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Tradie Business: Understanding Customer’s Buying Cycle

While having a great product may seem like a fail safe for hitting sales and growing your customer base, without learning the psychology of your target audience, you run the risk of not converting leads.

As Small Fish business coach Jon Dale explains, “for many tradies and builders, your sales process is not much more than providing a quote when asked and hoping they say yes.”

Instead, Dale emphasises the importance of understanding customer buying behaviour to ensure that you don’t miss out on sales, while also delivering first-rate customer service. 

Dale breaks up this process into seven parts, identifying the psychological stages that each customer faces during each buying stage.

The key stages of a customer’s buying cycle:

  1. The customer identifies what they need. This usually comes about from a broken appliance that needs to be replaced or a tool that doesn’t work like it should. 
  2. They start researching products on the market. They usually start googling possible
    replacements or begin seeking quotes for a handyman. “They’ve got the problem or the desire and they’re researching the costs, what their options are (and) who’s good,” says Dale. 
  3. They’ve committed to finding a replacement. “They’re making genuine, immediate enquiries,” Dale continues.
  4. They’re evaluating the options available. They’ve identified the problem and have gathered a range of solutions, whether it’s quotes or a variety of brands. Now they need to narrow down that shortlist.
  5. It’s decision time. They’ve finally picked the solution they’re going with.
  6. Price matching. Now that they’ve made a decision, they want to get the best possible price. “They might negotiate on price; they might want to review or redesign the solution or check references,” says Dale.
  7. Commitment. After countless research, decision making and price matching, they’ve finally pulled the trigger.

When you’re approached by a customer, although they’re requesting a specific answer, such as a quote, you need to think about the wider picture: where in the buying cycle do they currently sit?

Knowing which stage the customer is at means you can offer answers to other questions that will ultimately arise. This simplifies the process for them, and the convenience of your service might help secure their business. 

“If they’re still researching and they ask for a quote, a quote isn’t probably what they should have, is it?” adds Dale. “You should probably be helping them understand their options and their relative costs rather than doing a detailed quote. 

“You don’t need to be quoting until they’re evaluating their options.”

At the end of the day, understanding where a potential client is at in their buying cycle can help secure business and boost your reputation as a quality service.

Looking to start your own business? Head to Qualify Me! to see how a tradesman coach like Dale can give you the keys to success.

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