What's Next? Funny you should ask...
(Excerpt from Eliminate the Confusion)
Marketing is science. It’s not subjective. It’s not arguable. It works the same way every single time. This technique is your most effective communication tool and it requires mastery.
This is an eight step continuum used to determine the current state of a prospect or customer or any targeted group of people as it supports or leads to the maximum utilization of a business, product, service, or completion of a project.
It represents a method - or a map - to, at the very least, determine the extent of sales or communication progress that has occurred and still needs to occur for a prospect, for an entire market, or simply for a target group of people.
This is a very effective way to determine what you have to do next to move your project to a successful outcome – whether it’s a product launch, software rollout, cookie drive, new operating model, or whatever.
The language that I use in this section is slanted toward sales so you’ll have to be a little metaphorical in applying it to your situation. But I GUARANTEE you can apply it and it will work.
The eight steps range from total unawareness to repurchase (the home run). Each of the eight steps represents the overriding characteristic of the prospect or market or targeted group of people. Once the prospect or market or group of people is quantified into a step on the continuum, activities can be designed and implemented to move them to or through the next step.
Let’s make an example of a software program called Confusion Buster when a company was beginning to roll it out to their employees.
One of the targets was the sales people or revenue producers, so we had to ask the questions…
Are they aware of Confusion Buster?
A few have heard about it. Most have not. We need to create better awareness by presenting it to them in company communication, in person, at gatherings. We have to create a word-of-mouth campaign so that they hear about it from other producers.
Are they knowledgeable about Confusion Buster?
Not at all. We need to present to them the features and benefits of Confusion Buster and educate them about what it does, how it works, why it’s being implemented and what’s in it for them? How will they benefit? How will their customers benefit?
Do they like it?
Don’t know, have to ask them. Only after they’re knowledgeable is this step appropriate. If we haven’t educated them adequately, they are not able to determine whether they like it or not so they’ll guess and talk from their gut rather than from their brain. Once they’re educated, they will most likely be able to provide feedback and objections. Handling objections is a very important part of influencing your target groups and we can’t get into the science of Objection Handling, In short, be sure to understand the objection thoroughly, restate it, and present a proof source to support your claims of being able to overcome the objection.
Do they Prefer it?
Some of them. I is imperative to understand the alternatives and be able to compare features and benefits of both products. Your goal is to get your target group to prefer Confusion Buster over competitive products and to get them to tell you that.
Are they Committed to using it?
Some are and some aren’t. They need to state their commitment… in other words, “If I can deliver what I’ve described to you, will you use it?” There’s no better way to gain commitment than to ask for it. If they do not answer the way you want, you have to back up. You haven’t done one of the earlier steps adequately. They may not be knowledgeable about it, they may not even like it, and they certainly may not prefer it.
Did they “Purchase” it?
In other words, did they try it? Did they follow-up on their commitment to try it? If you’ve done everything right to this point the answer should be Yes. You have to establish a way to measure the extent to which it’s being used.
Did they “Repurchase” it?
In this case, do they continue to use it and endorse it? This step relies mostly on Satisfaction… or are they satisfied that it meets their objectives, answers their needs, and fits into their belief system. Again, you have to have a way to continually monitor and measure the extent to which it is being used.
Admittedly, this is a little strange and may seem overly intellectual but, in fact, you really do some version of this every day – all day long. You just don’t realize it. But you’re skipping steps and jumping around. Once you realize it and progress naturally through these 8 steps, you will be a lot more influential and able to process more information.
This will work with your internal customers and external customers. Practice to become proficient.