As guides in our brand’s story, we need to provide our customers with a solid plan. (Read Story Strategy Element 4: Plan to learn more)
There are 2 kinds of plans that your customer needs to feel comfortable enough to actually press the “Buy Now” button and purchase from you:
The Process Plan and The Agreement Plan
THE PROCESS PLAN
A process plan can describe the steps a customer needs to take to buy our product, or the steps the customer needs to take to use our product after they buy it(or a mixture of both). For example, if you’re selling an expensive product you might break down the steps like this:
1. Schedule an appointment.
2. Allow us to create a customize plan.
3. Let’s execute the plan together.
Whether we’re selling a course, a service, or any other complicated solution, a process plan takes the confusion out of our customer’s journey and guides them to the next steps.
So far we’ve talked about the steps we give our customers to lead them to make a purchase, but another kind of process plan would be the post-purchase process plan. A post-purchase process plan is best to use when our customers may have problems imagining how they would use our product after they buy it. For example, with a complicated piece of software, we might want to spell out the steps our customer would take after they make the purchase:
1. Download the software.
2. Integrate your database into our system.
3. Revolutionize your customer interaction.
The post-purchase process plan does the same thing a pre-purchase process plan does, in the sense that it dispels confusion. When a customer reads your plan they think to themselves “Oh I can do that. That’s not difficult.” and they click “Buy now”.
A process plan can also combine the pre- and post-purchase steps. For example:
1. Test drive a car.
2. Purchase the car.
3. Enjoy free maintenance for life.
The key to the success of any plan is to alleviate confusion for our customers. What steps do they need to take to do business with you? Spell out those steps, and it’ll be as though you’ve built a bridge over the rapids.
THE AGREEMENT PLAN
If process plans are about alleviating confusion, agreement plans are about alleviating fears. An agreement plan is basically a list of agreements you make with your customers to help them overcome their fear of doing business with you.
An agreement plan can also work to increase the perceived value of a service you promised to provide. Another benefit of an agreement plan is that it can work to clarify shared values between your customer and you. Unlike a process plan, an agreement plan often works in the background. Agreement plans do not have to be featured on the homepage of your website, although they could be.
The best way to arrive at an agreement plan is to list all the things your customer might be concerned about as it relates to your product/service and then oppose that list with agreements that will calm their fears.
Now that you’ve given your customer plan, they will be much more likely to do business with you. You’ve lifted the fog, made things clear, built the bridge, and they are ready to continue the journey. One more thing they need from you before making the commitment is for you to call them to action. (Read Story Strategy Element 5: Call-To-Action to learn the right and wrong ways to call customers to do business with you)
Take some time to define the plan or plans you want to utilize to use your customers fears and concerns so that they will engage with your brand.
The 2 Types Of Plans Your Customer Needs To Make The Purchase