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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 22. Understanding the Customer Buying Cycle and Triggers

David Skok

The Customer Buying Cycle

A simple way to look at the buying cycle is to break it into three stages:

  • Awareness: when a customer first becomes aware of your product. This could also refer to the point when a customer first becomes aware of a need that he wants to fulfill.

  • Consideration: when a customer starts evaluating solutions to her need.

  • Purchase: when a customer decides to buy.

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How the Buying Cycle Impacts the Sales Approach Needed

Imagine that you wander into a clothing store while walking around a neighborhood. You don’t have a particular idea of anything you want to buy. You are approached by a hungry salesperson who is convinced he can get you to buy something. You are annoyed by too much attention, and feel that this person is ruining the peaceful browsing experience that you hoped to have.

Now imagine that you have gone into the same store, but in this situation, you have an urgent need to purchase a black sweater and you don’t have much time to spend. You want a salesperson to help you immediately, so you don’t waste your time looking for the item. However, you can’t seem to get the attention of any of the salespeople. You are highly irritated by the lack of attention.

What’s the Difference?

The difference between these two examples is where you are in the buying cycle. In the first situation, you are early ...

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