 

Final Thoughts

Finding remote jobs within the hospitality industry is not that hard when you know how and where to look. 

Now that hybrid and work from home ways of working has become more popular, companies have begun to offer more virtual job opportunities to create more flexibility and work-life balance for staff.



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