Influencing Client Decision Making
The purpose of any business is to convince their prospective clients that they will be better off with the product or service they are offering and is of greater value than anything else that they could buy from a competitor.
Before the rise of the internet and in particular smart phones, consumers would rely on adverts, magazines and sales consultants for advice when making a purchasing decision. This has all changed, at the touch of a button the consumer now has access to a host of information (comparison sites, social media and review sites) to help aid their decision making.
Google states that half of all buyers of technology products carry out online searches before making their buying decisions, in addition to speaking to friends, colleagues and family members – usually online through social media platforms. The online world plays a major influence in a buyer’s decision making process.
Google refers to this as the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) – this is the moment when they switch from undecided to making a buying decision and it happens when they are online.
Influencing client decision making centres on building confidence, trust and cultivating a relationship with your potential clients, and crucially being visible in the online space they are using to do their research. When your clients have a need they will research online and for your business to be considered and at the front of their minds, you need to be noticed.
How can you guarantee your business is noticeable online where you need it to be, at the time your prospective clients are researching and looking?
Ensure your website is properly and thoroughly optimised so when a search is carried out for your product/service, your website appears on the first page of a search result.
Did you know?
Websites featured on the first page of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) get just over 91% of Google traffic. Traffic to websites featured on the second page drops significantly to just under 5%. With websites on page 3, receiving as little as 1%.
Potential clients visit your site to fulfil a need, with this is mind you need to make sure the content you produce is of interest, and most importantly, of value to your prospective clients. The content needs to be updated regularly, this will encourage users to return to your site and all links within the content take readers through to relevant pages that will enhance their experience and improve the chances of conversion.
Vary the type of content on your site, prospective clients find video more engaging than a page full of copy. It will come as no surprise that YouTube is the second most used search engine.
WORD OF MOUTH
There is no greater endorsement than word of mouth and third party endorsements are more credible and carry more weight than anything you say about your products and services, so encourage your existing clients to leave feedback on your products and services through testimonials and reviews where you have an online presence.
Did you know?
According to the global research company Nielsen, in their consumer trust survey: 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
Over 1.35 Billion people are on Facebook alone (expandedramblings.com), with so many people on social media, this offers a great opportunity to put your business in front of your potential clients. Social media is considered to be a genuine and veritable resource for knowledge, thoughts and attitudes about pretty much anything and heavily influences people’s opinions and decision making. Your business needs visibility on one or more of the social media platforms and you need to do it well. Potential clients seeing poor social media accounts can negatively impact on brand perception and you run the risk of losing ground to your competitors.
If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends, if you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6000 friends.
Jeff Bezos (Google Founder)
Influencing client decision making starts with visibly placing your business where your clients live online in order to be heard; website, social media, top of search engine pages etc. The challenge for your business is ensuring that you communicate rich, valuable and relevant information that meets the needs of your potential clients at whatever stage of the decision making process they are at, in a consistent, helpful and influencing way until they are ready to buy.
Have you read all this before - but never implemented it successfully?
Talk to us - this is how leads are generated today - and we do it very well.