Marketing for small business owners always means thinking about where your prospects are on the scale of buying awareness. It's a 4 point scale, and at any given time your potential clients (or customers) are somewhere on that scale. My friend Ray Edwards, author of the best seller Writing Riches, taught me this 4 point scale.
What was the last product or service you bought? Right this very moment, for me, it was physical therapy. I knew that I had to get therapy for my knee and I was actively searching for a PT provider who could meet my needs. I didn't need to be educated on my need for physical therapy, I just needed to buy it. I was at the bottom of the scale of buying awareness – need.
A few days ago, someone pitched me about buying into his high-level mastermind group. I'm already well served by my coaches. I really had not been thinking about buying more coaching services. His pitch made me ponder if I would benefit, and to some point he engaged me with his opportunity. In the end, I didn't feel the need so I didn't buy.
Here's the 4 point scale of buying awareness. It's a key piece of marketing for small business owners.
Your prospects will not buy from you until they believe they need what you have to offer. That belief doesn't stem from a logical thinking process (although they may believe it does) but rather stems from emotions. This is why marketing works.
If most of your prospects are oblivious to needing what you offer you've got a long row to hoe. Why? Because you have to educate your target market to move those folks from being oblivious to wondering (pondering) “do I need this?” The emotional feel you invoke in your marketing will be critical to moving prospects along this scale from oblivious to pondering.
If most of your prospects are already pondering your product or service then your marketing doesn't have to be as educational in nature. Instead, focus on engaging the emotions and helping your prospect see what it will feel like to have or be using what you offer. Your work is to move this person from pondering to engaged – and as any good business owner knows one engages another by emotion.
You can use the 4 point scale of buying awareness to assess individual prospects or to assess your target market as a whole. When you are able to get a person from oblivious to believing she needs what you offer your sales are successful.
One of my e-books is all about How to Have a Successful Sales Conversation. You can check it out by clicking on the title.