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MODEL: A Stylized Model Of How Clients Discover Service Providers

The best information I have on how non-professional buyers1 discover and vet custom software development services suggests that these buyers seek to be efficient in their search, and that causes them to follow a process that looks like this:

I have reasonably strong evidence that non-professional buyers — as a group — make use of all the elements of this model. I have less strong evidence that they make use of them in the strict order I've portrayed here. And I have a strong intuition but no direct evidence that they seek to be efficient in their search.

  1. Non-professional buyers are those who do not follow a formal/rigid procurement process.