What is a Buying Trigger? Simply put, a buying trigger is what motivates a consumer to crack open their wallet or open their purse and buy your product or service. Several examples of common thought buying triggers are:
Price seems to be what most people think is the driving factor. However, I would have to ask; why then do many businesses go under even when they cut their costs and prices to near zero margins? While price may be a factor, it is rarely a true buying trigger. Think about it. If price really was the determining factor then Target and Best Buy would never be in business. Everyone knows that there are other stores with the same products as Target and Best Buy for less money. So why do people go to Target or Best Buy? Simple, the buying experience! Consumers buy an experience not just a product or service. My wife and I always go to Best Buy when we need to buy an electronic type product. Upon arrival to the store a staff member quickly asks if you need any help, is always very knowledgeable, and the store is kept very clean and organized. Compare that experience to that of a department store where there are products all over the ground, no one to help you and screaming kids running up and down the aisles, and you begin to understand what the buying experience truly is. I have always believed it is important to try and make the buying experience as easy and pleasant as possible. Take a look at what a customer needs to do to purchase your product or service. Are you setting up barriers? Are you making it difficult for someone to purchase your product or service? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, “What can I do to make it easier and more pleasant to do business with me?”
Value can be a powerful buying trigger. The problem seems to be-- what is value? Too often people think they are getting or giving value that is not tangible. Value means that you are getting or giving more bang for the buck. This is something that can be measured. If it can’t be measured then it is not true value. I have heard potential clients say that the existing vendor already knows the system and our processes, so there is value there. I would have to ask, are you sure? What is the cost of having a new company learn the ropes? If you have problems with your existing provider, then the true value may be to invest in a new provider. The short term cost to train a new company in your process and systems could, in the long run, save you much more money. M.C. Dean offers bundled services. This allows for less management, paperwork, and accounting. It is easy to see how this is a value. If you can come up with a measurable value so you can show the customer how they will save money and what their ROI will be, then the sale is already made. Unless someone isn’t interested in saving money in today’s market. Don’t be so quick to laugh that off. You might be surprised to find out how many people are not willing to take the necessary steps to save money. Which brings us to our next trigger.
Relationship is one of the most compelling triggers out there. People are just used to buying from them and as I have said in a previous article, people don’t like change. It is easier to do business with them because they know our system, they are already setup with our company, they have been handling our account forever, are just some of the relationship driven answers I get when I speak with potential clients. Sometimes it is just as simple as they like the company they are using. While this seems to frustrate most salespeople, I love this customer. Why? Because, if I ever do earn their business, they will be a loyal customer for life. This is a much better option than the true price driven customer. If I am going to invest my time into a prospective customer, I am going to spend it with someone that I can build a relationship with, not someone who will drop me for another company over a half of one percent savings.
Timing, as in comedy, is everything. However, we can’t always control when and where we are going to be meeting our customers and if the timing is right. There are many schools of thought on when the best time is to present your product or service to the customer, and only you can determine what works best for your industry. My only suggestion is to understand your customer’s buying needs and his industry’s buying trends. Ask the probing questions to understand where they are in the buying process. I like to flat out ask my prospective clients, “When are you planning on making your final decision?” At least then I have a time line. The more you understand what the customer needs to make their decision the better chance you have of putting yourself in the right place at the right time.
Fear is the ultimate buying trigger. However, I don’t believe in praying on my customers fears. With that said, in the electrical industry there are many things a customer should fear. I focus on educating my customers to the real dangers of electrical work and the hazards of hiring the wrong people. My customers know that there are many capable companies other than M.C. Dean, the real danger is using unqualified companies. I want them to understand what to look for and what differentiates a qualified company from an unqualified one. This is a simple process of helping protect our potential customers from danger and not using fear to sell a product or service.
So, in closing, stop talking and listen to your customers. They will let you know their buying triggers. It is all a matter of knowing what your customer needs, and trying to provide them with the ultimate customer experience. The more you listen the more you will learn and the better you can become at solving problems for the most important part of your business, THE CUSTOMER!