I remember when I purchased my first car. It was a brand new 1984 metallic white, six-speed Mazda RX-7. I was young and had just graduated from college, and my wife and I had just started our new full-time jobs. My current vehicle was old and tired, it was time to start thinking about getting a car, maybe even a new car. At least that was what I was convincing myself. Honestly I didn’t plan on purchasing an RX-7 at the time, it just sort of happened. Well actually, I drove by Big Billy Barrett Mazda and a nice shiny sports car in the showroom captured my attention. I thought I would drop in and just take a look. Right!
THE OLD WAY OF SELLING AND BUYING
The salesperson saw me coming a mile away, but kept his distance as I drooled over that car. I was pacing back and forth, circling the car like I was staking my claim. The salesman knew it was time to make his approach. With a nice smile on his face, he glanced at the car and then extended his hand to introduce himself. He said, “This is a nice one!” I concurred, trying not to look too interested. He said “Why don’t we take this piece of art for a spin?” I remember saying something to the effect that I didn’t think so, I was just looking and dreaming. He said, “Go ahead take it for a spin, and one day when you’re ready you’ll know this is the car you want”. I waited while he went to get the key and wondered what my wife would think, I wondered if we could manage the payment, I wondered what they would give me for my old Ford truck. During the test drive the salesman knew what I would be thinking, so he said, “You know, people notice this car.” He asked a few sales questions, did I own my vehicle free and clear? What payment would make a deal work for me? He was seeing all the signs and he knew he had me. The rest is history. I left that dealer two hours later with a brand new Mazda RX-7!
That was 1984. In 1984 you had to have a great sales team if you were going to win new customers. My salesman had talent, I remember him very well. He was very polished. He knew exactly when to approach me, how to approach me and what to say. He knew the tell tale signs to look for and the questions to ask and when to ask them. He knew the emotion he wanted to create or help create. He positioned me to say yes.
THE NEW WAY OF POSITIONING AND BUYING
Today it is 2011. Do you think the way things are purchased has changed since 1984 or even 2004? Let’s see.
Today I desire to purchase a Corvette. I actually have one but my friends convince me it is old and time to trade up. If I’m interested in purchasing one where will I most likely start?
[sws_ui_toggle title=”I will start with GOOGLE – (click here)” closed=”true” jui_theme=”dark-hive” duration=”500″]I will begin by educating myself. I will start with Google and search the word, “corvette.” Here is what I find — Click here
It’s pretty convincing isn’t it?
1. They make it easy for me to get the information I want.
2. It’s emotional — they put on a show.
3. It’s credible — I see how others feel (Consumer Reviews).
5. They are thinking about me — I can build my own by clicking the “Build Your Own” button. Wow!
6. If I require more information they easily position me for more resources with links for: interior, exterior, performance, technology, and safety.
7. They now know I’ve shown interest and they position it for me to request a chat.
8. They are thinking about how I communicate by providing me a MobileApp for my iPhone or iPad. What am I thinking?
I will now move to the second stage;
[sws_ui_toggle title=”I will evaluate my options – (click here)” closed=”true” jui_theme=”dark-hive” duration=”500″]I will evaluate my options online. If you were one of the top searches that Google provided me and you provided me with the information and the experience that I was wanting, I will likely become your customer. However, if it was so-so, and most landing sites are, I will click a few more searches provided by Google. I will however likely not go past page 1 or 2 on the Google searches.
As a potential buyer, here is what I want:
1. I want to know what are my potential options for purchasing a Corvette.
2. I want to know who’s relevant when it comes to service and selection of Corvettes.
3. I don’t want to wait for information. I want to find what I want with ease.
4. I want value first and I don’t want to be sold.
Timing is Everything!
Remember the salesman in my experience of purchasing my first car? He was reading my body language. That was required in 1984 and it was that way in 2004. Today in 2011 it is a different game with fewer winners. You see, I’m not going to the dealership for my education. I have new sources of information available to me that allows me to be “under the radar,” you likely don’t know that I’m a potential customer if you are a dealer doing business as if it were 2004. Why? You can’t read my body language.
