Answer THEIR pre-sale questions
Who are these self educating customers you may ask? It happens to be about 40% of us. According to this consumer report (Salmat Marketing Report 2018) 40% of us use Google to research the products or services we want to purchase. Self educating customers use the Internet to essentially get answers to their pre-sale questions.
The way it used to work is we went to the shops and checked out the product we wanted, or we phoned the service or provider or retailer to get more information.
The way it works now
We come across a good product or service and one of the the first things we do is reach for our device of choice and look it up on the net. We may be told the business’s name and in that case many of us will try to look them up directly online. While we’re looking around for this business we look for some reviews so we can see what others are saying about this business.
THEY’RE looking for you but can’t find you
If people know of your business they may try looking you up to see if they can connect with you on social media and asked you a few questions directly. Or they may want more in-depth information and if you don’t provide it at the very time they are looking for it you risk sending your potential customers elsewhere to get their answers. These online answers may come from one of your competitors.
40% of us follow this process to buy a product or engage with a service
This research from the Salmat Marketing Report 2018 shows that 40% of us use Search Engines for pre-sale research. People also use social media for recommendations, the digital equivalent of WOM (word of mouth) and make their decisions based on these pre-sale activities. It’s like a conversation and if you are not online providing some answers to these pre-sale questions you are simply not included in the conversation.
They have online access FROM THEIR DEVICES 24/7 AND THEY USE THEM FREQUENTLY
Business owners understand that everyone carries around a smart device that is connected to the Internet for a reason. They look things up all the time and prefer communicating this way. Given the option to make a phone call or send a message, most will now choose to send a message by their preferred means, text, email, Facebook etc.
taking action to Give them what they want
Setup a Facebook page, a simple website and get yourself listed on Google Maps. This will at least give you a presence on the Internet and if you know your customers well; publish answers to their pre-sale questions together with customer reviews and anything else that will help your potential customers decide to deal with you.