Most businesses target only people "ready-to-buy". These hot prospects are "Now Buyers" because they've been inching closer to a decision for some period of time. They're just about ready to spend cash. Advertisers target "Now Buyers" because the pressure is on to make sales immediately. And, they know these prospects are most qualified, from a timing standpoint.
The selling situation gets more complicated when similar products or services are offered by competitors. Typically, buyers cannot differentiate one provider from another. So, the
final decision eventually defaults to (lowest) price.
Two problems are operating concurrently:
1. The advertiser has failed to convince the buyer exactly why they should buy from them specifically.
2. The advertiser has failed to understand human nature and the mental process a prospect goes through before making the purchase. Consequently, the marketing approach is too narrowly focused. This results in missed sales opportunities.
Fortunately, both problems are easily solved by a single strategic approach.
Any buying decision follows a series of educational events experienced by the buyer. Depending upon the actual product or service, time-frames can perhaps be as short as a day or two for minor purchases to as long as a couple of years for major purchases. Actual time aside, these milestones are reached before any final purchase. I call this series of educational milestones as Points A to Z Along The Educational Spectrum.
At point A, the prospect gets the first idea to buy what you sell (or to switch vendors). At point Z, the prospect becomes your customer and money changes hands. In between, your prospect goes through an educational process.
As a vendor, you need to participate and facilitate that process. It's your job to educate your prospect with enough information on an ongoing basis. And, you do this by incorporating, every step of the way, the Marketing Equation, as outlined in other MYM On-Demand newsletters and programs.
With each contact point you make, you attract the attention of your prospects, engage them, then provide them with relevant, important information that builds a case for your product, service, and business. The information should be complimentary, fulfilling the prospect's response to your risk-free offers.
Education can be presented through letters, post cards, emails, reports, fact sheets, comparisons, newsletters, e-zines, white papers, videos, CDs/DVDs, web sites, seminars, webinars, digital video streaming, personal contact, etc. The important concept to remember is to make these "touch-point contacts" on a periodic basis without fail.
This does several things. It endears the prospect to you because you're seen to be extremely adept at helping with the decision-making process. Also, you position yourself as the well-informed expert. Most importantly, you're perceived as someone who truly understands your prospect's situation.
This means you're best situated to help solve the problem, fill the need, or meet the desire.
Here's a question for you. Do you focus on just "Now Buyers", who account for only 1% to 5% of all prospects, or do you target "All Buyers"?
Don't abandon the plum tree just because some of the fruit is still green. Nurture your prospects.
After they respond to your ad, make the effort to keep in touch with them, for as long as it takes to convert them to a sale.
Collect their contact information and develop an automated hopper system. Understand that every prospect you meet is somewhere between A and Z along the Educational Spectrum.
It's your job, as a strategic marketer, to guide them, I like to say, "until they buy or until they die". Your available target market is bigger than you think. This process will insure that the huge pipeline of "All Buyers" flows right towards your business so you can monopolize your marketplace.
Good luck with your marketing efforts.
If you'd like a FREE Schematic of the Educational Spectrum that illustrates a series of educational milestones your prospects meet during their buying decision, simply email your request
About The Author:
Marc Gamble, the author, teaches business owners, entrepreneurs,
and professionals how to acheive bigger, bottom line results
from their advertising & marketing efforts without spending more
time, effort, or money. Learn marketing strategies and tactics
to separate yourself from your competition and become the
obvious choice to do business with. To learn more about how to
improve your own Marketing Efforts and Achieve Better Results,