Today there is a better and more predictable way to do business. Let me introduce you to a concept that can predict with accuracy your next customers before you even speak to them. It’s called Lead Scoring and here’s how it works.[sws_pullquote_right]Lead Scoring allows you to gather a wealth of data that presents clear and accurate conclusions regarding who are your hot prospects. [/sws_pullquote_right]
Set up Your Message to Win
Through Lead Scoring you can gather a wealth of data that presents clear and accurate conclusions regarding who are the hot prospects. In the old days, say 2004, you would need to personally connect with a prospect and read the body language of that person to determine if a sale was imminent. Today Lead Scoring allows you to read a person’s digital body language to determine levels of interest, when you should approach them, and where they are in the buying process.
Let’s use our Corvette example and set the scene how Lead Scoring works for a person interested in purchasing a Corvette. First let’s assume you own a Corvette dealership. Now let’s create what a hypothetical, perfect Corvette customer (buyer) looks like. Below are my assumptions, you may add or delete from my list, but follow this closely.
[sws_ui_toggle title=”Perfect Customer Profile – (click here)” closed=”true” jui_theme=”dark-hive” duration=”500″]Following are my assumptions, you may add or delete from this list of what a perfect prospective customer would look like if they were in the market to purchase a Corvette.
Here is a list of activities that would likely be performed by a perfect prospect:
1. They find you easily and visit your landing page/website. (This is where most people start, right?)
2. You make it easy for them to find what they are searching for in Google. In this case, Corvettes, not pickups or Tahoes.
3. They click a link regarding something that interests them on the landing site that provides real VALUE.
3. They click the “Build Your Own” button and are entertained as they go through the process of selecting the features that are important to them. Through this process they provide some information including email to receive a complimentary t-shirt or coupon for something of value.
4. They watch a professional video that enhances the emotion about driving a corvette.
5. They click to read reviews from other customers and maybe even participate in a forum.
5. They open an email thanking them for visiting the website and providing a free gift of appreciation.
6. They click a link in the email that offers more value.
7. They click to chat.
8. They register for the Corvette e-Newsletter.
Get the idea? See if you can come up with a few of your own.
Now that we have identified the actions of a perfect prospect let’s give them a score that will help identify them as a top prospect.
[sws_ui_toggle title=”Lead Scoring – (click here)” closed=”true” jui_theme=”dark-hive” duration=”500″]Based on the criteria developed above, we will assume a perfect prospect will do all or most of the actions below and attribute a score for the relevancy of each action.
Here is how we would score these activities:
1. SCORE: 10 points: They find you easily and visit your landing page/website. (This is where most people start, right?)
2. SCORE: 0 points: You make it easy for them to find what they were searching for in Google. In this case, Corvettes, not pickups or Tahoes.
3. SCORE: 10 points: They click a link regarding something that interests them on the landing site that provides real VALUE.
3. SCORE: 25 points: They click the “Build Your Own” button and are entertained as they go through the process of selecting the features that are important to them. Through this process they provide some information including their email to receive a complimentary t-shirt or coupon for something of value.
4. SCORE: 5 points: They watch a professional video that enhances the emotion about driving a corvette.
5. SCORE: 5 points: They click to read reviews from other customers and maybe even participate in a forum.
5. SCORE: 10 points: They open an email thanking them for visiting the website and providing them with a free gift of appreciation.
6. SCORE: 10 points: They click a link in the email that offers more value.
7. SCORE: 15 points: They click to chat.
8. SCORE: 10 points: They register for the Corvette e-Newsletter.
TOTAL SCORE: 100 points
The higher the score the more interest that is shown. If a person only visits the landing site but doesn’t do anything else they are likely not a prospect to buy. However, if they give you some contact information or complete the “Build Your Own” Corvette, then you want to position to get them more relevant information that helps their purchasing decision along and not leave that to the competitors.
If each day you were able to receive a list of the Top 100 Prospects (see below by clicking on image) based on their score and their activities with your company, would you do a better job creating a memorable experience and develop better next steps that move the prospect forward without offending them?