I have been at a conference for the past few days with sixty digital and inbound marketing agency owners. During lunch, one of the owners mentioned the “thirty magical marketing touches” required to get people to buy. You may have also heard that, historically, most marketers think it takes seven touches to get a prospect to buy. That got me thinking – there really isn’t anything magical about when people buy, and perhaps a blog post about buying might be helpful.
Since buyer behavior has changed so dramatically over the past few years, and the internet has empowered all of our buyers with the information they think they need to make sound purchase decisions, our marketing and sales processes must be adjusted accordingly.
No one buys anything until pain becomes acute. Think about your own buyer behavior. You know it’s true.
Now, apply what you learned in college marketing about reach and frequency: Tell as many people as possible, as many times as possible, about your business, and when they need it (their pain is acute), they will remember you and buy from you.
That’s fine if you're Pepsi, Coors or Acura, but not if you are any reasonable business with a limited marketing budget and a CEO who wants to know how many leads you generated this month.
If you want to get your prospects to buy, you have to press their “buy button.” The only way to do this is to make them feel safe. In fact, the buy button is controlled by the same part of the brain that controls the fight-or-flight reflex. Again, think about your own buyer behavior. How do you feel when you're approached by a sales person? Not great, right? You want to avoid creating that feeling for your prospects.
Educate, advise, counsel and coach your prospects instead of trying to sell to them.
This aligns perfectly with inbound marketing, content marketing, email marketing and many of the digital marketing tactics being deployed by innovative inbound marketing firms.
When you create compelling, helpful, creative educational content, you should post it to your website, share it on social media, publish it on relevant websites and marry that content with a well-designed conversion strategy.
The next step in pressing that buy button is to nurture those leads effectively. By continuing the educational conversation with them and by providing them with additional helpful information, you continue to make them feel safer and safer. By keeping them close to your company in a planned out and structured way, when their pains become acute (by the way, we never know when that pain becomes acute), they don’t search for companies like yours; rather, they slide down the sales funnel and ask to speak with you or someone on your team.
When you talk about getting people to buy, you can't leave the sales team out of the conversation. One of the major challenges associated with changing the way you market your company is changing the way you sell to your prospects. If your marketing team is guiding and your sales team is selling, you have a disconnect. This is one of the fastest ways to push your prospects away. Consider mapping content directly into your sales process, and consider revamping your sales process so that it is designed to help your prospects make safe purchase decisions.
Start Today Tip – You need to make sure your marketing and sales efforts are designed to make your prospects feel safe, and that they deliver a remarkable experience to prospects in each stage of the sales funnel. Make sure your content maps directly to the questions your prospects are asking. This goes a long way towards putting you in a position to press your prospects’ buy buttons.