Consideration is a two-way street in the Customer Journey.
When the customer takes the time to research your product, make comparisons and compare apples with apples, they are at a very vulnerable stage; they are considering their options, so consider closely how you approach this timid species.
Think of the customer as an object of desire, someone you need to woo, and then you’ll be on the right track!
Because they are hovering on your threshold, this is no time to slack off and become smug because they look as though they’re ready to make a decision, ready to commit to you. You see, your prospects in all likelihood have undertaken some type of initial research and are fully aware of some of the alternatives available — alternatives that exclude you. That said, because they have narrowed their options and you have become part of their mix, their focus, there still may be information missing, something lacking, something they need clarity on.
Try a bunch of flowers (we’re still with the wooing analogy, keep up!)
At the consideration stage they are comparing your product or service to other available solutions.
“Is that a slack gut I see, or a sixpack… hmm?”
“Oh, nice approach, what a gentleman… I really don’t like crass people…”
“I rather like her style…”
This is where aspects such as price, availability, customer reviews, what their friends think, and more, start to play a part in their decision making. They need to know with confidence that your product or service is the solution they seek, and they need to run this information by other people and alternative sources before they decide.
“Is she worth it, or will I be burnt again? What do my friends think? Is her reputation sound?”
This is where they are teetering on the edge of a decision, they are seriously considering taking the step forward towards you or, horrors! stepping away from your offering and going to another supplier.
“Jane has a kind heart…?”
Sad but true, this is the time that your prospects are looking very closely at your opposition and this too, is the exact time you should be looking at the opposition as well!
It’s time to be objective and put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, look at your offering and assess whether or not you are in fact the solution they seek, whether you are positioned correctly to answer their needs, their questions, their doubts.
“Hmm, not much into dogs… I do love cats though, I have several! Oh, you are allergic to cats…”
Do you know what they want? Can you convince them without overselling or coercion?
At the consideration stage, your persuasive ability and a skill in ‘people reading’ goes a long way in drawing the hesitant customer away from the edge of indecision, drawing them closer to your threshold.
“Hi, I saw you looking… yes, it is a sixpack…”
Making a decision doesn’t always come easily and even more so when there is a cost attached. Maybe it helps to know that 65% of consumers spend 16+ minutes comparison shopping before making a purchase? This is why there are questions you must ask yourself — and be honest, as the prospective customer will see right through subterfuge, as they are already armed with knowledge. They have evaluated you and seen that you have merit.
“You are very considerate, nice quality!”
Consider a couple of things such as: how clear are your product or service benefits? Can the customer understand what it is that you are promoting/offering and are you easy to find on the internet?
“Dunno, every time I phone her, her line is engaged…”
While we all need to make a profit, how competitive is your pricing with the similar products available out there?
Why you, why not Joe Smith or Maureen Bloggs two doors down? What is your differentiator, what makes them attracted to you?
It is during the consideration stage that customers will contact you for more info, clarity, specifications and warranty details — oh, and reassurance. Make sure your contact points are functioning to optimum, that online form is working correctly, that phone line is active and someone or something is assimilating the submitted data and engaging through your social media channels.
“Oh! I love how he always answers my calls, how he always WhatsApps me!”
You must be there to nurture the prospect, to guide them, to answer questions with confidence and sincerity; you must be their solution, their saviour, their ‘go to guy’. You need to prove that you actually care, you need to handle them with kid gloves and convince them that your solution is the best for them, and then watch them move confidently onto the next phase of the customer journey – Purchase.
“Yes, I think I’ll go with you…”
But hey, you may still have to buy flowers…