Getting Prospects to Take Action

The Goal of Promotion is Action
Although we are not opposed to cold calling or canvassing, the ultimate goal of an effective prospect marketing program is to make it easy for the prospect to take the action to contact you and show their interest. For example, one of our clients is a real estate broker. We were asked to review his ads in the real estate sections of the local newspapers. I asked him what he was trying to accomplish with his ads and he told me quite sincerely, “To sell houses.”

I suppose he was partly right: ultimately, the ad was part of the process to sell a house. But the real purpose of the ad was NOT to sell a house. No one sees a four-line listing and buys a house. The objective of each listing was to generate a phone call. I’ve never known anyone to see a listing for a house in a newspaper and send a down payment. They see the ad and – if it works – they pick up the phone.

So Rule number one: The goal of prospecting is generally not to sell the product. The objective is to generate a response, to get someone to take some action.

Getting Prospects to Take Action
Direct Prospecting is one of the most challenging forms of marketing for an important reason: Prospects have choices, and often a lot of them. No matter what business you’re in, and no matter how special you think you are, your future customers don’t really think about you. If you weren’t there, they’d be going somewhere else to fulfill their need. In your mind, that choice might not be as good as yours, but for them, it just might be. So, given that your future customers have a lot of choices, how do you help your prospects take action to contact you.

The simple answer to the question is What You Sell Them Depends on what you tell them. Whether it’s in the form of an ad, announcement, brochure, outbound email, direct mail letter, a post card identifying your booth at a trade show or the trade show booth itself. What you say and how you say it is what is going to have impact.

There are four elements to an effective message that prompts action:

1. AIDA. (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) or IEEO (Interrupt, Engage, Educate, Offer)

To have impact, what you say needs to:

Gets people to pay attention or interrupt their passive inattention
Become very interested or engaged in what you’re selling
Create genuine desire by educating them
Take action through an offer.

2. USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Building a Case for Your Product or Service that positions you as an expert and source of solutions to a problem they have.

3. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). Create relevance by framing what you’re selling as a solution to a problem they have

4. GTOYML (Get Them On Your Mailing List). Create vehicles for getting their address.