As many of you know, I kicked off 2023 on a new health-kick, like the billions of others who promised to do the same when that ball dropped in Times Square at midnight.
For me, the timing couldn’t be more perfect: after 2 years of relentless health issues, a global pandemic, multiple surgeries, injuries, and whatnot – 2023 was the year I was finally ready to get back into shape again. It was now my quiet season, I had a couple of dollars in my bank account, and then *poof* like magic – this fitness ad popped up on my newsfeed.
For someone who used to be in pretty good shape, this ad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
So I responded to the ad to set up a consultation, and met with the owner the following week.
When I arrived at the gym, the owner was friendly, knowledgable, and really seemed sincere in what he was trying to do.
I was in. The sale was his. I just needed to know the cost.
But then he went on with even more information, and proceeded to share all of his clients’ before/after photos, video testimonials, as well as meal prep plans – basically, all the selling points that the corporate office told him to share with everyone. And that’s when I told him that he could relax, and that I was already in. I really just needed to know the cost.
With a relieved look on his face, he told me the price and it was a done deal.
Granted – I’m not your typical prospect. We only wish our sales consults were this easy. But the fact of the matter is, most of our consults require just a tad bit more work. But how do we know when it’s appropriate to pull out all the stops, and pull every sales trick out of the book? And when do we know it’s appropriate to shut up and simply let the sale happen? That’s the tricky, part, isn’t it?
At the end of the day, it comes down to awareness.
When you’re face-to-face with your prospect, exactly how much selling and marketing you’ll have to do will come down to the five stages of awareness, coined by marketing legend Eugene Schwartz. It’s got nothing to do with how amazing your products or prices are; but everything to do with your prospects’ general awareness of you, your product, and what it can do for them.
In order, they are:
For your prospects who are completely unaware, they don’t even realize that they have a problem, much less a desire to seek a solution. For these prospects, you’d simply need to tailor your messaging in order to make them aware that they have a problem.
“Did you know that the top wedding photographers in your area get booked out 12-18 months in advance?”
For your prospects who are now problem aware, they will now try to find a way to solve it. They likely won’t know exactly where to start – but their first instincts will probably involve Google or Pinterest for inspiration and ideas. Then it’s your job to make sure your content shows up during this stage of your clients’ journey.
A blog post titled: “Top 10 Tips to Finding the Wedding Photographer of Your Dreams”
Once your prospects have a rough idea of where to look, they will become solution aware. They’ll figure out where they’ll need to look (more or less), and they’re going to start getting some options that will help them solve their problem. Your job at this stage, is to make sure that your content continues to show up wherever they may be looking, and that it’s more useful than all the other content that’s out there.
A blog post titled: “Top 10 Fall Wedding Ideas at Perona Farms”, along with a gallery of your images, taken during the Fall, at Perona Farms.
If you keep showing up on their searches, your prospects will then become product aware. If you’ve gotten this far, congrats. This means they now know that you exist (it’s likely they also know your competitors exist as well). Now you’ll just need to convince them why your solution shines compared to everyone else’s, focusing on what you do best, as well as your unique selling proposition (USP).
“Tired of all the cookie-cutter, cheesy, corny photos where you’re spending more time taking photos than actually enjoying the party you spent so much money on? Good news: We don’t do that here.”
The prospects who are most aware, they’ll love everything that you do, and it’s likely that you’ve been on their radar for quite some time now. In fact, it’s likely they’ve already chosen you – they just need to know the deal. Your job is simply getting them across the finish line, with very little coaxing (if necessary). Give them the price, some payment options, and keep your mouth shut. That’s it.
“So to make this official, I’ll only need $1500 and some paperwork. Would you like to pay by Zelle or credit card?”
If you’re ever unsure about your prospects’ stage of awareness, or if you’re unsure about where to focus your energies, my best advice is to simply ask them: “Where are you currently in your planning process?”. And depending on their response, you can adjust your messaging appropriately.
At the end of the day, as a matter of best marketing practices, your marketing strategy should cover all 5 of these stages of awareness.
There are 5 stages of awareness that every prospect go through.
You need to have a strategy that deals with each of these stages.
You need to deploy the correct strategy at the right time, if you want to convert that prospect into a customer.
And if you’re still feeling stuck with your sales & marketing, please visit: https://benlau.com/education to learn more about how I can help you find your dream clients, set your business on auto-pilot, and book like crazy!