Most sellers focus on those prospects who are ready to “Buy Now”, you know the ones, those red hot leads that come via your website or email. Some prospective clients will even make a phone call to your office. They tell you what they are looking for and want to know the price.
However you are not the only business they contact. These are people who are shopping around, they are well on the way to making a buying decision.
Sales maven Chet Holmes reveals research in his book The Ultimate Sales Machine; that these buyers fall into a tiny percentage that are ready to grasp the mantle and make that all important decision to buy – a tiny percentage of ONLY 3% – Who are actively looking to buy now!
But what is even more frightening is the fact that if everyone is gunning for that top 3% a price war is created. So now you are likely to have to cut price margins.
When this is taken into consideration it becomes instantly clear that in the vast majority of cases, businesses aren’t even touching the huge opportunities out there.
It’s important to understand that within the whole of your target market prospective buyers are likely to be at a different phase as to whether they are likely to buy or not.
So if 3% are actively looking then there is huge opportunity of 97% left for you to approach
So what categories does that 97% fall into? Are they worth marketing to when taking return on investment into consideration? I think I can show that if you ignore them you are making a disastrous mistake by failing to access nearly all of your target market. I can also show you a really effective way to get them onboard now.
Where are your prospective clients in the buying cycle?
How can we break down that iceberg? Where are our prospective buyers at? According to Chet Holmes this is the breakdown:
So in other words, the top 3% are in the market place, 7% know they have a need but have not made it to the market place yet, the next 30% have a need but are turning a blind eye, the next 30% do not realise how much they need your product and the last 30% know all about your product and don’t want it. The last one here sounds a bit bleak but may well be open to further work.
Let’s say we are selling printers.
3% of your prospective clients will be actively looking, they have done some research and will be quite a way through the buying process.
7% are starting to have problems with their existing printers and know they need to replace them but haven’t got around to researching possible options.
30% are so busy with their everyday work they haven’t even thought about it.
30% think they can carry on with their clapped out inefficient printers and are unaware that there are much more advanced and efficient printers available.
30% know all about your product and it is not for them. (However, I have seen this segment change their mind with good marketing.)
Ok, it is clear from this short table that there are those who are ripe for picking and will be perfect for your short-term revenue needs (the top 10%). The other 90% asks for a slightly different approach. Here you are playing the long game. Rather than offering buy now offers and discounts complimented by robust info about how your product is head and shoulders above your competitor you are nurturing the client by creating trust and credibility in your brand.
This is about preparing your target market for the future – for a time when they will need your product or service. In a sense you are creating the 3% of the future, with you in mind.
If managed well, marketing investment for the new 3% will be less and so allowing you to place more funds into the 90% and so balancing – or should I say boosting ROI.
In my next article I will be putting forward a great way to play the long game with the help of email marketing.
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