Understanding the Buying Process Can Increase Your Sales

Written by Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2003 http://www.copywritingcourse.com

Most marketers don’t give a lot of thought torepparttar buying processes of their customers. That’s a shame. Lending due attention torepparttar 108165 buying process can have a dramatic effect on your sales.

What isrepparttar 108166 buying process? Where does your customer fall within it? How can you use it to help bring your customer torepparttar 108167 point-of-purchase? Follow me as we take a look atrepparttar 108168 decisions customers must make before deciding to buy.

Each and every one of us goes through some sort of buying process when we make a purchase. At timesrepparttar 108169 process is long and labored – as when buying a new computer. At other moments it happens almost without thought – when buying a box of your favorite cereal, for instance. But make no mistake… it does happen.

Generally speaking,repparttar 108170 buying process consists of five steps. Those products/services that are new torepparttar 108171 market, are new to your customer, or are very expensive will require a longer period of consideration in each phase. Products/services that are familiar, that have market longevity, or that cost very little will require a shorter (even instantaneous) process.

Step One - Need/Want Recognition

During this step, buyers realize they want or need something. They recognize that they have a problem or a desire, and they choose to find a solution. If this need or want is something alongrepparttar 108172 lines of lunch,repparttar 108173 buying decision can be made relatively quickly, without much thought ofrepparttar 108174 actual buying process. Hunger is a quick problem to solve, most options are familiar to buyers, andrepparttar 108175 cost is usually low.

Ifrepparttar 108176 need or want is a new car, however,repparttar 108177 actual buying decision can take weeks or months. There is a greater risk, new models and features come out allrepparttar 108178 time,repparttar 108179 cost is high, andrepparttar 108180 possibility of making a “mistake” when buying is great.

Step Two - Information Search

Oncerepparttar 108181 choice has been made to fill a need or want, your customer begins to search for information in order to make a quality decision that is in his/her best interest. Web sites may be visited (in which case you should offer some way forrepparttar 108182 customer to remember you, such as printable versions of information, downloadable brochures and catalogs, a way to bookmark your site, etc.). Brochures may be gathered (be sure to offer your contact information). Phone calls might be placed (check to ensure you or your call staff hasrepparttar 108183 information they need to answer questions). Free samples, test drives, and other means of “trial” work wonderfully to guide your customer throughrepparttar 108184 information search stage and ontorepparttar 108185 evaluation and purchase stages.

The Writing is in the Rewriting. Seven Steps to Getting it Right

Written by Walter Burek

Writers who are so fluent, facile and sure-footed that they can write their stuff down and that'srepparttar way it runs are rare.

Ernest Hemingway rewroterepparttar 108164 last paragraph of THE SUN ALSO RISES 28 times before he got it right. David Ogilvy confessed that he'd done as many as 19 drafts on a single piece of copy before presenting it to anyone.

What we're talking about here is good writing for easy reading. Writing that doesn't puzzlerepparttar 108165 stranger, but clearly conveysrepparttar 108166 meaningrepparttar 108167 writer intends.

It's a sweaty proposition, this rewriting, because it demands that we serve as our own critic, editor and teacher. And that means being able to spotrepparttar 108168 problem areas before we can even beginrepparttar 108169 revising, polishing and cutting.

Here are seven questions you must ask about your copy before you begin another round.

1. Are your sentences short enough?

Experts say that a "short" sentence is anything under 17 words. That doesn't mean you can't write longer sentences, just don't fill uprepparttar 108170 pages with them. Too many long sentences slowrepparttar 108171 reader down; a good mixture of sentence lengths acutally heightens interest.

2. Is your sentence structure varied?

Starting every sentence with "a" or "the" makes your writing read like "duh." Varyingrepparttar 108172 beginning of your sentences with nouns, adverbs and -- even an occasional conjunction -- keeps your reader from getting bored.

3. Have you been too passive?

Userepparttar 108173 active voice, instead ofrepparttar 108174 passive. Make it a habit. It makes your writing more direct, more energetic. And, usually, your sentences shorter.

4. Are your verbs active?

Action verbs rule. Use verbs that describe physical or mental activity instead of a state of being. "Our widgets outshinerepparttar 108175 competition" is more vigorous than "Our widgets are ofrepparttar 108176 highest quality."

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