Dating v Marketing
If you were to look for something that was most like marketing for your business it would be dating. This may sound very strange, but the two are extremely similar. It’s also an experience most of us have had and can draw upon.
When you start dating, you probably already know the type of person you are looking for. You possibly have some type of list of attributes you’d like a future partner to have, and those which would be a red line. If you think about it, this is just like defining your ideal client.
Whether you start dating online, or in the real world, you would never ask someone to marry you the first time you speak, or even move in together. You’ll have a clear idea of the journey that you’re likely to go on.
You’ll chat for a bit, get a phone number, go on a few dates, maybe a short break, introduce them to your friends and meet theirs, maybe eventually living together, getting married and having children. Some will have a longer process and some will be much shorter. Each situation is different, but you have a clear journey.
Marketing is the same. You shouldn’t expect someone to want to buy from you straight away. They need to get to know, like and trust you.
Let’s work through the process. The first step in both is to start the conversation. In marketing that might be an advert, video or social media post. Next, you want some contact details so that you can continue the conversation.
In the main, your adverts are aimed at people you have no relationship with. Your only goal is to get some contact details to allow you to move from broadcast to conversation.
You’d never post an ad on a dating site looking for someone who wants to marry you. Don’t do it with your business marketing either.
Next, you’ll probably want to deliver some value. To show yourself at your best. Autoresponders are great for this. They let you go through the early stages of conversation quickly and easily. Be prepared to break this path if your prospective client gets in touch directly.
Like dating where your next aim is to get a date, you’ll have a clear next step in your marketing journey. Perhaps, that’s to arrange a call or get a meeting.
At this stage, you may want to look for a small commitment from them. That could be them buying a small service, or product. It could be a business health check, a spreadsheet, or an ebook.
This is designed to change the relationship dynamic. In dating, this might be akin to the move from dating many, to dating one person.
Once you get to this stage you may find that the person engages more with your content, social media and emails. This is the point where you should begin to feel confident in selling your full service to them.
This process could be much longer, or shorter depending on your prospect, but the journey will be the same. You should move at the speed that is right for them.
Try to map out your sales process in more steps than “Advertise - Sell” and post it in the comments.