What will your customer buy from you next? To be able to answer this question you need to think like a buyer. Buyers do research via many different channels. They have preferences which are derived from both business and personal likes and dislikes. Understanding your customer and the channels they use to buy your products is the key to sales and marketing success.

Many buyers can be up to 70% through the buying process before they contact a seller according to research done by Forrester. Marketing and sales have their work cut out to sell to these well informed buyers. The best way to influence the buyer and create a sense of urgency is to take the buyer on a journey.

The Buyer’s Journey is an idea coined by Hugh Macfarlane the author of the thought provoking book The Leaky Funnel, which explores the way businesses buy. It focuses on increasing customer revenue by finding the buyers problem and sending this message out into the market with improved alignment of sales and marketing activities.

The start of the buyer’s journey depends on your particular buyer but 93% of business buyers use online searches to begin the purchasing process. The buyer’s journey is not a single channel one so businesses need to think omni-channel when creating content and ensure it is seamless across all channels.

The content should create a preference to buy and it is useful to remember the power of a good story. ‘Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.’ There is a great book called ‘Made to Stick’ by Dan and Chip Heath, which discusses at length what makes some ideas “sticky” and others not. It talks about 6 Principles of Sticky Ideas. One of those is “Stories” but the other 5 are Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility and Emotions.

By understanding and explaining the value to the buyer of solving their problems you can help them with their complex decisions. Preferences will be formed, purchasing decisions made and business benefits gained. If done well the buyer will want to repeat the experience or at the very least talk about their great experience to others. What are you waiting for – go and tell your story!