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How to make the Customer Buying Process Easier, Simpler and Faster

January 28, 2011 |  by  |  Decision Easification, Featured
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Examples of Easifying Customer Buying Behavior

There are always blocks and barriers to the customer decision process.

Problem: Sometimes, the “customer” is a prescriber and approver, not the end user. For instance, a pharmaceutical company came to me with a drug that physicians strongly claimed they wanted to prescribe, but wouldn’t. I interviewed physicians who confirmed that they wanted to prescribe it, but didn’t. They were very defensive. It turned out that they couldn’t get insurance companies to approve the use of the drug without a long series of other drugs first, and complex approval phone calls or form (Certificate of Medical Necessity).  These phone calls were time-consuming and intimidating, requiring physicians to engage in a scientific justification they were not equipped to engage in. The hidden decision barrier was the high burden of time and intimidation that the physician had to bear  every time he/she wrote a prescription for the drug.

The pharmaceutical company had no idea that this was a burden, since — to them — the justification was simple and obvious. A classic case of Expert Blindness.

Solution: Their solution was so technical that physicians didn’t understand it. So, I interviewed high prescribers of the drug who had obviously gotten past this barrier. Obvious, but not so obvious if you don’t know about the hidden barrier. It turned out that some of the experts in the field who had busy clinical practices had developed a simple, one-sentence script that mentioned two peer-reviewed studies in reputable journals that said that this drug was the new standard. The sentence was one that any nurse could read or put on the form to get the approval. It was worded in such a way that it put the insurance company in a legally untenable position of they denied treatment, thus compelling approval. The salespeople were sent out with materials that addressed the issue, and prominently displayed the “magic sentence.” Sales tripled. We Easified the approval decision (“Is it really worth fighting this battle?” “No.”) to a no-brainer (“Is it worth it?” “Of course, my nurse can handle it in a few seconds.”)

Secret: There is almost always a simple solution: a barrier waiting to be discovered and a simple way of removing it.

Problem: In a more complex approval situation, the technical buyers didn’t know how to answer the financial concerns of the company’s top management.

Solution: I got permission to give out a “fill in the blanks” version of the presentation and spreadsheet that a customer used successfully to convince his company’s management — one that (unlike our client’s) talked their language and actually worked! I Easified the presentation construction and persuasion decisions and collapsed the learning curve.

Problem: A product’s acceptance depended upon a crucial fact that could only be established by an accepted industry expert.

Solution: I asked potential customers to tell us exactly what reassurance they needed, from whom. I then went to the most-named industry expert and drew out of him the perfect testimonial that used the words the customers said they needed to hear — increasing sales more than tenfold, establishing an industry record that has never been broken. I Easified the fact-checking and “justification of use” barriers.

Problem: Technical web sites that weren’t connecting to real people. Several of our clients’ products and services had gorgeous Web sites that were abstract, information dense and cerebral — missing the vivid, involving language that comes from the customer’s hearts and real-life experiences.

Solution: I formed an Advisory Group that provided emotionally compelling language that we put into simplified, less Flashy, focused web sites and presentations. The usual reaction is, “Wow, you really get what it’s like to be in my shoes.” I Easified the trust-building barriers.

Problem: Customer buying cycle that took years to gather enough experience to commit.

Solution: I’ve compressed the years-long decision processes of many products into a few weeks with teleconferences that put enthusiasts together with prospects, allowing them to gather more experiences in weeks than they could have in years. I  Easified the long, tedious and risky learning, verification and trial processes that usually take so long, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

Problem: I often find that complex products and services aren’t understood by their customers and their bosses.

Solution: I distilled their essence into a simple phrase that replaced the page-long incomprehensible nonsense that the high-tech client and their ad agency thought was crystal clear and irresistible. I Easified the cognitive burden.

Do you have a Decision Barrier that’s holding back your product? Believe me, you do. Could you use a consultation? Probably. Find out more: Click Here.

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