By David Holland

December 17, 2020



Creating the slippery slide from ‘awareness’ to ‘action’…

Unless you’re selling a complete commodity and jostling for competition on Amazon and eBay, the chances are your prospect goes through a journey before they decide to buy from you.

Successful businesses map out that journey and ensure that they make it as frictionless as possible.

Less successful businesses don’t devote time to the process, cross their fingers and hope for the best.

And it’s my hope that by sharing a few thoughts with you, I can help ensure you’re the former, rather than the latter.

Tailored, or one size fits all?

When you understand that each of your customers goes on a journey towards their first purchase, you’ll also understand that depending on where they are on the journey, they’ll require different things to help them take the next step.

‘One size fits all’ marketing assumes that every prospect is in the same situation, and is one-dimensional as a result – 

either asking prospects to fill in their details to get a quote, or click a button and make a purchase.

Tailored marketing recognises the journey, and provides easy next steps for prospects.

The traditional sales funnel works as follows:

  1. Awareness – a prospect becomes aware of your product
  2. Interest – A prospect becomes interested in your product
  3. Decision – A prospect gets close to making a decision about whether to buy or not
  4. Action – Having taken all of the above into account, the prospect takes action

The best marketing journey takes all of these stages into account; the worst focuses purely on trying to get people to take the final step and buy.

Making prospects aware of who you are

Without attention, or awareness, you’ve got little chance of taking prospects down the sales funnel and getting them to buy from you.

Which means your marketing needs to reach out to people who don’t yet know that your product will solve their problems.

Whether you’re using Facebook Advertising, Google Ads, email marketing, or more traditional media like print advertising, the principle is the same – if people don’t know you exist, they’re not going to buy from you.

The good news is that, thanks to new media, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to ensure that your target market is aware of who you are and what you do.

Ideas for generating awareness:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars
  • LinkedIn
  • Print advertising
  • Trade shows

Getting prospects interested in your product

Once prospects are aware of who you are, the next step is to get them interested in your product.

The way to achieve this is to focus on the two or three key benefits that the product delivers.

  • How does your product actually make your customers’ lives better?
  • Will it make them happier? Healthier?  Richer? Calmer? 
  • Will it give them more free time?  More holidays? More meaningful relationships?

Getting into the core benefits your product delivers is key, as it helps get your prospect interested on an emotional level, rather than purely a rational one, and as we know, emotions are what drive us to buy things, and logic is what we use to rationalise our purchases.

On a less theoretical level, once people are aware of your product, you need to consider what would interest them enough for them to take a step towards you.

Do you need to create a guide that piques interest, and gets them to give you their email address?

Should you run a webinar that adds significant value?

There’s no simple answer here, but thinking hard about how to turn awareness into interest is a key part of the journey, and indeed the sales circuit.

Ideas for eliciting interest:

  • ‘How to’ guide
  • Free consultation
  • Checklist
  • Free sample
  • Books (and eBooks)
  • Vouchers
  • Email and video series
  • Seminars and online training

Helping prospects to make a decision

The next step in the sales funnel is ‘decision’, and the key here is to ensure that your prospect has all the information they need in order to make a decision.

In almost all cases, one of the key pieces of information is the price.

Your customers might not be particularly price-sensitive, but the truth is that even if we’re buying food at the supermarket, we’re hardwired to check the cost of something.

If you’ve done a good job at the previous step and elicited significant interest in your product, then your prospects will be keen to understand what their required investment is and that will drive them to take another step towards you.

But on a practical level, this is where you need to make it easy for them to access that information.

One of the most effective calls to action at this stage is the simple “Get a quote”, and this can be one of the most powerful ways of moving a prospect into a sales conversation (or at the very least onto your database)

Depending on your product, this will manifest itself in different ways – maybe a price calculator on your website, an opt-in form that books a call with a sales representative, or a brochure that contains a price list.

But the important thing is that you give prospects the opportunity to request the price – when you do that you’re helping them take a big step towards you AND you’re allowing them to give you a very strong buying signal; if they’re interested in the price, they’re interested in the product.

Ideas for producing a decision:

  • ‘Get a quote’ button
  • Price calculator
  • Discovery Day/webinar
  • Brochure
  • Consultation

Getting prospects to take action

Salespeople will know that there’s a difference between decision and action.

People mentally process the fact that they want and need a product, but until they actually get out their credit card and pay for it, the sale’s not over the line.

And that’s why mapping out your customer’s journey right up until the point of sale is hugely important.

Once your prospect has the price, what’s the next step?

Do you offer them a consultation?  A limited time offer?

Is there an email campaign that follows up on the quote and gives them a reason to act now?

Understanding the period between decision and action, and thinking through all of the reasons why action could be delayed and/or cancelled will help you create marketing that moves qualified prospect into confirmed customer.

Ideas for provoking action:

  • Email followup series
  • Sales call
  • Text message
  • Direct mail
  • Face-to-face appointment
  • Limited time offer

Putting it all together…

Hopefully this article demonstrates that when you think about your marketing in a more in-depth, nuanced way, you’re able to create much more effective communication that moves your prospect through each step.

But on a practical level, creating marketing for each step can be hugely time-consuming, and keeping all the plates spinning at the same time is easier said than done.

That’s why at EXELA, we help our clients to build this process into their businesses, so it happens on autopilot.

It might sound space-agey and not possible, but it really isn’t.

With the right technology, you really can take people from awareness to action, without manual processes, allowing you to focus on doing what you do best, and enjoy the most.

We can help your sales process become frictionless

If you’d like to find out more about how we help our clients do exactly that, just call us on 01242375000, or fill in the form below.

Join Our Mailing List

Get our marketing tips and be kept up to date with all things EXELA by hitting the button below.

About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

You might also like

Is Your Business Scalable?

Use the Scalability Scorecard to Find Out