After several weeks of work, maybe months, you have finally closed your first sale with a customer on your radar. Congratulations! The first order from a new customer is undoubtedly one of the most important transactions in the Buyer Process and in your future business relationship with them.
Beyond words or promises, you have yet to demonstrate that your product or service will solve your customer’s need or that you are an easy company to work with.
In this article, we’ll share the basics of the Buyer Process with you to explain the importance of the first order to a strategic customer.
The Buyer Process
This Process shows a series a steps the Buyers follow with every Purchase, either small or big.
Here’s what it looks like in a simplified version:
Customers are conducting business as usual, they have their list of preferred suppliers, and just get on with their routine. Put Simply, they are happy with what they have and do not necessarily see the need to change their habits.
In a cold prospecting process, sellers will most often be confronted with buyers in this phase. The objective will be to identify those buyers who have long-term business potential.
An event has occurred and the customer has entered a phase of analysing new needs. This may be due to a fundamental change in the business or simply the realisation that there is an opportunity in the market. Depending on the complexity of the problem, the customer may need to consult with new suppliers.
The client has now identified potential solutions to their problem and performed a more detailed analysis of each option. What are the advantages, prices, risks, etc.
Once the evaluation phase is completed, the customer will make a decision regarding the order. If they feel that the implementation of a solution will be beneficial to them, they will place an order.
This is usually a stage where the client will be most nervous and will tend to focus more on risks. An experienced sales person will know how to spot this pattern and will best support the buyer in the decision phase.
After the decision has been made, the customer will wait for the delivery of the product or the implementation of the solution they have selected.
It is a stage where a lot of emotions are generally involved, and the customer evaluates the level of service provided by the vendor. Do they respond to emails quickly? Do they really care about them or have lost interest in the customer’s problem now that the sale is done?
In B2B, the seller should not be a transaction instrument. They must maintain contact with the client and ensure they remain satisfied as much as possible.
Does the solution meet the buyer’s expectations? Are they happy with their choice to trust you?
Ensuring customer satisfaction is often neglected by B2B sellers, but it is an important step in building a lasting relationship.