In Part 1 we discussed a huge marketing problem for small businesses that I call The Universal Marketing Message:
'I Sell X! Call me.'
This is the marketing message that most small business marketers use. If there weren't others selling the same thing to the same people, it wouldn't be such a problem.
But because of competition, it is a huge problem.
Today, if you want to grab your prospects' attention and hold it, you must present him or her with something a lot more compelling than 'I sell cleaning services! Call me.'
Or, 'I sell wine! Call me.'
Not all prospects are the same--and they won't respond to the same marketing messages. What they will respond to depends on what stage of their buying process they are in.
In today's article I will tell you how to craft a much more compelling marketing message. One that will get your prospects' attention and hold it.
In order to do that, you need to know a little more about how people buy. As I said, depending on what stage of their buying process they are in, they will respond differently.
Let's take a look at those stages and what your prospects are looking for in each stage.
Stage 1: Information about their problem
Everyone is always searching for solutions to their problems or things that will make them feel good.
Remember, marketing is all about helping people get what they want.
In the early stages of their search they are searching for information about their problem and what general solutions are available.
These prospects are not ready to buy yet; they often don't even know what is causing their problem, or what kinds of solutions are available. So, how could they possibly know if what you are selling will solve their problem?
What do your prospects want in Stage 1?
These prospects are searching for information and they will respond to marketing pieces that offer that information -- for free.
If their problem is that they want to start a business but they don't know where to begin, then they will start looking for information that will help educate them.
If they see a flyer, or ad that says,
'Learn how to start your own business. Call Today for your free Business Start-up Guide'
it will grab and hold their attention, because that's exactly what they are searching for -- free information about their problem.
Stage 1 prospects won't respond to marketing pieces that say
'I sell a Marketing Course! Call me to buy it now.'
At this stage they don't know what they need. It's too early in their buying process to sell them anything.
But it's not too early to attract them to your business with complimentary information about their problem and possible solutions.
Our web site attracts Stage 1 prospects searching for information
You'll notice on our web site we offer free information for people who are searching for information about starting and growing a small business. The people who are searching for that information are Stage 1 prospects.
We attract thousands of these Stage 1 prospects by offering complimentary articles, a marketing idea-kit and a newsletter to our prospects.
At this point, they don't have a clue what we can do to help them, so they are not ready to buy. But they are ready to learn about their problem and some possible solutions.
This concept of offering free information to Stage 1 Prospects is very powerful for attracting the enormous number of prospects who are searching for information about their problem and some general solutions.
It applies to your business as well
Think it doesn't apply to your business? Think again. Prospects want to make good decisions about their purchases, so they always want information that will help them do that.
That's why they will be instantly attracted to businesses that offer them this type of information.
If you do, and your competitors don't, guess who will get the business?
Look closely at your product or service and ask yourself what problems does it solve for your customers. What information would your prospects want to know that would help them make a good buying decision. Make a list of the questions your prospects would ask. If you don't know what questions are on their mind, ask them either face to face, or with surveys.
How long does it take to educate these Stage 1 prospects?
It doesn't take months of years to educate your Stage 1 prospects. Sometimes it can be done in a matter of minutes in person or on the phone. Other times you need to follow-up with them via mail, or even email.
Recently I was in the market for a new laptop computer. I hadn't bought a laptop for at least 7 years so I was in the dark about what was available.
I went to one of our local computer stores and spent about 30 minutes telling the sales person about my needs and asking questions about what was available.
He was knowledgeable and did a good job of educating me about the best models to solve my problems and fulfill my needs. It was at that time that I felt ready to make a buying decision. So I bought from him -- then and there.
Realtors can offer information about buying a home, financing, selling a home, home staging, etc.
Dentists can offer information about cosmetic dentistry, about dental health, or about new, advanced procedures.
Consultants can offer information about the problems their services address. A fitness coach can offer tips on getting in shape, an organizing consultant can offer tips on getting organized.
These tips can be provided in a variety of ways; in person, as a tips sheet, an article, a report, a guide, an audio CD, in a workshop presentation, etc.
If you have a difficult time determining what kind of information your Stage 1 prospects want, don't worry, we'll cover more ways to attract them in Part 3.
In part 3 I will cover the remaining Stages, where the buying and repeat buying come into play. You won't want to miss it.
by Joe Gracia
Copyright 2000-2016 by Joe Gracia - All Rights Reserved.