Like so many things in life, timing is critical for effective sales. You can waste a lot of time and effort trying to push a sale at the wrong time. In fact, you can turn off a prospect and lose a sale that could have come at a later time.
If you want to make your marketing efforts more efficient and profitable, focus on the marketable moments for your customers. Marketable moments are the situations in which customers respond most favorably to offers.
For example, when people have just moved or are remodeling their homes, they are the most inclined to make home furnishing purchases. People at these junctures make thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of home furnishing purchases compared to the relatively minor purchases they make once they have settled. Smart marketers track these activities and focus their offers on these important marketable moments.
Marketable moments differ from the unfocused tactics of general advertising. Too often, I see businesses large and small sending general marketing messages. They trawl for prospects without targeting when the prospects are biting and how they need to present their offer to attract them. There’s a big distinction between “just in case” marketing to someone who might need your product or service versus “just in time” marketing to prospects who are ready and willing to purchase.
Whether you have products or services to sell, you can profit from putting marketable moments to work for you. Here’s how.
- Identify key trigger events.
Take a big sheet of paper and draw the key marketable moments for your desired customers. Chart the events in their lives or businesses that define when they are most available to purchase.
How do your customers’ needs shift during the year? When do particular market segments become especially interested?
For example, a client created a calendar based on typical purchasing patterns and organized marketing campaigns focused on its customers’ seasonal patterns. Team members researched what triggered purchase decisions at each point and how these patterns differed for various market segments. They trained salespeople in their stores to follow through on the media ads and direct marketing messages. Now the business’ marketing has greater focus and enjoys increased sales and profits.
If you are selling big-ticket items like manufacturing equipment or large software systems, think about your customers’ capital budgeting and approval cycles. When will they be deciding how much to spend and when to make their purchases?
- Focus your marketing message.
Instead of a general sales pitch, develop specific ones that relate to the marketable moments you’ve identified. What’s of importance to prospects at those particular points in time? Tailor your message.
With readily available prospect databases and customer contact software, businesses both large and small can target their offerings and personalize the messages. Use these tools to strengthen your marketing efforts.
- Follow up to yield sales.
While marketable moments will make your sales process more efficient, follow through remains important. This “just in time” marketing approach can shave several steps off of the seven to ten marketing impressions that a particular prospect typically requires to close a purchase. You still need to fill in the remaining contacts (collateral materials, sales calls, etc.) to close the transaction.
In retail, these follow up efforts might include repeat ads and in-store displays. If you are selling professional services or capital equipment with a direct sales force, you’ll need personal contacts with decision makers to define their needs and tailor solutions.
Marketable moments will keep you focused on your customers’ needs and how to fulfill them efficiently and profitably. Use them to enjoy improved sales results.
Copyright © 2018 Don Maruska