One of the oldest ideas in sales and marketing is the idea that your customer follows a process through to a purchase. In order to identify the people most likely to make a decision, you must first understand where they are in the process. You start with a large pool of potential customers and, through various stages of the process, some of them will take the next step and others will not.

There are 4 major stages that a lead will go through before they make a purchase: awareness, interest, desire, and action. Some of your customers may go through this process quickly, while others will take their time. But what is important is to recognize that each of them will go through each of these steps. Once you realize this, it makes developing your marketing strategy much more simple: plan for each step in the process.

Awareness

The first step in the process is to make people aware of what you are doing. Beyond just a product or service, let them know why you are doing what you do and the direct associated benefit to them.  In the online world that can mean using social media, blog articles, videos, and other content to share with your potential customers the benefits of working with you. Offline this could include networking or sales calls. Either way, you need to make them aware that your company, your product or service, and their desired benefit is available to them.

Interest

Even more important, you must have a plan in place to know who is ready to go to the next level. Without capturing information about your potential customer, you leave the remaining parts of the funnel to chance. This is what i call the Hope and Pray marketing system…. Hopefully someone will call you. To truly bring the power of marketing to bear, however, you need to capture lead information at this level.

By using online lead capture tools and/or a CRM, you can keep track of people who express interest in what you have to offer. How do you know who’s interested? The people who ask for more information or give you their contact details in exchange for a tool, a consultation, or more information on the benefits you offer.

Desire

Once you know someone is interested, it’s time to make sure they are a fit to work with you and build the desire for what you offer. Through phone calls, email conversations, or other channels you continue to create opportunities for them to work with you. Continue to ask for the sale… You don’t know exactly when they will be ready to work with you.

Focus on continuing to provide value to your potential customer while showing them how you can help them even more. This does not mean hounding them for the sale or spamming them over and over. Provide VALUE. Combine with this your call to action will eventually bring some of them around to take ACTION.

Action ($)

Get your potential customer to make a purchase or take the next step. Congratulations! You now have a new customer. You can see this full process playing out in decision making across all of your marketing channels, even in smaller micro-decisions. From this, we can also understand that the true purpose of marketing should be to get someone to take action. It’s not about putting your information out there or having a website or even creating connections, although those all can help. Marketing must first be about getting people to take action. Without action, it doesn’t work.

This is why at Plugged In Concepts, we focus on impact on your bottom line. If people aren’t taking action towards your goals, then it’s not working. No matter what, this is what comes first for our clients. Find out how we can help you, by contacting us today!