Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Steps
This is the first article in a 3-part series on marketing and sales form a change perspective. If you’re in the early stages of building a business, chances are you have some marketing and/or sales challenges. Even if you’re employed by someone else, I bet you are still involved in marketing or sales in some ways.
Full disclosure: I am not a marketing or sales professional. And you won’t hear what I’m about to share with you from most marketing or sales professionals. Not because they don’t know it, but because they haven’t thought about it in the same way.
I don’t think about marketing or sales like a marketer or salesperson. I think about it as a change specialist. And that makes a lot of difference. Let me explain.
Marketing and sales are two distinct disciplines. They are areas of expertise practised by subject-matter specialists. But they are also a means to an end. A business doesn’t really want a great marketing campaign or a top gun salesperson. What they want is more customers, more clients.
So, if we want more clients, we must recognise what that means. First, it means we need to find good prospects. What’s a good prospect? It’s someone who has a need that your product or service will satisfy. And second, it means getting that person to change from what has been normal – not being your client – to what is new, becoming your client.
And it’s that change journey that interests me.
In this article, I want to help you understand how to lead a prospect along that change journey by knowing the goal of each step. In the second article in this series, I want to show you how to move a prospect along the change journey through targeted communications. And in the third article, I want to show you how to lead a prospect along the change journey by overcoming obstacles that can get them stuck.
The Change Process
You need to understand that the change process has 5 steps. We are only interested in the first two steps – those are the two that are most relevant to marketing and sales. Before we consider the different goals of the first two steps, we need to think about what is possible for a prospect on each of these steps. There are three possible outcomes for each step.
- The prospect can complete a step and then move forward to the next one
- The prospect can get stuck on a step, unable to make any progress
- The prospect can find a step too challenging, give up, and go backwards
In the broadest sense, your job is to help the prospect achieve the first of these three possible outcomes.
Let’s think about the goals you should have for the prospect in the first two steps of the change process. The goal of the first step is to lead the prospect towards awareness. The goal of the second step is to move the prospect towards commitment. These should be your goals because these are what the first two steps of the change process are all about.
Towards Awareness – the prospect needs a growing awareness of their need. It could be that something is no longer working for them and they are increasingly out of step with their lived reality. This might cause them pain – either physical pain or psychological pain. They might have a sense that something’s wrong, or things aren’t quite right.
The prospect needs to become aware that there’s a better reali