Category: prospects


Characteristics of Suspects, Prospects, and Customers

You want to have a relationship with your suspects, your prospects, and your customers. But what are the specific differences between each group, and how should you modify your tactics to reach each segment the best?

Suspects

Suspects typically have no pre-existing relationship with you or your company. Most likely, they haven’t even heard of you. More than any other segment of your audience, your tactics need to focus on educating them about your product/service, building rapport, and demonstrating credibility. Remember: suspects don't know you, so they have no reason to believe that you can help them until you show them that you can.
 

Prospects

Prospects are “raised hands” – they’ve demonstrated in some way that they might be interested in becoming your customer. They might be in the information gathering stage or the evaluation stage. Prospects want tools to help them in their decision-making process, so your tactics should focus on educating them in-depth on how your product/service works, and how you are different from your competitors.
 

Customers

Customers want, simply, to be treated like customers. They want information that helps them do their jobs, and information that validates their investments (they want to feel like they made a good decision to become your customer.) Make sure you give them support mapped to their products and their processes – not your own.

David's blog

Building Compelling Offers

Learning opportunities. Gifts. Promotions. Incentives. These are all examples of offers -- those items that compel prospects to pay attention to you. Offers should be a core piece of every marketing campaign. Yet, as marketers, we often struggle to find compelling pieces or consider them an afterthought.

Bring these items front and center by taking the time to build up a strong offer sheet. This way, you'll have a substantial selection of pieces that can be used throughout your campaigns, on your website, and in sales calls.

Start by creating an inventory of your current assets. Make sure you identify separate offers for different stages of the sales cycle: for earlier in the sales cycle, learning opportunities (such as educational articles) offer your prospect something that can keep them engaged and open to your messaging. For later in the sales cycle, consider offers that aid in the decision-making process -- trial offers and assessments, as well as pricing and financial incentives.

Tips

  • Create high value offers for the highest value prospects. For example, send your best prospects that hot new business bestseller.
  • Focus on educational timesavers: how-to guides, articles, and survey responses.
  • Hire a freelance writer to create pieces for you. Consider creating a back-catalogue of content that you can use over the course of long term period.
  • Put value behind your service offers. For example, a free assessment is generally perceived as a sales call, and therefore wouldn't necessarily qualify as an effective offer.
  • Avoid gifts and trinkets as a call to action. Real prospects generally won't take an action to win a chance at a free iPod or other item. Instead, use these items at trade shows, raffles, or events.
  • Buy offers when you don't have them. Sources like Harvard Business Review have white papers and articles available for download.
     

David's blog