With more B2B buyers using a “self-service” approach to research and decision making, winning trust in the initial stages of their journey is critical. In the infographic below, discover the different stages of trust established throughout the business buyer’s decision-making process and why each is an essential step toward winning the sale.
With more B2B buyers using a “self-service” approach to research and decision making, winning trust in the initial stages of their journey is critical. That starts with understanding the path that your buyer takes on the way to purchase.
In this infographic, we discuss the different stages of trust established throughout the business buyer’s decision-making process and why each is an essential step toward winning the sale.
1. Identify the problem
In the identification stage, your potential customer knows that they have an issue. They’re ready to take the initial steps toward addressing it.
2. Research solutions
The buyer embarks on the journey of discovery by researching solutions to their problem. This likely involves two primary paths: peer recommendations and independent online research.
The prospect lands in your universe through any one or several common vehicles, including personal referrals, earned media articles, video, infographics, search marketing, and search results.
4. First Impression
THEY FOUND YOU! This is the most important 8-11 seconds in your marketing cycle. Your first impression is your chance to communicate the soul of your brand and what you do better than anyone else. Impressions made here either open or close the door to an opportunity — and all in the time it takes to scan the contents of a computer screen.
A strong first impression yields Initial Trust. It answers the question “Do they look like someone that knows their stuff and I want to identify with?”
Questions Buyers Are Asking:
- Are they current?
- Do I like how they look?
- Do they know me?
- Do they understand my problem?
5. Competence Assessment
If you pass the first impression and win initial trust, then you get to make your case. The buyer will dig deeper to learn if you really have what they need. This is where you let the prospect in on how you approach your solution and specifically address how you meet their needs.
If you substantiate your value proposition and seem qualified to solve their problem, you will earn Qualified Trust
Questions Buyers Are Asking:
- How do they stack up against the competition?
- Do they address everything I need?
- Did they surprise me with something better than I expected?
- How well do they know me?
- How well do they understand my problem?
- What kind of success have they seen with others?
If you earn qualified trust — CONGRATULATIONS you are on your buyers SHORT LIST
6. Initial Contact
You have been identified as a qualified top contender for solving their problem, and the prospect elects to reach out to you. The “self service” portion of the sales cycle is over and now it is up to you.
The final stage of buyer trust is when the buyer to verify things in person to learn if you really are what you have said you are. This is your opportunity to surprise and delight them and ensure that they need not look further.
- What is it going to be like working with these people?
- Do they have a easy path to deployment?
- Does who they are match how they look and felt to this point?
- Do they really know me?
- Do they really understand my problem?
7. Closing Sequence
If you earn verified trust and your pricing is in line with expectations then you have removed all the obstacles and the sale is yours.
Once the sale is made, work to sustain the trust you have fought so hard to win. That happens through extraordinary service and ongoing improvements to your product. Make sure to ask your customers why they chose you, record their answers, and use that intel to direct your product development and marketing efforts.
Understanding and doing what it takes to earn your buyer’s trust through each phase of their journey will clear their path toward the adoption of your solution and speed your path to success.