Buying Right Away
When people decide to buy a product right away, they often will buy it from whatever source comes to their mind first. This could be a printer that just happens to send a direct mailing, a business that is right down the street, or ad company that advertises on a nearby billboard. Or they might look up to companies’ names in the Yellow Pages or in product or industrial directories.
When potential customers are going to want to buy right away, you need to be sure your name is easy to find. Some tactics you can use are the following:
- Yellow Pages or directory advertising.
- Billboard ads.
- Advertising specialities (these can be especially effective in business-to-business advertising).
- Visible signs on buildings or trucks: This works for every type of business.
- Stickers: Service companies should leave their name and phone number on equipment they work on.
- Order forms. A box company sends me order forms every two or three weeks. Whenever I need to order, I just order from them because it is easy.
- Telemarketing calls: This is similar to the order form tactic in that a call is made to potential customers every two to four weeks.
- Trade magazine ads: Some companies will always have ad add on the back cover of key magazines.
- Store or business locations: Clothing stores are in malls because that’s where people go when they want to buy clothes. For the same reason, many companies that provide services to businesses are located in industrial parks.
Making a future purchase decision
People are thorough in their buying decision when they are making an important decision as they have time to decide. For example, people take their time making decisions such as where to go on vacation, buying equipment for a plant under construction, or buying engineering design services for a product being introduced in two years.
When customers are thinking of making a decision in the future, they will watch for ads and publicity releases, look for products at trade shows or at other people’s homes or businesses, and try to get input from other people well in advance of when they will actually buy, People will usually narrow their choices down to three or four before they actually contact a company’s salesperson. For example, a friend worked with a manufacturing engineer to select a new type of switching mechanism for a product. The engineer sent away for brochures and information from several companies. They then went through the brochures and pulled out the four manufacturers they wanted to talk further with.
The key to selling to customers making a longer-time-span purchase decision is to find them in the compilation page; then you can keep contacting them to resolve any perceived problems before they rule you out during the screening period.
Some ways to find prospects early in their decision process are:
- Trade show attendance.
- Publicity release programs
- Card pack advertising.
- Magazine advertising.
- Having a newsletter to send out weekly or monthly.
- Classes or free seminars.
- Contests or events.
- Tracking programs. For example, one company that sold products to new metallurgical laboratories tracked publicity releases and construction permits to find companies that were considering building laboratories.
- Offering free buying information in company ads.