To really connect with buyers, you need to take a walk in their shoes. The journey begins with a single step but can rocket right to the close based on how compelling the story is for them. I’ll show you how to create content that leads them from one phase to the next along the way. Content can be both the medium and the message. Are you packed up and ready to rock? Here we go!

The Buyer’s Journey

Phase 1: Awareness

We begin in the middle of the story. The buyer is already facing an inefficiency, a lack of resources or confusion. Sometimes they see an opportunity and they need a magic carpet to get them there. They have already done some research and they are trying to frame or name their problem. Out of the mist, your business appears.

Fact: By the time a prospect engages with a sales team, they’ve already done the following:
• Used search engines to research information about the product or service
• Read blog posts about the product or service
• Asked for feedback and input from their peers in LinkedIn groups and other online communities – Koka Sexton, LinkedIn

The buyer is in this stage when searching for analyst reports, e-books, whitepapers and expert content. Phase one buyers need educational content on overarching issues, root problems and upcoming opportunities.

Example:

eBook: 3 Client Trigger Events You Must Be Monitoring

What tools can I use to identify trigger events?
How do I monitor what my clients are doing and saying?
What conversations and brands are clients engaging with?

This social-selling guide was designed to give sales professionals practical tips on how to identify and leverage trigger events to create potential sales opportunities.

Phase 2: Consideration

No one can make this journey alone. They need the guidance of an ancient sage or a bunch of their Twitter connections. They have identified what their challenges are, they see the opportunities, but they need reliable advice to understand all the available tools for reaching their goals.

Fact: “The more unicorns, gurus, and ninjas you’re connected with, the higher your social capital skyrockets. It’s psychology 101, just in the social sphere. Figure out who your buyers like and trust already, and connect with them to gain likeability and trust by extension.” – Jill Rowley, Social Selling Pillar #2: Always Be Connecting

 

I know the buyer has progressed to this stage when they ask about digging deeper into webinars, podcasts, live interactions and videos. Content they need will be visually stunning and valuable in mastering specific problems or market changes.

Example:

8 Easy-To-Use Multimedia Tools To Create Mouthwatering Sales Materials

You only have a few moments to grab someone’s attention in the digital world. Your prospects will watch a video on their phones or favorite an image before they’ll read a block of text. A variety of inexpensive multimedia tools can help produce appealing graphics and images for sales materials and presentations without any previous experience. Let’s take a quick look at the visual editing tools that make your visuals more professional in a matter of seconds.

Phase 3: Decision

This is the big finish. All roads lead here. The buyer must make a choice and contenders fade away because there can be only one. If the buyer is happy with their choice, they will want to follow this trusted pathway time and time again. In the end, the winning sales professional is the one who makes sure the buyer has what they need to seize the treasure they deserve.

Fact: “So many people have social selling wrong; they think social selling is LinkedIn usage. In fact, social selling is meeting and helping the buyer through their buying journey online, where CONTENT is King to this process.” – Jamie Shanks, Does Your Company Have What It Needs For Social Selling Success?

 

Every experienced sales professional recognizes this stage. The buyer is looking for case studies, live demos, product trials or a slot to run their credit card. Content should guide them to their best solution and offer them actionable steps to secure it.

Example:

Training for Individuals & Small Groups

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The Light at the End of the Funnel

The short version of this story is that getting your content out there is essential in setting the groundwork during every phase of this buying journey. Journeys can be full of twists and unexpected complications along the way. Your content should light their way no matter what they have to contend with from their end. Social selling, in the end, is productive storytelling designed to help everyone (including you) get to the next stage in their life’s journey.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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