Martyn R. Lewis is the author of How Customers Buy…& Why They Don’t and is the founder of Market Partners based in Santa Rosa, CA. His career has centered around mapping and managing the buying journey DNA of every unique customer and he has consulted in 33 countries, in 17 languages, impacting over 85,000 sales professionals.
Lewis believes US businesses are in a dangerous crisis. Historically, sellers would place an item on the shelf and it would sell if it was what they needed, but that’s not true anymore. If sellers build a better mousetrap, customers won’t beat a path to their door. Formerly a sales process guy, he noticed buyers weren’t buying items, even though it was an item that they would probably enjoy or need. It’s then that his research yielded a few patterns.
It’s not about brick and mortar vs. online. It’s about understanding the steps that customers take leading up to the sale. You can have the greatest product, but people aren’t likely to recognize it due to the overwhelming choices available. Sure, they may not buy the best product, but they won’t likely understand that, until 5-6 failures, and you’re lucky if you ever make it into their cycle.
What Is The Buying Journey DNA?
Martyn R. Lewis spent 15 years researching businesses and their buyers to develop the Buying Journey DNA, and he believes the problem with sellers and retailers is clear: companies are ignoring the customer’s buying journey.
These are vital because inventors and mousetrap makers get too hung up on their own invention, Lewis explains. They see the value of their product, which is certainly a good thing, but it blinds them of anyone else’s perspective. There are 6 majors areas of the buying journey DNA that Lewis says you need to understand.
- Triggers – What would trigger a buyers unique buying journey? Window shopping may be one of those triggers, but it could be a web search, a conversation, product placement, maybe a grocery store display.
- Activities – Buyers do a lot of things that affect their decisions. They compare, they consider who else has to be involved, they socialize, they ask people to punch holes through their decisions, they are influenced and we need to understand how that will change their decision.
- Key players – The era of the “decision-maker” is over. Today, it’s a dynamic network of decision-makers, and if you do ask “who’s the decision-maker” they may not even know. Understanding everyone’s buying journey DNA is to understand not just who makes the decision, but who influences it.
- Buying Style – What is the customer going to buy? Do you know? Do they know? Do they need help? Do they walk into a store? Do they send an RFP? Each buying style completely changes the way sellers engage them.
- Value drivers – What is a customer looking to get from their acquisition. It might not be obvious. It could be monetary, prestige, or necessity. They may not even want a particular product, buying it only because a friend said they should.
- Buying concerns – These are the friction areas that may railroad a decision. It may be an implication that if they buy from you, they have to stop buying from someone else. There are typically implications to a purchase and failing to understand them could stop a sale.
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