Welcome to the New Wave of Buying Habits
If you are a service orientated business, staying on top of how buying decisions are made is crucial to the success of your business.
In the past, new buyers were classified easily: new to an area, emergency buyers, dissatisfied customers, an uncommon or infrequent service, a buyer wanting to compare services and prices, or are just in town for a short period of time.
This could all be found very conveniently in one, easy to find a place: the phone book. If you are new to an area and don’t know anyone, just grab the phone book. If your furnace breaks down and it is -30 outside, grab the phone book. If your tired of waiting months for your dentist to have an opening, grab the phone book. If you are looking to have someone put in a new fence, and don’t know who to call, grab the phone book. If you are looking for a dry cleaner, and are in town for a week on business, grab the phone book.
The phone book was an amazing resource. It was convenient, simple to use, and it was a quick answer to your question. That is what made it one of the most effective marketing mediums in the history of the world. It was convenient. We like things to be easy, and the phone book was the easiest way to answer a question or find a resolution to a problem.
Then came the internet, the smartphone, websites, and social media. Everything changed. Consumers buying habits evolved; it became more convenient to find answers. No longer did you need a card catalog to find a book in a library, or a mountain of encyclopedias to find an answer for an upcoming test. All you have to do now is ask Google, and Google is right in your pocket.
All of the information that was kept in the kitchen junk drawer has been condensed into a device that fits in your pocket. This same device is a HUGE source of entertainment, for both kids, and adults.
One thing has lasted the test of time when it comes to buying habits, first impressions. In the past, business owners spent as much as they could to make sure that the first time you saw their business, you had confidence in them. The first few seconds people look at your business will decide if they are going to contact you to take the next steps. The most significant difference with first impressions between the phone book days, and now, is where they are finding you.
Buying habits haven’t changed, the mediums and access to information have. The internet is the evolution of the phone book, and your website is the evolution of your front door. Your website is your new front door, and Google is the new phone book.