Plan your marketing communications to move prospects through these steps:
– First, gain positive awareness. Introduce your business and build a good reputation by using advertising, mailers, publicity, networking, and presentations to reach prospects and those who influence your prospects’ decisions.
– After achieving awareness, generate interest in your offering. Present your product as the answer to a need or desire and prompt the prospect to request more information, perhaps by watching a demonstration, visiting a Web site, or requesting a brochure or other information.
– After gaining your prospect’s interest, convey the value your offer represents. Set face-to-face meetings, share product samples, offer proposals, or take other steps to let the prospect see how your offering is better and more valuable than other alternatives.
– After establishing value, close the sale. Present your offer, address questions, help the customer reach a satisfying decision, and make the buying transaction an easy, enjoyable process.
Don’t jump the gun. Plan each marketing communication to move prospects to the next step they will be willing to take on the buying decision path.
A brand-new preschool wants to enroll 30 toddlers. With no existing awareness or reputation, the preschool owners would be expecting parents to leapfrog over the decision process if they ran ads saying, Introducing our brand-new preschool. Call to register children between 2 and 5 years old.
They would be more apt to succeed if they preceded the enrollment request with a program that builds awareness, interest, and trust. They might begin with a message saying: Our brand-new preschool and playground is ready to serve 30 lucky 2- to 5-year-olds. Please join us Thursday afternoon for an open house and tour, or call any time for an appointment.
The first approach calls for the order before the prospect is ready for the question. The second approach seeks to build rapport. Which would you respond to more comfortably?