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You want your prospects to understand how your products can solve their problems, so they’ll be moved to make a purchase.
But people don’t go from uninterested observers to committed buyers overnight. Asking for a sale is a relational proposition. And relationships have rules. Understanding the stages of a marketing relationship is important because it helps you understand what your sales funnel needs to accomplish.
Just as you wouldn’t propose marriage before a first date, you can’t rush a customer into a purchase.
What do romantic relationships, friendships, and committed customers have in common? They all move through three stages:
People will not want to know more about you (enlightenment) unless they are curious about you. And until they know how you can help them, they will never commit.
The curiosity stage of a relationship is about instant impressions.
Whether you are scanning a print ad or sorting piles of mail, your mind is always evaluating information. Anything not relevant to your survival is perceived as “junk.” You’ll toss it aside completely, or you’ll procrastinate and plan to give it attention later.
At the curiosity stage, prospects decide whether to keep or discard the information you’re offering. At this stage, if you don’t tell somebody how you can make their life better, they will set you aside.
When it comes to marketing – whether it’s the tagline on your direct mail envelope or your entire elevator pitch – you will never succeed if you can’t succinctly express how you will help people survive.
Want to build engagement by provoking curiosity? Get them wondering about something or look for ways to turn information into a quest. A few ideas:
-- Strive to make the information personally relevant
-- Avoid using material that is given away freely elsewhere
-- Use a compelling “missing information” teaser
-- Offer the promise of something worthwhile
-- Combine a curiosity headline with a self-interest subheading
-- Use visuals to suggest or create the perception of mystery
Finally, remember to provoke customers with a vision of the “ideal version” of themselves.
Very little of what makes people curious is rational. People don’t buy products or join a movement because they are thinking rationally. They commit based on emotion, status, or dreams of their aspirational identity. If you can stoke curiosity by tugging these heartstrings, you’re already halfway to a sale!