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UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging by Scott Stratten

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Chapter 1. Hierarchy of Buying

I SURVEYED MORE than 1,000 business owners to ask "Why do you buy?" See Figure 1.1.

When the need arises, customers buy first from people they know, trust, and like. The higher on the pyramid you are with your market, the less competition you have. We take it from the top down:

  • Current satisfied customer: Obviously, people are going to buy from you if they already do and are satisfied. The key term here is "satisfied." Even though customers are current, this doesn't mean they are happy.

  • Referral by a trusted source: The first thing I do when I need something I don't already have is to ask people I know and trust if they know of a provider, which is easy with sites like Facebook and Twitter. I can get a pile of recommendations in minutes. Are you on the tip of the tongue when someone asks for recommendations within your industry?

    Hierarchy of Buying: Service-Based Business

    Figure 1.1. Hierarchy of Buying: Service-Based Business

  • Current relationship but have yet to purchase: Potential customers know you, trust you, but have yet to buy. And that's okay. The key here is that when they have the need for your product or service, you are in the front of their minds.

  • Recognized expert in the field: You've built a platform and are consistently in front of potential customers with helpful advice and tips that relate to your industry. You want your market to say "This guy/girl knows what they're talking about! ...

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