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The Three Primary Stages of the Buyer's Journey

3 Dec, 2014 By: Lindsay Kelley, Dealer Marketing

Within your copier/ managed IT services dealership, you sell to a variety of folks. You have your C-levels, ambassadors, purchasing managers, IT folks, and the list goes on. However, are you aware of the key stages of buying that they go through, or “buyer’s journey”?

First, let’s cover what “buyer’s journey” actually means.  It’s the active research process a potential buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. It’s relevant to B2B and B2C purchases.

A buyer’s journey is never a straight forward path, so there is no magic bullet or words of wisdom solving your challenge on that front.  We can walk through the primary stages and the likely journey though. There are 3 general stages your buyer will go through. What might be a surprise to many of the copier dealer principals that we work with at Dealer Marketing, is that stage 1 typically begins online, not via cold calling or prospect emails.  Yes, 92% of B2B buyers start with an online action. Google is primarily responsible for our prospects’ first phase of the buying cycle. What do they find on Google? Specific content that is relevant to where they are in their phase of the buyers journey.

Here’s what the buyer’s journey looks like. Let’s dive into the 3 primary stages of your copier dealership’s buying cycle:

1. Awareness stage.  In this stage of the buying cycle, your prospect has symptoms. They’re researching online to get a better understanding of the problem that they’re experiencing.  This could mean that they are feeling the pain of down time on their computers or copiers, effecting productivity. It’s a symptom, but what’s the problem or opportunity? That’s not yet clear. They need to frame it, so they've decide to turn to Google.

2. Consideration stage.  Your prospect has been online and has learned more about their problem through online research, case studies of others experiencing IT help desk issues or broken copiers, and industry expert blogs. Now, the buyer can give the problem a name. It’s defined.

3. Decision stage.  Your buyer has now decided on a solution strategy or approach to solving their challenge.  They’ve identified potential vendor partners online and researched each one to narrow their choices down to the ones they feel the most digitally connected to and comfortable with. Now, they can reach out to the short list folks and begin the final purchasing decision process.

Were you on the short list? Did you have the valuable research on you website that helped guide this buyer to identify, diagnose and decide on a course of action? Perhaps you’re not sure of the TYPES of content at each stage. Let’s take a closer look.  

Types of content in each stage of the buyer’s journey: 

Awareness Stage:

    Analyst reports

    Research reports



    Educational blog posts

Consideration Stage:

    Comparison whitepapers

    Expert guides

    Live interactions

    Podcasts/ webinars/ videos

Decision Stage:

    Vendor comparisons

    Product/ service comparisons

    Case studies

    Trial downloads

    Live demos

Make sure you have the information to support the buyer’s journey and get on the short list of copier dealers or managed IT service dealers.  To learn more visit http://www.dealermarketing.net

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