I just finished reading Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by the folks over at Grokdotcom and must say I came away impressed, but more importantly much more knowledgeable about how the customer buying process and selling cycle interact.
My key takeaways from this book were:
- Customers behave more like cats since they now have the ability to control the interactions that they have with your brand.
- Due to consumer generated media and the rise of social networks, what your brand does is significantly more important than what your brand says
- The goal of the sales process is to minimize friction throughout the buying cycle.
- This is directly correlated with how much confidence the consumers have in your site.
- Customers will voluntarily engage with with your sales process as long as it provides relevant answers to their questions.
- Buying cycle begins once the customer has identified a problem that needs to be solved. These early stages are when you can have the greatest impression
- For every sale there are micro sales, which are won each time a customer clicks through or advances in the process
- 3 Primary Questions of any conversion process
- Who are we trying to persuade?
- What do we want them to do?
- What do they need?
- Relevance is critical and must be present at every touchpoint.
- Customers interact with brands, not channels, which is why cross channel customer experience needs to be on point.
- Figuring out how to increase conversion rates of a channel is more valuable than pushing more traffic to the channel
- People want personalized experiences, but aren’t willing to sacrifice their personal data necessary.
- Using ‘personas’ allows you to simulate the buying process of a typical segment of your audience
- Engagement as a metric is faulty. It is a means, not an end, and just because people engage something doesn’t mean they’ll advance to the next step.
- Benefits are based on people, features are based on things. If there’s a feature, there’s a benefit, and by identifying benefits you appeal to customers emotions.
- Key question to ask is, “Who are your prospects and what kind of questions are they asking to make them feel more comfortable about buying?”
This does not even begin to go into the level of detail as the book, as it discusses in much more depth how to create personas and guiding them through the conversion process.
For more information about creating personas, check out Creating Personas 101.