Have you ever heard of the Buyer Pyramid?
It’s a concept that perfectly captures the mindset of every single potential buyer in your market, despite product, service, or industry.
What I love the most about this concept is that it highlights why you miss out on 90% of your sales opportunities.
It will also make it easier for me to put things into perspective for you as I go through below how you can maximize your sales opportunities with Content Marketing from this 90%.
The video below by Dan Lok gives an overview of the Buyer Pyramid.
The Buyer Pyramid
As the video outlines the very top represents 3% of customers in the market. The second row represents 7%. The third row represents the first 30%. The fourth row represents the second 30%. The final row represents the last 30%.
Now for the purpose of better explaining the concept (and because I love acronyms so much) let’s call each stage from top to bottom B.U.Y.E.R.
B- Buying now
Y- Yet to be ready
E- Education needed
R- Refuse to buy
At any point in time only 3% of the market are ready to buy right now, which leaves the other 97% that are not.
The question then becomes how do you get the other 97% to buy?
The answer to that question is two-fold:
Understanding where your potential customer is on the Buyer Pyramid
Knowing what content is needed to nurture them to eventually become paying customers
Understanding Each Customer on the Buyer Pyramid
At the top are the 3% of people who are ready to buy right now. They don’t need to be convinced, you don’t need to sell them on all the benefits of why they should buy. These are the people who associate with the phrase “Shut up and take my money!”
For most people in sales this is a dream come true (I know they have been for me).
These are the customers who already see a need for what you sell, and most likely have already been doing their research to identify where they can find a product/service to fill their needs.
They’ve already made the connection between problem and product without you having to say a word.
The drawback to this group are two-folds:
They are almost impossible to find (but they do exist)
Selling to this group can make a person or business delusional in thinking they’re better than they really are (which makes them complacent)
Therefore, businesses spend all their marketing dollar and time trying to find this group, and when they do find them they tend to ignore the other 97%.
However, the most important thing to remember is the sale wasn’t easy because you were necessarily that good (even if you are), it was easy because they were already in the frame of mind to buy what you offer.
It’s an important distinction and realization to keep in mind when selling to the market.
The second group (7%) are the undecided.
These are the people who see a need for what you offer, are willing to spend the money right now to get it, but may be on the fence for one reason or another.
The two questions they have are:
Are you the right vendor to trust to spend my money with? (this doubt usually comes from questioning whether you or your product/service can deliver on its promise)
Will you be there to support me after the sale if I need it?
It’s not that they don’t want to buy, it’s just that you have to convince them that YOU are the best person to buy from.
You have to be willing and able to remove all doubt and answer all objections they may have.
Creating content focused on doing that is a good way to go.
Yet to be ready
This group represents the first 30% of the pyramid.
These are people who know who you are, what you offer, but may only be interested in what you offer. What this means is they see the value in what you offer, there just isn’t a sense of need or urgency for them to spend money on it right now.
The way they see it they have more important things that need to be done with their money at the moment.
It’s easy to get frustrated or annoyed with this group, but you shouldn’t.
The key is understanding their thoughts and feelings, and knowing how to take them from simply being interested to having a strong desire to buy what you offer.
Keep in mind though you can influence this desire, but you cannot dictate when they decide to buy.
The important thing here is to have a system in place to nurture these potential customers until they are ready to buy.
If done right this group can be your most loyal, highest paying lifetime customers, and biggest brand advocates. Reason being, for them it wasn’t about what you offered, it was about the connection you built with them over time through your content.
This next group represents the second 30% in the pyramid.
The mindset of this group is one of being completely oblivious to you or what you offer or completely uninterested. As far as they are concerned you’re not even on their radar.
The reason I labelled this group ‘Education needed’ is because that’s what you should be doing at this stage. This is the group that aren’t even aware they have a problem or a need your product/service can solve.
Unfortunately, this is the group that either no one ever pays attention to or even worse try to force them to become customers by hounding them to buy now.
I’m sure even as a customer you have had this experience.
It happened to me recently when a young lady who I only met through LinkedIn wanted to meet with me because she wanted to sell me insurance.
After her pitch over LinkedIn I respectfully declined her offer and told her I was not in the market to purchase life insurance at this time. Rather than accepting my response, she kept insisting that we meet as she could show me something I had “never seen before”.
At this point I became annoyed and explained to her as a salesperson she needs to be aware of knowing the difference between when someone is ready to buy now and when they are not, and respond accordingly.
The long and short of it is most people selling to this group typically push and force the sale because they are unaware of the mindset of the persons within this group.
The best thing to do is to educate them, not on what you offer, but educating them to bring awareness to the problem or need they have. This will open their eyes and mind to the problem at hand, at the same time putting you on their radar.
If done right you can gain significant competitive advantage by engaging this group because your competitors will either ignore them or push them away through forceful selling.
Refuse to buy
The final group (the final 30%) may be your biggest challenge yet.
This is the group that will never buy from you no matter what.
Sure they know you exist, but they don’t care, they choose not to buy from you for one reason or another.
It could be that they already have a brand they are loyal to. Possibly differences in belief what your brand stands for. It could be that they had a negative experience with your brand that completely turned them off. It could also be that they have no need or desire for what you offer, like trying to sell dog food to someone who doesn’t own a dog.
Does this mean you should give up on this group?
Like every rule there is an exception. There is a chance you could persuade this group to buy from you. However, to do this requires a different approach than what you may take with the other 70%.
It has to be a very non-threatening, non-sales focused approach. You’re not trying to sell to them, but just trying to understand why they wouldn’t buy from you and empathize with them.
Doing so doesn’t mean they will buy, it just means they will be more open to your brand and not completely shutting down.
At the very least this opens the possibility that they may refer your brand to someone they know who becomes a customer at some point in the future .
My Final Thoughts
The reason why most entrepreneurs and salespeople miss 90% of sales opportunities is because they focus on those who are ready to buy now and those who have a strong inclination to buy now (the 3% and 7% of the market).
However, you must also be able to account for those who may not be ready to buy, but has the potential to eventually become your biggest paying customers and brand advocates.
To get these groups to become customers you must be willing to firstly empathize with where they are in the Buying Process, educate them on the problem they have that they need to solve, and be able to get them to see a need and create a desire for what you have.
In order to do this means being able to properly nurture each group from being unaware, to aware, to paying customer in the Buying Process.
If you’re looking for the answers on how to get the other 90% ready to buy from you I’ve put together an email series that walks through not only how to make customers aware of your brand, but nurture them to become paying customers.
To get the first lesson sent to your email fill out the form below.
What are your thoughts on the Buyer Pyramid? Does it put into perspective how to maximize your sales opportunities? Let me know your thoughts below (comment using Facebook comment box)