If you want to generate more sales, it’s not enough to have a motivated workforce. You need to understand what triggers your customers to buy from you so that you can more effectively reach prospects when they hit those triggers and get more people to buy from you.

What is a Trigger Event?
A trigger event is any event or incident that convinces someone to decide to take a particular action. For example, seeing a job listing might trigger someone to contact your HR department about a job. Similarly, trigger events in sales get customers to buy products.

Trigger events are important because without them, there are no sales. Customers tend to be resistant to change; if there is no compelling reason to buy a product they haven’t bought before, they won’t do it. There are an infinite number of potential trigger events, so it’s important for you to know precisely which ones trigger the majority of your target audience.

Examples of Trigger Events
Trigger events depend on what type of business you do. For example, if you are an attorney, a client getting arrested or facing a civil lawsuit may trigger him or her to contact you. Restructuring of a business or appointment of new senior executives often gets businesses to buy B2B services such as executive coaching.

In any case, a trigger event is any event that makes a client or customer feel so uncomfortable that he or she decides the situation must change. Once the customer is triggered, he or she will be willing to purchase products or services from you to resolve the problem.

Figure Out What Trigger Events Are For Your Audience
Doing market research is vital so that you can determine which events trigger your audience. Have new clients state on their intake forms what led them to decide to try out your service and offer incentives for filling out customer surveys on your mailing list in order to get an accurate picture. You can also talk to sales reps at your organization. Why do they win the deals they do? Is something missing from the deals they lose?

Ways to Take Advantage of Trigger Events
It’s vital that you not only realize what triggers your customers to buy from you, but also to respond appropriately to those triggers. Otherwise, another company will end up getting business as the result of a trigger event that could have helped your company.

There are many ways to take advantage of trigger events once you know what they are:

  • Make a congratulatory phone call or send congratulations by email if a senior executive announces his or her retirement or a new executive is appointed.
  • Offer specials to clients who are signed up for your mailing list during certain times of year when they are likely to want to take advantage of them.
  • Post links to articles relevant to your target audience on your social media pages to trigger them to read your articles and sign up for your services.
  • Send them a case study of one of your customers that has faced a similar challenge and solved it with the help of your products or service.

Getting sales is a matter of understanding your customers’ trigger events and responding to them as soon as they occur. Don’t procrastinate and you will have the best chances of converting those trigger events into sales.

While sales intelligence and customer intelligence applications, such as InsideView, will send you direct emails when news triggers opportunity at your target accounts, you can also find that information on your own, albeit with a little more work. Make sure you know which news sources apply to your prospects’ industries, and follow them religiously. Track your prospects and customers on social media so you know when big events shift their business landscapes. Most importantly, understand how your customers make business decisions so you’re prepared to make a sale the moment a trigger event occurs.