The Buy Cycle is not a Ride-on Toy

Ever heard of the ‘buy cycle?’ It’s a four-step process businesses go through on deciding whether to buy something or not, and everyone goes through it in some form or another. Companies are no different, especially because they make bigger decisions and spend larger amounts than most individuals do.
Companies and Individuals Buy the Same Way

  • Step 1: Realizing there’s a need for a specific product or service necessary to be able to complete a task or operation. This usually comes at the time it’s needed, but business owners should try to anticipate these needs ahead of time. Having a company ready and waiting in the rolodex when disaster strikes is half the task done.
  • Step 2: Research is the next step. This is where the potential buyer looks up the products/service to see what’s available and which vendors can solve the shortage at hand. The buyer might compare prices or service packages and look into payment plans.
  • Step 3: Consideration and Comparison. Information has been distributed and the buyer has contemplated which model or brand is wanted. Buyers begin narrowing down the choices, dropping vendors that can’t meet their needs and listing the potential of the ones that do.
  • Step4: Procurement. This is the last step, the one where the buyer actually makes a decision and purchases the item or service and arranges for delivery. It’s this point that the salesperson can finally relax, the work has been done and the cycle has been completed.
Businesses use the ‘purchase funnel’ to show how the system works. It’s wide at the top of the funnel, where awareness of the problem comes to life. Narrower is the research part of the buy cycle. Below that, and smaller, is the Consideration and Comparison, and finally, the Procurement near the spout of the funnel.
Individuals also go through this same process when making major purchases, like a car or large appliances, they just do it faster than a business might. But, the cycle is the same.