The Buy Cycle represents the steps buyers must go through to acquire an item. One of the ways a successful sales person becomes effective is by understanding their prospect’s Buying Cycle. With this understanding, he/she will attempt to influence the Buy Cycle at as many steps along the way as possible. The length of time for each step may vary from company to company and will depend on several factors including:
- Product complexity,
- Product price,
- Nature of the industry, and
- State of the economy.
Although the length of time for each step may vary, the actual steps will remain consistent. A sales person might be able to influence some of the steps, but it is almost impossible to skip a step.
1. Awareness - The buyer must have some notion that things could be better.
- A need arises to solve a problem or pain that exists in the buyer’s environment
- A buyer is creative and begins searching for a possible solution that will improve their company.
- A sales person, friend, or business associate suggests a product that’s been successful in other companies.
2. Need/Pain Recognition - Before a buyer is motivated to move to the next step in the cycle, the buyer must “feel” the pain or recognize a potential opportunity to the point they are willing to research potential ways to do something about it.
3. Visualize Solution - Research is conducted to identify possible products that might satisfy the identified need/pain.
4. Evaluation - The various options are analyzed in an attempt to determine best fit.
5. Decision - The product that best meets the buyer’s needs is selected.