If you talk to inexperienced marketers they will say that marketing is all about building your brand, or perhaps communicating with your customers / clients and prospects, all of which is true to an extent. The thing is they’re missing the true purpose of what a marketing system is supposed to do and that is to deliver into your ‘sales’ funnel prospects that are Pre-informed, Pre-qualified, Pre-motivated and finally Predisposed to buy. Let’s deconstruct this purpose so that you can examine your own marketing system to see if it fulfills this purpose.
- Pre-informed. Before anyone will buy anything they have to have a desire or a need to be satisfied. This means that you need to inform your prospect about either the problem they have, that they don’t want, or a solution they want, but don’t have. This is the area that most small business owners fail at in that their marketing messages talk about the features their product or service has, but fail to mention the problem that it solves.
Claude C. Hopkins (Author of ‘Scientific Advertising’) once said, “Prevention is not a popular subject, however much it should be.” It is far easier to sell around existing desires than it is to create desire.
The first role of your marketing system is to pre-inform your prospects so that as they flow through your marketing funnel they are fully informed of the issues they have, that they don’t want, or the solution they want but don’t have.
- Pre-Qualified. The most frustrating thing ever, is to have a load of supposedly good prospects who can not afford your solution or your solution is not a good fit for. This is a fault of your qualification process.
To qualify effectively, your marketing system has to answer four questions:-
- Question number one; does the prospect need what you’re selling? Will it solve their problem.
- Question number two, can the prospect use what you’re selling? Many people may need a piece of high tech equipment, but they may not be able to use it because of the people or the structure of the organization.
- Question number three; can the person afford the product? By introducing the investment required for your product or service early on you can quickly weed out those who are unlikely to purchase at your desired price point.
- Question number four; does the person want the product? This is easy to establish by getting them to take a few small commitments on the way to purchasing your product or service.
These questions used correctly will save you a lot of heartache. Make a checklist to ensure that you’re qualifying your prospect properly.
- Pre-motivated. As a salesperson attempting to motivate prospects, it can be easy to forget the prospect’s point of view. The strains of quotas, time constraints, and deadlines can make it tempting to put on the pressure to motivate prospects, but in actuality this is rarely the best approach to take. Try these five ways to motivate prospects that offer a lower threshold resistance alternative and are more likely to result in a sale.
A.Start with Smaller Commitments.
As with the qualification process, starting with small commitments is an excellent way to lead up to the buy decision. What you need to do is get the prospect to agree with (i.e., commit to) a series of smaller decisions, such as:-
- Downloading a white paper or E’book.
- Making a small purchase, before making a much larger purchase. This is commonly called a tripwire strategy.
- Getting them to watch a video.
B. Focus on Results.
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is to focus on price and deliverables to motivate prospects, rather than focusing on the results that the product or service being sold can offer. When moving towards the close and attempting to motivate prospects, in most cases price is the last thing you want to focus on. Instead, remind the prospect of the potential results you have already discussed and throw in any additional benefits that you can think of, while implying that the sooner the prospect buys, the better those results will be.
C. Build Up Credibility.
One major reason that small business owners must work to motivate prospects is that prospects do not like to take risks. A badly made decision can reflect poorly on the decision maker and damage the prospect’s business in the bargain. When a prospect is hesitating, building up credibility can reduce the perceived risk and lead to an almost instantaneous buying decision. Use the following resources to build credibility with prospects:
Refer to others who are using the product or service, especially if they are competitors for the prospect, get testimonials and use them.
Mention certifications, awards, or other broad accolades the product or service has received.
- Predisposed. Ok if we’ve done the informing, qualifying and motivating then your prospects should be predisposed to buy from you. It is however quite likely that you will still need to nudge them along a little so here are the final steps you need to be taking:-
- Use deadlines, even the most motivated buyers are still capable of incredible procrastination, so move them along with a deadline. It does have to be a genuine deadline with the prospect of losing some of the benefits that the prospect would accrue should they not take action now.
- Use risk reversal. In any purchasing transaction there is a risk for the purchaser in that the products or services may not be as sold, this is the unsaid objection that all prospects have. To mitigate this risk, a simple way is a good strong guarantee that answers the objections that the prospect may not have voiced but will certainly be thinking of.
So in order to get a steady stream of informed, qualified, motivated and predisposed prospects from your marketing system follow the formula in this blog.