September 2, 2015

How Customers Make Decisions

business ideaEvery person goes through, roughly, the same 5 steps when they’re making a decision to purchase a product – be it a cupcake or a Cadillac.  Knowing what this process is can and should play a huge role in how you market you company.

Depending on what you sell and what sales channels you use, your customers may do all these steps in rapid succession or it may take days, weeks, or months for customers to move through these steps with you:

1. Awareness: People first have to know about your company before they can make a purchase.

2. Education: In this step, people know who you are but don’t yet understand what it is you do, what you sell, or what your company story is.  They are, understandably, skeptical of you and your job is to educate them on why they should be buying your products.

3. Evaluation: Now that these people know a little bit about you, they may need time to consider their options.  Think about a wedding cake designer – oftentimes clients will leave a tasting without committing to a baker because they want time to think through all their options before signing a contract.  If you are selling cooking at a farmers’ market, the time a customer takes to evaluate your products and make a decision might be much quicker than that wedding cake designer.

4. Purchase: With the knowledge they have about your products, some customers will deem it’s the right product for them and will make a purchase.

5. Repeat Consumer: One sale is great but it’s always better when you can turn that one-time sale into a recurring sale by turning that first-time consumer into a repeat customer.

Keeping these five steps in mind, think through how your customers get to know about you, interact with you, and ultimately purchase from you.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about why understanding these steps is important and how you can use this knowledge in your marketing.

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2 comments on “How Customers Make Decisions

  • Jillian Hull on said:

    Your posts are fantastic. And couldn’t be more timely. I actually feel like the posts from the last few weeks were custom-designed for me at that exact moment. I’ve spread the word of your site to many new foodies here in British Columbia. All the best and thanks for your great work.

    • Jennifer on said:

      Thank you for sharing this site with your foodie friends. I love building a food entrepreneurs community here and couldn’t do it without all of you!