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6 Steps of the Buyers Journey
Where do all sales start? What is the journey your buyers take to purchase from you? Does your marketing convert cost effectively?
Success in business has a lot to do with knowing something others don’t. I’ll show you how to identify when your ideal prospects are in the market to buy what you sell, how to get their attention, to build a relationship, and convert them into clients for less than your competition. Giving you a sustainable competitive advantage.
Start with demand generation.
When you look at your entire market, you can realistically segment prospects into one of five buckets.
About a third of your ideal prospects aren’t interested in you and probably never will be. They don’t have the problem you solve, have already solved it, or perhaps just don’t like you. For whatever reason, you can assume a third of your market won’t buy from you … ever.
Another third thinks they aren’t interested. They don’t feel they have the problem you solve, even if they do. Now with a great deal of effort you might be able to get them to see they have the problem you solve, but it will take a long time to get them to even consider you solution.
And that brings us to the third of your target audience you do care about. Most of that group is indifferent. But at least they recognize the problem exists, they just don’t think it is relevant to them now. You may catch some of them in your marketing and advertising, but you are not going to focus on them. You can use automated lead nurturing tools to educate them over time and be there when they are ready to get the results you deliver.
The group you need to get in front of, to develop a conversation with, is the small group at the top. The 1% to 4% of any target market that understands they have a problem, are looking for a result they want but don’t have and are actively looking for someone to solve that problem for them. These are the Now Buyers, and 100% of all sales come from Now Buyers. You know this, but so too do they and so to do your competitors. So, this is where the action is, where the competition is. And there are several things you can do to make sure you win that competition. And win it profitably.
There is a series of conclusions all buyers go through to get to the “Now Buyer” stage.
Aware. Your prospect must be aware that they have a problem to solve. Your prospects don’t care about you, don’t care about your technology, your process, your web site, your videos, your kids, your success. None of that. They only care about themselves. They only care about their problem. A pain they want taken away. They care about a result they want but don’t have.
Define Problem. How big is the problem? Once they are aware they have a problem then they will seek to determine how big the problem is. Does it require their attention now? What result do they get from solving the problem?
Consider Options. There are many ways to solve a problem. You can research the problem, study, train, and fix it yourself. You can work with an expert to show you how to solve the problem, you can hire someone to solve the problem, there is always a choice of tactics for each problem with different costs and benefits. Your prospects will want to understand the options they have for solving their problem.
Evaluate Solutions. Faced with several options, how do you pick the best option. This is where your direct marketing kicks in. If the prospect is not aware of you and your solution at this stage, they can’t evaluate your solution. Your advertising should have attracted and engaged the prospect and now you can help them determine if your solution is the best solution for them. Being first here is a huge advantage. If you can present your solution first, then all the solutions that come after yours are compared to you. You have frame control. If you are the second or third option considered, you are starting at a serious disadvantage. Customers evaluate solutions based on their perception of your ability to deliver the results you promise. Talking about yourself or using jargon that does not articulate a unique value proposition does not help the customer understand why you are best positioned to solve their problem. To give them the results they are looking for. When that happens, prospects always resort to price considerations as it is one of the ways they can differentiate solutions.
Justify Decision. Is this worth doing? Change is hard (see my blog: ) and before deciding to undertake any change, all customers will evaluate the cost of the status quo against the pain (time and money) of achieving the result they want. You will want to show prospects that you understand their position, you have a plan to follow and that the cost of acquiring the result they seek is many times less than the pain of the status quo.
This is often what we think of as the traditional sales step. The prospect wants to buy from you and now the discussion is about the cost and terms. Negotiations take place to address objections and come to a final agreement to purchase. Most of the sales training industry focuses on just this last step. But without a marketing system that generates a consistent flow of qualified leads, even the best closer will fall short of his or her production goals.
Education lubricates the buyer’s journey
Each step along the buyers’ journey is about sharing more information, getting the prospect to take low risk steps, to learn from you, to understand why you are the best possible person to solve their problem. To give them the result they desire. When you walk them through the benefits of ownership, when you help them overcome their objections then you are the obvious choice when they are ready to buy. And because you have done this well, price will not be the deciding factor. Your ideal prospect will understand why you are a great deal, why you offer an outstanding value, and their only question will be … how we get started.
Education delivered over time, with consistency, builds trust and top of mind awareness
When you make them an offer, they will say “thank you”. If you say “hi, want to buy from me” you’re going to hear a lot of “no’s” because they don’t know who you are or why they should even listen to your offer.
Rather, share with your prospects the relevant issues they need to understand to make a smart buying decision.
Today, the buyers journey starts on-line. This is certainly true for major purchases. Everyone is doing some level of research on-line before they want to speak to person. Through URL site visits to authoritative websites, through key word searches, through the content consumption, we leave digital breadcrumbs indicating that we are researching our problem. Do I have a problem, how big is it? Can it be solved?
The key to great advertising, what we can do that others can’t, is to identify prospects who are in the research phase and put advertisements that directly address their problem right in front of them. On their Facebook feed, in their Google searches, onto the screen when they visit web sites and since we are only targeting people we know have recognized they have the problem you solve, we get great conversions. Our ads are relevant, and all the online advertising platforms are optimized for relevance.
This means we get the clicks. We get prospects to enter your conversion funnel and we can do so for less than your competition can.
Once a lead has found you, then we can focus on the conversion nurturing stages. We use education and repetition to help them identify the best solution, to understand the impact of solving the problem and the results from acting.
So, the buyers journey starts with identifying those ideal prospects who are in the market for your solution. Getting their attention, educating them on why they should buy from you and when they are ready, showing them how to get started, to act, to solve their problem, to get the results they are looking for but do not have.
As you can imagine, I love talking about marketing, sales, lead generation and helping my clients to grow profits.
If you’d like to talk about your business, just use the link below to schedule a brief Discovery call. Thanks for listening and I hope to talk with you soon.
We promise it will only take 15 minutes and if it goes longer, it’s because you want to keep talking.