Knowing when your customers will buy!!!

7 09 2007

There is a way to easily tell when you customer is going to purchase your product. Then after they purchase it’s really easy to tell when they will purchase again. Every product or service has a life cycle . Most small business owners know when that life cycle is for their customer but rarely do they ever do anything about it. They simple wait for the customer to decide when they need the product then they hope that they marketing they have in place when the customer does feel they are ready is successful. Then hopefully they will get the opportunity to try and sell the customer. I don’t like the sit back and wait approach to getting the customer. My goal would be to be the first one in line when I know the customer is ready to make that decision.

Now going back to the basics I was talking about a life cycle. It can be a usability cycle meaning how long your product will last till they have to replace it. For example if you buy a tank of gas for your car how long will that tank last before they need to purchase another one? It depends on how much they purchase and what is their average speed and how many miles per gallon do they get. If you owned a gas station and started asking your customers these questions you might be able to use it to have them make their next purchase(s) from you. Give them coupon for soda or an oil change they could use they next time they make a gas purchase. The problem is most business owners think that they don’t influence the decision so they don’t try. When customers are crying out for these simple transactions to be made more valuable though either time savings or cost savings.

The next life cycle is not based on use but rather on trends When a customer FEELS they need to replace the product that is when a new sale is made. These are a lot harder to detect when they are going to happen but if you can find out the specific values and buying pattern of that individual you can have a good start. A great example of this is cellphones many people will not wait for a cellphone to die but rather when a new feature comes out that they desire then they get a new cellphone. Finding out how these individual people tick is the key to finding out when they will buy again. Maybe it is something as easy as they have to be a early adopter—somebody that has the desire to be the first to own new technologies. All those people that went out the very first weekend the Apple IPHONE was available and had to own it. However usually it is more involved as to why people want the new product.

Using your knowledge of what is influencing your customers decision can greatly help you out at this point. You should be finding out your customers purchasing motivation during the sales process. The question of what is most important to you when buying a ____________? This will help you to determine value about a feature or benefit of a product or service. There are several more questions surrounding this one that you can ask to determine how people make decisions that I can teach you about your business if you send me a email.

One of my mentors who in my opinion is the best at this is Harvey Mackay who own the Mackay Envelope Company and all of his sales people are required to to use the Mackay 66 which tell them everything that anybody would ever want to know about their customer. Look him up at Mackay.com

Lesson –the better you understand the customers reasons for wanting to own your product they better chance you will have to have them choose you over your competition when the time for them to buy arises.

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