Jan 22, 2013

Feed The Buyers’ Information Needs

When your clients are looking for information about your products, give them everything!

Late last week my beloved espresso machine died. It wasn’t a total surprise. It’s been acting up for the past year, and has gone in for service twice. But on Thursday it finally kicked the bucket.

I live in a coffee obsessed household. We love our espressos and lattes. A Tassimo or a Keurig just won’t cut it. We appreciate the whole process: finding and trying new beans; mastering how to pull the perfect shot; steaming the milk to create thick, rich microfoam. All of it is a treat, and part of our daily ritual.

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to wait to get a new machine, but which one to buy? In the world of espresso coffee machines the options are overwhelming.

When in doubt, research

Like any modern shopper trying to make a major purchase decision, I went online.

I started with my current machine, and read the reviews. What were people saying about the brand now? I then read reviews of other machines in the category, and visited discussion boards to see what enthusiasts were saying. I was doing my reconnaissance.

Internet research is a common step in any major purchase. We research because it helps us get informed and mitigate our buying risks.

In my case, I wanted to know my options and be well informed. This was a major purchase that would be in my house for at least ten years. I wasn’t about to make an impulsive decision.

Our need for information in the buying process is an important marketing takeaway. If your products or services are a major purchase for your clients, they’re going to do their research and due diligence. Make sure you’re giving them enough content to not only educate them, but to satisfy all of their information desires.

Rich content is the best sales person of all

Seattle Coffee Gear was one of the gems I came across in my pursuit for product knowledge. They sell coffee making equipment and related products for both the home and professional markets. They have a store north of Seattle, and they ship to customers throughout the US.

Seattle Coffee Gear’s videos set them apart. Almost every product featured on their site has a video interview with Gail and Kat demonstrating the product.

Their videos are unique. They aren’t bland technical videos showing the product and its features. They are loaded with personality. Kat, the interviewer behind the camera, is bright and whimsical. Gail, the interviewee and product expert, is fun, interesting and very knowledgeable.

They’re both people you want to know and meet. And the videos form a relationship. After watching a few videos it felt like I knew them.

Seattle Coffee Gear understands their clients’ need for information, and they’re feeding it. They give their clients the knowledge they want, and make it fun, accessible and loaded with personality.

If I lived in the US, I would have bought from them without a second thought. And in reality, their content sold me my new machine even though I didn’t buy it from them.

Their content educates customers, builds relationships and demonstrates their expertise. And it drives most of the sales process before they even meet their customers.

Don’t hold information back

When your clients are ready to buy, they want it all. They want as much information as they need to make the right decision.

Treat your website like it’s your best sales person. What information do you convey in the sales process? How do you educate your clients? How do you help them make the right decisions? These are the questions your website must answer.

You clearly differentiate your business when you share compelling, valuable content about your products and services. But more importantly, valuable content seeds your client relationships so they choose you first when they’re ready to buy.

(Image Credit: fredenslund)

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