Every good marketer knows not to target every prospect with the same message, right? Why is it then that most advisors target every prospect as if they are all the same? It’s as if they lump everyone into one category, as if everyone is ready to buy today. Why do so many advisors spend their energy targeting “hot prospects,” the 9’s and 10’s on the buying temperature scale, while failing to realize they are virtually ignoring every other prospect out there (which by the way, is the majority)?

Once you begin to understand the “Pyramid of Engagement,” you’ll soon realize the impact of marketing to prospects at the various stages of the buying cycle. You’ll also be well on your way to discovering how to cultivate future clients each and every month, and can begin building a predictable business rather than continuously chasing prospects. Cultivating clients means marketing to prospects and helping move those that are not quite ready to buy today closer and closer to the point of taking action.

The pyramid above is divided into seven distinct levels or categories. Did you know that the vast majority of prospects are located at the base of the pyramid? This group is what we call “unaware”: They simply don’t yet know they have a need.

To successfully engage with this group, it’s best to use a very specific marketing message to help them realize their need rather than using a general marketing approach. An example of the general approach would be to send out 1,000 invitations for a free consultation to people who are unaware they even have a need; most likely they will have no interest in meeting with you. But to attract prospects, you will have to show them why they need you – a more specific approach.

Next up on the pyramid are those prospects who have recently become aware that they have a need. Just because these prospects have become aware does not mean they are ready to connect with you yet. Generally these prospects are now in research mode, beginning the search for education and potential solutions to their needs. To market to this group, providing them with educational resources such as free educational reports or videos and demonstrating your expertise in the area they are looking for help with will go a long way toward winning them over.

As we move up the pyramid, we find prospects who are aggressively seeking and comparing options and the pros and cons of various advisors. To engage with this group, be sure you meet their expectations of what they are looking for in an advisor (i.e., professional website, structured process, etc.).

Finally, we have reached the top of the pyramid! This is where the minority of prospects are those who are ready to take action now. The issue that most advisors have is that they are marketing to everyone as if they are in the top 5 percent. However, the majority of prospects are actually at the base of the pyramid and are not ready to take action today. That being the case, you need to begin thinking of your marketing campaigns in stages: how are you going to market to prospects in each of the different phases of engagement?

Key points to remember:

  • Create a marketing strategy that moves the prospect through all levels of the pyramid.
  • Dump the mass marketing approach and focus on specific marketing strategies.
  • Nurturing a prospect through the process takes time – be patient.

Are you ready to escape the survival marketing funnel? Be sure to include these steps in your marketing approach and you will be well on your way. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars promoting your business to everyone, begin targeting each group specific to their needs.

For more information on managing buying cycles, check out the following free video athttp://www.automatedadvisor.com/closing-the-follow-up-gap/

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