Do they want a one night stand or a relationship?

It’s dark in the bar, some nice beats are playing, the lights hit your Grey Goose vodka and tonic, and make the ice cubes sparkle.

You’re out for some fun.

You are also a little drunk and strike up a drunken conversation about Proust with someone who seems flirty, fun, and sexy. It’s going great. So great that you end up at their place for a night of fun.

Two weeks later you’ve forgotten their name.

The one night stand is a moment of hedonism later tempered by a sober reality (and sometimes guilt).

What if you met the person you were going to marry? Suddenly it seems a little less hedonistic and more romantic.

In the urgency of getting a conversion on a website it is easy to forget the type of relationship the buyer is looking for. Some buyers are looking for a quickie, an instant gratification of a transactional urge. Others are looking for a partner, someone they can build a relationship with based on mutual respect and trust.

One of the most important lessons I learnt from the most excellent Eisenbergs was the difference in buyer behaviour between transactional and relational buyers.

Transactional buyers are looking to satisfy an instant urge, they:

  • Are satisfying an immediate need
  • Are looking for a one time purchase
  • Are more concerned with price and value
  • May know exactly what they want
  • Can be induced more easily with special offers
  • Want to complete their purchase quickly
  • Are more likely to buy on a first time visit

Some examples of transactional products are consumables, books, cds, ebooks, clothing, gifts and so on.

Relational buyers are looking for someone they can trust and go to for help over time, they:

  • Are more concerned about testimonials and reputation
  • Will take longer to complete their purchase
  • Will want to know about support
  • Might spend more time evaluating their options
  • Will want to know more about the product or service
  • Will have a strategic, considered reason for the purchase
  • Are less concerned about price

Whilst the buyer type is informed by the product or service, it might also change based on the knowledge or skills of the buyer. An uninformed buyer new to buying online will behave like a relational buyer for their first purchase.

If you are selling a relational type product in a transactional way without success it might be time to consider that you’re asking the future love of your life for a quickie when they don’t yet know they love you. You need to build the sparkle by delighting and surprising them.

Rather than going in for the kill, build your list of prospects by offering information that builds trust. EBooks, information packs, free trials, free consultations can all work well.

Once the relationship is established, the buyer will think favourably about you when they are ready to buy.

You can also build your landing pages to expect repeat visits by allowing people to save items to view later, favourite items, and display content based on previous behaviour.

Thinking about how people purchase your product and service and use it is the key to working out which buyer type you should be focusing on. Tim Ash calls this the behavioural model and I have found it useful to distinguish between buyer types and then optimise landing pages and buying experiences.

So if you’re not having any luck getting picked up give your website a make over and get lucky for a night or for life.

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